API-First: Your Program Optimized

In Brief:

  • Learn what an API-first approach is
  • Understand the advantages of API first
  • See how Nelnet Velocity(TM) leverages the API-first approach

Share

Article

Deciding which approaches may be right for your application, software, or service can be confusing. Nelnet can bring clarity about one: we promote an API-first approach that prioritizes flexibility and overall customer experience (CX).

What Is API?

An application programming interface (API) is a set of instructions and standards for transferring data, using software services, accessing resources, and developing new applications. The interface is how software — not users — interact with other applications through simple commands.

Businesses across industries are beginning to incorporate this approach. Forrester estimates that nearly 40% of U.S.-based enterprises will implement an API approach, suggesting that businesses everywhere are transitioning to these interfaces. And for good reason. An API-first approach means that creating an interface precedes designing the application. The interface guides how the application is built and how it can be used.

APIs are independently deployable and customizable. Like a box of Legos — a variety of building blocks that can be assembled to create virtually anything — a platform built with an API-first approach can be configured to create solutions for nearly anything.

API-First Advantages

Specific benefits of an API-first approach include:

Easy Integrations. Applications and platform designed with an API-first approach can easily integrate with any API-enabled system, technology stack, or workflow and can leverage distinct services to rapidly enhance feature sets, exponentially expanding options for program configuration.

Real-Time Data. APIs are integral to running a data-driven business today. Through API calls to integrated software and applications, a platform can leverage a stream of real-time data to enable customizable business intelligence and analytics, increasing productivity and improving customer insights. This, combined with a data availability strategy, can provide users access to the data they want in the way they want, offering ultimate control over individual reporting needs. This strategy allows for a variety of integration options for report generation, including static dashboards, materialized views, data access via API, data extract to Microsoft Excel or data warehouse, and the ability to integrate with a client’s own licensed business intelligence tools.

Task Automation. Through APIs, many manual tasks can be automated, allowing for seamless transitions between linked applications. This automation can save both time and effort.

Real-Time Onboarding. An API-first platform is designed to eliminate the need for batch processing by leveraging its approach to information exchange. Real-time customer and loan data can be ingested through an API call at the time of disbursement or on a predictable schedule through an onboarding API.

A Commitment to Innovation through APIs

The Nelnet VelocityTM platform represents Nelnet’s commitment to innovation and growth by creating an agile, API-first technology, which is well suited to meet the changing demands of the financial services marketplace.

Velocity’s API-first design allows Nelnet to deliver diversified solutions that can be personalized for each client. And, as an API-first platform, Velocity’s features and capabilities will continue to expand as more integrations become available. This approach can be applied to any company looking to improve customer experience, save time and money, and maximize application efficiency.

We invite you to learn more about the Velocity loan application and processing platform.

Rachel Derowitsch
AUTHOR

Rachel Derowitsch

Culture, Client & Business Development Communications

Rachel supports culture, client, and business development communications for Nelnet. With experience at Fiserv and IBM, she has an extensive background in developing editorial and marketing content for clients and consumers in the banking and tech industries, and creates content that tells stories and sells audiences on ideas.