Banking Without Banks: How API’s are Transforming Royal Bank of Scotland

Is there a future for banking, even if there might not be a future for traditional banks? Has the western banking system truly transformed from a siloed-away dragon to an intra-platform fairy godmother? Have a listen and make up your own mind. Just don’t mention crypto. Or interest rates.

Banking Without Banks: How API’s are Transforming Royal Bank of Scotland


In the past one of the most enduring relationships of your lifetime, was probably with your bank. Most people kept their bank account longer than their first home ( or possibly even their spouse). For millennials and our parents’ generation, the bank was an unavoidable fact of life. Now all that is changing.

Jamie Broadbent is the Head of Digital, Innovation and Design at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), one of the UK largest banking giants. For Jamie, there is a revolution taking place in how we conceive of the high-street bank (hint: it’s no longer on the high-street). But this revolution goes beyond a transition to digital services, frictionless payments or even digital currencies.

Ultimately, banking is evolving into a via media between regulators and emerging device-agnostic platforms. Be it Apple Pay or seamlessly ordering a coffee on Google Glass, future systems are required to communicate between networks: ensuring trust, safety and compliance at scale.

These systems are powered by API’s - an interface layer at the heart of much of RBS’s digital strategy in the UK.


API’s  allow large legacy banks to facilitate transactions between consumers and more nimble digital platforms that may have a greater volume of customers, but no regulatory stamp of approval to handle financial transactions. Jamie makes the analogy that banks are transiting from moated castles into nodes in an interconnected system.

Jamie makes the analogy that banks are transiting from moated castles into nodes in an interconnected system.

Is there a future for banking, even if there might not be a future for traditional banks? Has the western banking system truly transformed from a siloed-away dragon to an intra-platform fairy godmother? Have a listen and make up your own mind. Just don’t mention crypto. Or interest rates.