API Business Models

How APIs drive business at BNP Paribas


Quy-Doan Do is the Head of Digital Transformation and Innovation Head of Data Services at BNP Paribas, a leading European Investment Bank. He has spent most of his career within corporate and technology, including leading global market technology and enterprise architecture of the APAC region. He has recently moved to the digital innovation and product space on the business side, especially to develop a global data management product that BNP Paribas is currently piloting in the region. In this article, he discusses how APIs drive business at BNP Paribas.


To help our clients better leverage the data they need to run their businesses, we have developed a marketplace that aims first at better understanding clients’ priorities and challenges. We want to provide data operations to improve data governance and quality. We want to deliver enhanced value and insight to the clients, including data as a service, leveraging the latest market.

API is a key component of our digital business. We went through a maturing process and journey to get business clients to drive the API business definition and build APIs per business domain rather than simply considering API as a technical problem. We don’t want to build as many APIs as information systems. API is not another middleware. The finance sector fully understands the benefits of API, notably as a simplification and consolidation. So, therefore, in terms of our digital and data transformation pillars, APIs are part of our omni-channel data distribution strategy and ambition to improve client experience. API allows us to integrate with FinTech partners in the best-of-breed model as part of a digital transformation service offering. We want to improve digitalization and bring productivity and automated optimization gain, notably by integrating AI features.


API enables us to explore new technologies. For example, in the domain of distributed ledger technology, API allows us to bridge the conventional world value chain while testing aspects of the emerging distributed ledger technology. It also allows us to progressively deploy workflows, integration, and transition, ensuring the solution’s autonomy.

To enhance customer experience, we offer clients different and consistent ways to access data. For example, they can access the data via a web portal, which uses API. They could access the API directly by subscribing to the API available in the API store. They can also use bots, which are connected via the APIs to the back end. Each service answers the specific needs of the clients within the organization.


The API value proposition for the clients

More Agile – APIs provide a common language to send and receive requests among any IT systems worldwide across the internet.

Data on-demand – API endpoints allow clients to get the data they need when needed.

Plug and play – Using APIs is much faster than building any new data channel from scratch.

Added security – APIs create an added layer of protection between data and server.


We have a public URL where you can access the data catalog. The API catalog is organized by domain, whereby you could typically have APIs, like counting foundations, cash of payments, etc. People buy all of that is available publicly. Progressively, we sell API coverage to expose the underlying data coming from the value system location, depending on the client.


We have the API roadmap for the coming couple of years. Functionally, we intend to cover pretty much all client needs by 2020. Our roadmap is driven by client priorities, some of which we are working on in co-design.


API lifecycle dashboards run on our various APIs. They have APIs by client type, region, and lifecycle states. One thing to note is that as demand grows across regions and time zones, you may want to deploy proximity resources to better serve.


APIs – Day-to-day reality and challenges

API as a product is exposed via the API store. It requires maturity in a certain number of ways. We need to be mindful of security aspects, for example, properly administrating the API ecosystem. From an engagement perspective, the workflow for onboarding users, such as self-registration or subscription management, is in place to grant access to users. We need to be mindful of contractual aspects and then monetize the API.


Overall data ecosystem and value chain

If we take a step back and look at the data perspective, APIs are part of a wider ecosystem. To fully leverage the value of data and deliver insights, there are prerequisites in terms of data representation, following industry standards. While there are a number of established norms on the sell side, this is not always the case for the buy side. As a regulated industry, we need to manage data acquisition and governance.

Quy-Doan Do
Head of Digital Transformation and Innovation Head of Data Services @ BNP Paribas CIB Securities Services Asia Pacific

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