Types of APIs depending on the business model

Types of APIs depending on the business model

At the moment, APIs can be divided into two major groups as regards the business model: APIs which are understood as a tool; and APIs which are a product themselves.

15 Apr. 2019

APIs as a tool

In this case, application programming interfaces are understood as solutions that provide internal service to different departments, front-end application developers, and  external partners in the creation of products and services and internal service APIs.

  • Back-end APIs give iOS and Android developers raw material to code their apps.
  • APIs for partners are key to any B2B business, where interfaces reduce the time-to-market and improve the experience.
  • Internal APIs reduce friction in business operations.

APIs as a product

APIs are understood as a consumable, with its owner becoming a provider of services to third parties. These include business model APIs, data interfaces and interfaces aimed at improving the user experience.

  • Business model APIs, where a company distributes and sells its core through an API. Tech firms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and PayPal base their activity on this type of interface, but these APIs are also starting to gain importance in other areas. For example, PayStats by BBVA offers data aggregate and anonymized data about transactions with BBVA cards. This information can be valuable for fintech companies offering solutions to their clients based on these data.
  • Data interfaces, which provide information to third parties that can be used to create products and services for monetization. An example of this type of interface is Accounts, a BBVA API which gives access to financial data (information on accounts, balance and activity history) about Bank's clients who have given their permission to do so.
  • APIs focused on the client, which are aimed at improving the user experience or elements such as commitment, conversion, brand awareness... This is the case of Customers, the BBVA API which easily retrieves the profile details of each of the Bank's authenticated users, without generating headaches for developers and with the resulting advantages for product and service customization and user engagement.

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