What is an API?
An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a set of defined rules that allows different systems to speak to one another. To put it simply, the API works as an intermediary, passing messages between systems that can’t communicate directly to provide a way for them to connect and transfer data securely.
They have revolutionised how we integrate technology. A decade ago, system integration meant two providers getting together to build something specific to connect their technologies. While this did the job, it took time and money to achieve and created an ongoing need to maintain all the bespoke links between different parts of the chain. Due to the complexity involved, this level of system integration was only completed for key functionality, leaving most data sharing to manual processes.
For financial advisers, pulling data out of different systems by hand used to mean producing a client report could take several days. Today you can complete the same task in minutes, largely thanks to APIs which allow your internal and external data sources to integrate with your back-office solution.
The use of APIs has skyrocketed in recent years. The growing use of data across all industries means that enabling systems to communicate seamlessly with each other and automate processes is increasingly important.
Providers and fintech companies are increasingly creating apps that use APIs to offer an easy way to integrate popular software solutions and ensure that data is transferred securely and in compliance with industry and data regulations.
New apps are becoming an integral part of the advice process to fill functionality gaps and provide clients with an enhanced experience. Through our intelliflo store, advisers can view and install apps to extend intelliflo office’s capabilities, from platforms and provider datafeeds to digital engagement tools. To add new functionality, you simply download your chosen solution from the online store in the same way you’d download an app on your mobile. As APIs are based on a standard ‘language’, you can plug in as many different tools as you want and build your own bespoke technology stack that meets the specific needs of your business and client base.
We’re always open to new integration partnerships to help you get the most from your technology and take pride in providing open architecture solutions that allow our clients to select the solution that works for them. Our open API framework allows providers and advisers to create their own software, making the intelliflo store an ever-growing marketplace of apps and integrations.