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How do APIs help improve operational efficiency?

Aravind Narayan
Aravind Narayan
Performance Director Europe, Middle East & Africa, Refinitiv

Aravind Narayan explains how ‘API first’ is the future of data delivery, helping to drive operational efficiency to new levels.


  1. APIs are revolutionizing how financial institutions and other organizations are operating. APIs do this by providing them with easy access to relevant risk intelligence data.
  2. Financial crime APIs enable compliance teams to focus on the detection, investigation and prevention of true compliance risks and suspicious cases, and to perform higher-value work.
  3. APIs can bring in the flexibility to build simple-to-complex logic around alerts that greatly improve operational efficiency for customers.

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Application programming interfaces (APIs) are revolutionizing the way both financial institutions and other organizations operate by providing them with easy access to relevant risk intelligence data.

Such data is needed for digital ID verifications, risk screening, transaction monitoring, and much more, and is helping to drive operational efficiency to a new level.

World-Check One APIs can help you meet your regulatory obligations more efficiently

Quick and cost-effective technology

APIs empower in-house developers with the ability to innovate and add new features and functionality — through custom mobile apps, chatbots or voice-recognition capability — to their existing ecosystem in weeks, rather than months or even years.

New products or iterations of existing offerings can be integrated, modified and rolled-out at a fraction of the cost and time in comparison with a siloed system.

It is time to assess the effects of COVID differently. Remote interactions are the new normal and it is bringing in behavioral changes in how people interact everyday.

A recent survey in the U.S. suggests (out of a 1,000 respondents) that over 40 percent of people will only shop online from now on and 45 percent said that they will interact with their banks only digitally.

It is time to innovate rapidly with the help of trusted, independent data and insights delivery via APIs.

Use of financial crime APIs such as screening and digital identity verification can help improve compliance and customer experience at the same time.

Such APIs allow the automation of certain manual and repetitive tasks to enable compliance teams to focus on the detection, investigation and prevention of true compliance risks and suspicious cases, and to perform higher value work.

APIs boost operational efficiency

By using more effective and innovative technology, invaluable time can be used to focus on the material risks. This not only alleviates the cost burden but makes compliance a more meaningful exercise.

Imagine a world without financial crime APIs, where the onboarding of customers is fully manual — going through a document verification tool, another screening tool, a data collection tool and probably a customer relationship management (CRM) system where the data eventually resides. This will result in hours spent on just one customer.

With financial institutions onboarding thousands of customers every day, this slows down processes and results in massive overheads. The true power of APIs is to bring both functional and non-functional features of a dataset into a tool of your choice.

Refinitiv World-Check One API. How do APIs help fight financial crime?

Streamline compliance checks through APIs

Using our screening API (through World-Check One), you can seamlessly perform checks against over four million World-Check risk intelligence records, with just a click of a button. Results are generated within your in-house CRM.

In essence, for searches that have no result (i.e. no sanctions, PEP or other potential risks found), it will be a straight-through process. The capabilities of an API is shown when you continuously monitor an entity or entities that you have onboarded and seek real-time alerts on changing circumstances.

Using a web-based tool, you will have to remember to log in and check for any notifications. However, with our screening API, updates to records will be made available within your CRM (for example) that you use daily.

When it comes to efficiency, speed matters and so does security. For example, the APIs must not only deliver relevant data in an encrypted manner but must also do so in the shortest possible time — again, in seconds, and not in minutes or hours.

An API should also be scalable dynamically, so it caters to the changing needs of the customer without reducing the speed of delivery. Our screening APIs bring in the flexibility to build simple-to-complex logic around alerts that drastically improve operational efficiency for our customers.

Further details can be found by visiting the Refintiv Developer Community.

COVID-19 is forcing all those who haven’t yet embraced API technology to help fight financial crime, to adopt such technologies in order to transform their value chain.

Picking a trusted provider who can deliver a combination of relevant risk intelligence with secure technology is key to helping optimize efficiencies now and in  the future.

World-Check One APIs can help you meet your regulatory obligations more efficiently