Watson Tools Are Coming to Fintech Developers

IBM’s cognitive platform is opening up its doors to financial services developers.

The company today announced the launch of IBM Cloud for Financial Services, which will give fintechs and large FIs access to IBM APIs and data in order to ­­­­­­­­­­­­build apps quickly and at scale.

“This is a platform built specifically for developers,” Tom Eck, CTO of industry platforms at IBM, told Bank Innovation at the FinDEVr event in New York. “We are now live in beta, focusing on three main areas: data, wealth management, and payments, but we are looking to certainly add insurance and mortgage.”

Developers will have the ability to build in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics, security, privacy and compliance readiness, saving time on the development and testing, the company said in a press release. Additionally, startups will get access to APIs from IBM’s fintech partners, with different certification levels (or “bells and whistles”), Eck said.

Initial fintechs offering their APIs on IBM’s developer cloud include Accern, Actiance, Bondevalue, Dow Jones, Eigencat, Envestnet|Yodlee, Opentopic, Plaid, PolicyPal, Quovo, Riskspan, TagniFi and Xignite, with 14 more are in the pipeline, he added.

“We are open to conversations in terms of fintech partners, but we are taking caution on who we add. We do our research,” Eck explained.

IBM is looking into setting up developer hubs specifically for fintechs, he said, initially leveraging the company’s existing Bluemix garages – hubs in New York, San Francisco, Singapore, and London, where developers come together to build on IBM’s cloud platform.

“The best line of code is the one you don’t write,” Eck said at FinDEVr. “With this platform, we’ve democratized features, which have been previously available only to major financial institutions.”

One of those features is a wealth management chatbot that Eck showcased at the conference. Check out the demo below.

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