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Laura Heritage

Tom has a refrigerator. (Are you excited yet?) But wait. It’s not like just any old fridge. Tom’s refrigerator comes equipped with an internal camera that enables him to order and pay for any items he needs right from a built-in LCD screen in its door.  If Tom is at the store and can’t remember if he has any butter, he can use his phone to look inside his refrigerator and see if he has butter. When Tom is at home and drinks the last ounce of milk he can order more and have it shipped at the push of a button.

This refrigerator is an example of the Internet of Things (IoT), a new sphere of technology that is projected to reach billions of connected devices worldwide in the coming few years.

The IoT is a reality today. You can buy a refrigerator like Tom’s in any location that sells refrigerators.

IoT Samsung

Now, if you are a banker, you should be making sure that Tom is using your credentials when he makes payments through his refrigerator. Payment services capabilities are the obvious fit for a banking IoT scenarios. However, banking IoT scenarios can extend well beyond payments.

Imagine if Tom’s refrigerator were able to interact with his fitness device and could relate how often he opens the refrigerator with his weight loss program?  The bank could have integrations with the fitness device to associate the number of times Tom opens the door with a monetary reward program that Tom has set up for himself on the bank’s app in the refrigerator. The bank’s app could even have the fitness device shock Tom every time he opens the refrigerator: A bit extreme but you get the picture. The bank could also have an incentive program for leveraging the bank’s app while purchasing items. In this case, the bank could then leverage the data collected on the purchases for marketing and customer service.

There are many more IoT scenarios where a bank has the ability to take center stage. For example, imagine if a car had the ability to pay a parking garage from a banking app in the car. This would provide great conveniences for the driver. The bank could then leverage information about the type of car and place of parking to offer financial packages accordingly.

Another example for a car banking app, is that the app could use beacons on a Realtor’s “For Sale” signs that would pop up mortgage rates and potential payment amounts for a particular house you are passing. The driver could then use voice commands to schedule a meeting with the realtor and with the loan officer.

Other high impact IoT scenarios involve secure payments and banking. For instance, your could set up your Apple Watch to approve a payment any time your credit card is being used or money is being withdrawn from any of your bank accounts.  The possibilities are endless.

The new economic ecosystem

Banks need to play a central role in the Internet of Things in order to stay relevant in the digital business era. There is a new economic and data ecosystem at play today. This new connected ecosystem has been coined “the mesh of connectedness.”  In the mesh of connectedness, people, business, and things become equal players, each providing and receiving value. Below is a simplified diagram, from the scenarios I described earlier, of potential interactions that a bank could have with their customers, their customer’s connected devices, and the businesses their customers interact with.  The financial impact for a bank that is able to play in, capitalize on, and manage their mesh of connectedness is great.


The common factor

The mesh of connectedness is growing faster everyday. It is being enabled by disruptive technology trends such as mobile, IoT, microservices, analytics, virtual/augmented reality and artificial intelligence. These disruptive trends are accelerating the rate at which companies need to create new connections to partners, to things, and to people. These disruptive trends all have one thing in common: APIs.  APIs allow for the rapid connection and sharing of data between businesses, things and people. APIs most importantly allow for the creation of new business models.

The new Interaction Layer

Management of APIs and the ability to rapidly integrate and orchestrate them will become critical for an enterprise’s success in managing its mesh of connectedness. API management is the key to delivering new disruptive business strategies.

Enterprise architects will need to introduce a modern enterprise interaction layer into their current enterprise architecture. The interaction layer provides the ability to rapidly orchestrate, mediate and transform within a matter of days, not months through configuration and scripting. The interaction layer truly does as it says, it controls all of your API interactions both inside and outside the enterprise, feeding analytics information into your analytic services and enabling new business models with exposure through targeted developer portals. The interaction layer is easily managed through API management services and, most importantly, leverages state of the art security services to protect the enterprise both inside and out.

This interaction layer, with all its supporting services, should be provided as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering to an enterprise’s clients. Clients might include the various lines of business in the enterprise. This will enable the clients to quickly integrate, mediate, transform, orchestrate and secure their connections in order to implement their business strategies.


The Akana Platform

The Akana Platform provides the complete set of capabilities needed in the interaction layer and its supporting services. The Akana Platform fits into your existing enterprise architecture. The above reference architecture diagram is highlight in red where the Akana Platform provides capabilities. The Akana Platform integrates with relevant services enabling you to mobilize your systems of record for the mesh of connectedness.


The Akana Platform is available in the cloud, hybrid or on-premises.  You can find out more about the Akana Platform here.

Don’t be slow in making connections

It has been said in IoT, that the number of connections that the device has is directly related to the value the device.  The same goes for a digital business. The number of businesses, things, and people a digital business is able to connect to and the businesses, things, and people that are able to connect to it, will represent the digital business’s true value. Today you can’t be slow in making connections.  Try the Akana Platform for free right now.  In addition, you can read more about the Akana Financial Services solution here.

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