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MuleSoft insight: ‘Digital glue’ – what is an API?

MuleSoft's Danny Healy explains the uses of application programming interfaces in fintech

‘API’ is the word on everyone’s lips in the finance industry as it evolves to leverage tech in the most efficient way possible and organisations new and old all vie for a seat at the open banking table.

Banks have become aware they must collaborate in order to remain competitive, and APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces are key to this information sharing – but what exactly is an API and what does it mean?

We spoke to MuleSoft’s Danny Healy in this month’s FinTech Magazine, and were keen to get to the bottom of this tech buzzword. Healy described APIs as “digital glue”, outlining that they can be used as a turnstile between applications.


“They are what makes it straightforward for one application to exchange data and communicate with another,” he explained. This might mean a mobile app connecting to a database, for example, which could in the finance industry allow a mobile banking app to get access to the right data on someone’s spending.

It will also be useful for banks to utilise third party capabilities, said Healy. “If you can organise your capabilities into an application network, you can essentially plug in new features to existing back-end systems.”

This means that rather than developing technology from scratch within an organisation and reinventing the wheel across hundreds of banks, a bank could collaborate with a technology organisation to improve the way it serves its customers.

To read more of Healy’s insights into APIs and the changing financial landscape, take a look at the May issue of FinTech Magazine.