The need for headless architecture in the banking industry

Headless architecture is the best option for banks looking to create a single customer view, with a multi-channel approach in order to comply with new regulations aimed at improving the banking experience for customers, according to Panagiotis (Takis) Aggelopoulos, CTO at Profile Software

September 27, 2021 | Profile Software

”Headless architecture means wrapping up all the business logic and functionalities in a set of APIs, which are powered by the specialised backends and make them available so that any front-end channel can hook into these APIs and provide the customer experience desired for that channel,” as stated in a recent report by Accenture.

What is headless architecture?

Headless architecture, a natural evolution of the digital transformation technologies, is a fairly new architecture style that is gradually being adopted in most of the new technology driven companies that are focused on various use cases of mobile banking, digital banking, electronic payments and third-party integration etc.

In simple terms, a headless architecture contains the functionalities, rules and processing flows required to create an application in a programmatic way, without using the normal web front-end technologies.

This is a pivotal moment for pure headless and hybrid headless providers as both have RESTful APIs. Lightweight APIs allow content stored on a back-end system to be delivered across multiple channels, and provide themes optimised for specific endpoints.

In a headless architecture, the content is the only data source on the presentation level. With a strong API, you don’t have to push the content to a presentation level, you can get commands from the user directly from the headless application.

How does headless architecture work?

Headless architecture works by considering all the assets and functionalities available to your application separately. For example, an API is different from a front-end application. You can have multiple APIs for the same thing, for different verticals. The platform might have two APIs for same business logic.

Therefore, headless architecture is a way to separate your logic from the presentation layer, so that each front-end can provide the required functionality required. For example, when a user decides to go through the payment process for a transaction, you are responsible for showing them a specific gateway page, and then you will collect all the information about the transactions, such as the account number, the amount, and the type of transaction.

Why are banks adopting the headless architecture?

The headless architecture is the new way for banks to engage with the customer through seamless integration of all their channels. The value of an API is to integrate all the necessary components of a payment solution for a particular use case. In the traditional approach, one should only install the payment solution and once it is finished, the latter will simply communicate with the backend APIs and provide the customer with a seamless experience. With the headless architecture, developers will be able to focus on solving the customer’s problem instead of worrying about integrating different components into a payment solution.

Benefits of headless architecture in banking

The process of offering a visual interface to the customers is faster and easier for banking organisations. The support time required by the bank for its legacy systems’ maintenance and databases’ migration is reduced drastically. Applications’ design becomes easier and more flexible, and the launch of new products is faster.

One more benefit of the headless architecture is that the development cost and time can be significantly reduced because of the smaller amount of web apps integrated in the bank’s legacy system.

New approach

Without any doubt, the banking industry would need a drastic change in its current business structure in order to comply with the government-led regulations and market needs for better banking experience for its customers. The headless architecture approach selected by Profile’s Software banking platforms is designed to suit the requirements of the banking and financial industry and is capable of meeting the bank’s needs by creating a single customer view, with a multi-channel approach and providing them all the necessary services.

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