API Business Models

API First Approach and how Indian Banks are adopting it to reshape the future


With the massive amount of digitization over last decade, API has been one of the most sought-after technologies across industries. Right from modernizing the tech architecture to digitizing customer experience, APIs are everywhere. While discussing about API, we have observed over last couple of years that organizations are taking API first approach with a focus on API led architecture as the primary steps liberated from any user interfaces.

Top 6 principles while designing an API Product in API-First architecture.


Standardize practice to create and expose any API is important. Organizations are adopting this approach to create API conformance metrics for validating rules, policies before developing any API. In BFSI, Open API standard is already deployed to maintain a commonality in API definitions and contracts resulting to build a collaborative ecosystem.


Managing incremental growth in workload and managing new changes are the two basic approaches adopted in API-First design which API architects are using cache to cut redundant API responses and obtain the maximum performance of the processor application. Similarly, to handle new changes backward, compatibility and deprecations are introduced. This is affecting usability, availability, and vulnerability of the entire API paradigm of the organization.


The ever-increasing demand of availing financial services digitally has increased the need of a stable API ecosystem. Circuit Breaker, Rate limiting, and Back Pressure are the methods being used to increase the reliability of the APIs and manage overuse from any inadvertent sources. A significant drop in the number of Time out exceptions been observed post the adoption of API-First approach.


API-First approach ensures a well-maintained API catalogue be available with all the necessary versioning of APIs. This reduces the propensity of having Zombie APIs inside ecosystem.   


It is important to assure that the access and usage of the APIs are legitimate. In an API-First led ecosystem, the authorization, authentication and Data screening are done with multiple layers of security protocol. Most of the API gateways are equipped with features like advanced threat protection, customer’s API usage behaviour tracking, DDOS prediction etc. Tokenized authentication is one of the widely adopted method of extending access over APIs.


Success metrics of any API led program is measured by the performance and health check monitoring of the entire API ecosystem. It ensures reduced revenue risks and capturing customer behaviour for further analysis. Health check monitoring provides visibility into performance, resource availability and functional readiness.

To conclude, introduction of API-first strategy ensures a healthy growth of any organisation by empowering a well scripted digital transformation program. By adopting this approach, organizations are reducing the stress and effort to drive any transformation program.

To know more about how Indian Banking and Financial industries are adopting API first approach to accelerate their digital transformation programs, please go through the following:

How BFSI is adopting API-First approach to accelerate Digital Transformation success – CXO Digitalpulse

Abhijit Dey

Abhijit Dey

Vice President - Product Head API Banking at Axis Bank
Abhijit Dey is an experienced Product Head with a strong background in the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) industry. With expertise in API management and API monetization, Abhijit has successfully created an Open API framework specifically tailored for banks.

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