How a little pony became a mighty unicorn

December 21, 2020 | News

Once upon a time there was a little pony that tried with all its strength to become a mighty horse. Day after day and year after year it tried to run and jump and keep up with the larger, faster, stronger horses. But alas, the poor little pony just couldn’t seem to infiltrate the powerful broncos’ tight-knit band. Until one day…

The story is of course a fairytale, but one that’s a reality for many small/ medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and fintechs trying to harness the innovation of open banking, according to Nordic API Gateway’s Commercial Lead for SMB and Fintech, Benjamin Kyster. “Up until now, open banking innovation has been incremental for SMBs and fintechs, with the only channel being the low-hanging fruits of financial services,” he explains. But now, they can think outside the box and come up with new inventions on their own. The sky’s the limit.”

Benjamin's referring to the benefits Aiia offers SMBs and fintechs. Aiia is Nordic API Gateway’s newest, most innovative platform that lets anyone put the power of an online bank directly into their business - no matter what size or industry - withinstant, hassle-free access to financial data and account-to-account payments.

No licence. No hassle. No problem.

Strict PSD2 and FSA guidelines usually mean businesses need to get a licence before they can take advantage of open banking - ordering your own security certificate and then onboarding it to all the banks you want to access - which can be costly and time consuming, sometimes taking months. "But smaller businesses can’t wait that long; they need to move fast,” admits Benjamin. “We created Aiia to offer all companies, including SMBs and fintechs, the possibility to engage and produce open banking services regardless of strict PSD2 licencing mandates. That’s because Aiia lets you launch low-cost account aggregation and payment initiation services right out of the box with no licence required.”

Whereas Nordic API Gateway’s Enterprise Data and Payments solutions enable a myriad of Tier 1 banks all across Europe, Benjamin says that Aiia is made to empower businesses that don’t think they have the time, money or resources to effectively play on the open banking field with solutions that rival enterprise players from the same industry.

“My job is to ensure every SMB and fintech is equipped with an API aggregator from us. So companies that see the potential and value in open banking, but don’t want to go about the hassle with licensing and business-case scoping are really the ones I want to talk to about Aiia,” reveals Benjamin. “Any business - from accounting to pension funds and beyond - that is ready to empower their users with a frictionless financial future via automated processes is a perfect fit for Aiia.”

An equal field to play on

We’ve covered a lot of benefits Aiia has to offer to the SMB and fintech segment, but how specifically are businesses employing Aiia to be more competitive and stay ahead of the curve? We asked Michael Juul Andersen, Chief Business Development Officer at Nordic API Gateway, to share some key takeaways from customer use cases that have already come in.

“What we’re seeing is that Aiia actually does give our partners an equal playing field to engage upon. They get immediate access to all banks without having to deal with the dependencies of bank agreements,” states Michael. “And they’re hitting the ground running in just four hours or less integration time.”

Before Aiia, SMB accessibility to customers’ transactional data was a no-go and non-intuitive. Now those roadblocks and friction points have been removed and SMB open banking innovation can be fast tracked via a seamless integration process that’s done away with all problems concerning traditional API integration.

The future of Aiia and SMBs

There’s no doubt that the full breadth of Aiia’s offering will empower SMBs and fintechs to build future-proof solutions that will deliver use cases, both in the classic sense (e.g. reconciliation cases) and new use cases previously unseen. These use cases will most certainly improve the customer experience and redefine the way we share data and make payments.

“The ease of Aiia’s integration has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for SMBs and fintechs wanting to leverage out-of-the-box open banking innovation. We’ve even seen Aiia implemented in ERP systems where open banking didn’t exist before,” admits Benjamin. 

“In time, the true benefit of Aiia will become even more explicit as the power of the network takes effect - more Aiia users means more empowerment of the individual by giving them full transparency and control over what data they choose to share and with which services they choose to share it with,” says Benjamin. “It’s a very cost-effective payment solution that offers a true competitive advantage.” 

So whatever happened to the poor little pony that tried with all its strength to become a mighty horse? That day after day and year after year tried to run and jump and keep up with the larger, faster, stronger horses? Did it ever infiltrate the powerful broncos’ tight-knit band and become one of them? Nah. It decided to become a mighty unicorn instead.

Find out how Aiia can power your use case and fast track your open banking solutions from idea to launch by getting started here.