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Ask the Expert What is an API

By Sandeep Singh, DTCC Executive Director, Digital API Strategy | February 4, 2020

What is an API?

An API, or Application Programming Interface, is the way software talks to other software and enable data to flow seamlessly between systems. We’re all using APIs today, whether on Facebook, Amazon and every other major platform. If you made a reservation on Open Table or used Trip Advisor to plan a vacation, odds are the maps you see were created by someone else and are being accessed through an API.

In financial services, APIs and open or shared banking models in the U.S., Europe, East Africa and Asia are dramatically transforming those markets and ecosystems. APIs will spark a significant change in the way the industry operates across the retail, institutional and post-trade areas. In the past and still today, financial firms spend lots of time and money developing applications for clients to conduct business. But these applications tend to be inflexible. You can’t use them the way you wanted to; you have to use them the way we tell you to.

This shift in expectations has led to the growth of client-empowered finance in recent years, and post-trade will need to follow suit. So, what does this mean for the future? It’s much more likely that providers will create the digital platforms and APIs that will allow clients to interact with each other the way they want to do it.

At DTCC, we’ve already begun this transformation.

DTCC API Marketplace

We created the API Marketplace (‘Marketplace’) to provide our clients, partners, dealers, brokers and internal developers a single, central location to access APIs developed by DTCC. With the Marketplace, all DTCC business lines can offer a simplified way for clients to browse and discover our products and services as and when they are developed and delivered using an API channel. Marketplaces keep all available APIs organized, so internal and external clients can easily self-select high quality products with consistent documentation. Also, it provides DTCC with greater protection against cyber threats and Distributed Denial of Service events. Beyond security, industry partners agree that transitioning to an API ecosystem model is a key growth enabler for a company’s digital transformation journey. This model enables a standardized user interface to distribute properly tested, secure APIs to clients.

There are two marketplaces at DTCC:


This is DTCC’s internal marketplace, formally launched in Q1 2019. The Developer Marketplace is a one-stop shop for all reusable assets, APIs, shared services, and other content for DTCC developers to select what best fits their projects. This capability enables reduced time-to-market for solution delivery.


This is DTCC’s external marketplace. As products are developed, clients will have access to browse a full suite of DTCC products and services in a single, modernized end user experience. All contents of the marketplace will be subject to a standard suite of security controls and testing before releasing to clients.

The API Value Proposition

Streamlined Client Engagement & Experience

Modernized & Innovative Services

Enhanced Security & Resilience

Improved Transparency into DTCC API Product Catalog

Standardized Enterprise Approach for API Development

Improved Risk & Security Posture

Streamlined Access & Onboarding to DTCC Services

Modernized Digital Channel

Standardized API Patterns

Improved Response Time for API Inquiries

Enhanced Client Support

Improved Integration of DTCC Services

To get started contact your DTCC Relationship Manager or email [email protected] with subject line "DTCC API Marketplace Inquiry".