In the first of a series of four posts, our CEO, Alexis, introduces one of our core platform features: the Sikoia Data and API Marketplace.
It has been an exciting time for all of us here at Sikoia. Since closing our pre-seed round three and half months ago, we have been working hard to deliver for our clients and prospects, signing new partnerships, strengthening our team, introducing new functionality, and enhancing our core capabilities.
Our integrated API marketplace provides turnkey access to more than 20 different data and capability suppliers across key financial service provider categories. This helps clients access the latest functionality, as well as deliver better products and experiences for their customers.
Sikoia is a Unified Data Platform for financial services. We provide a single unified orchestration layer for all the financial data and capabilities that companies need to offer financial products to their customers. There are four key layers of the Sikoia platform:
The first layer is the integrated financial data and API marketplace, which lies at the heart of our platform. Sikoia has a series of turnkey integrations to multiple financial data and API providers, ranging from traditional sources like API compliance checklists and credit bureaus, to the latest financial innovators such as Open Banking data providers, digital ID verification solutions, and more. At Sikoia, we do all the heavy lifting for you. We can identify, integrate, and maintain connections with every data source and API that you may need to solve specific use cases. That will make it straightforward – and quick! – for you to get up and running with any new data source.
Driven by a surge in B2B infrastructure development and innovation in data sources, businesses are increasingly able to outsource complex financial services using external APIs. As a result of this structural shift, financial services providers have to manage an amount of data and integrations that is growing exponentially.
This doesn’t come as a surprise. With 150+ local credit bureau data sets; 1,000s of companies regulated as third-party open banking providers; 3,000+ companies in the digital identity space; 160+ regulatory and compliance providers and record-breaking levels of VC investments in Fintech – the landscape is not only fragmented but keeps on evolving. Payroll APIs are only just beginning to emerge in Europe. Accounting APIs are becoming more common. And government APIs are now on the roadmap of countries around the world.
While this unbundling has resulted in a better customer experience, it has also led to some significant challenges: it’s increasingly difficult to integrate this dynamic ecosystem in existing static back-end systems and workflows. You not only need to know which tools you need to be competitive for today, but also make sure you have the right foundations to seamlessly integrate the ones of tomorrow.
Seamless access to rich normalised online client data is an invaluable asset for financial services providers. It's essential, not only to produce more sophisticated decisioning engines but also to improve customer experiences. Data is typically used for two distinct but related tasks: enhancing a customer-provided data set, to gain more insight and context; and validating that (enhanced) data set against various “sources of truth”. We think of these two functionalities as “Enrichment” and “Verification”.
At our core, we offer three bundled Enrichment datasets to augment your understanding of your customers understanding and risk profile:
We’re also delighted to unveil our first group of partners and data source connections accessible through our system. With us, you can now integrate with many different providers – seamlessly accessing streams of useful data within a single interface. As a reseller for most of these providers, we can accelerate your time-to-market and reduce any legal complexities. We can take care of all your maintenance issues and software updates too – all without interrupting your existing workflows.
Most financial services have built, owned, and managed every part of their decisioning and tech infrastructure themselves. Typically, that has resulted in significant bottlenecks and reduced their ability to innovate with speed. Even Fintechs frequently use systems ill-adapted to integrate multitiple external touchpoints and data sources, like Core Banking Systems or CRM. This is a significant problem – one that can easily determine a company's scalability and growth.
In the next blog post, we will highlight the value of our integrated API Common Data Model. It provides a standardised interface to collect, unify and enrich copious amounts of data. It’s also the foundation needed to create fully customisable workflows unique to each customer and ensure best-in-class data-driven decisioning.