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How to Use APIs for Automating Underwriting, Back-Office Payment Processes, Credit Checks, and Collateral Management?



APIs can play a crucial role in automating back-office payment and underwriting workflows involving credit checks, collateral management, KYC, etc. Below, we will demonstrate how Sun Technologies is helping businesses from highly regulated industries like Finance & Banking to use API powered access tokens to securely handle authentication and authorization for accessing account balances, making transfers, and other sensitive operations. Our API-First DevSecOps ensures both security and usability for customers interacting with their accounts through third-party applications.


API-First DevOps Practice to Speed Up Continous Integration

To enable a culture of Continous Integration DevOps teams must possess hands-on expertise in using tools such as GitHub for source collaboration, Atlassian for issue tracking, or using Jenkins for build version tracking. However, to speed up the rate of delivery and continuous innovation, an API-First strategy and expertise can be the gamechanger that your team needs.

Discover how we use our expertise for running sprints to decouple components, identify reusable components (Databases & Codes) to build Miicroservices API, Test the APIs, and launch new releases using time-bound sprints.

Our Legacy Integration specialists will not only identify the right data pipelines, but also speed-up the launch of new functionalities using No-Code API plugins.

How are APIs Used to Automate Back-Office Payment Workflows?

  1. Initiate Payments:

API Endpoint: Provide a designated endpoint (POST /payments) to initiate payment requests.

Parameters: Include payment details such as amount, recipient, currency, payment method, etc.

Integration: Back-office systems can programmatically trigger payment requests by sending POST requests to the API.

  1. Validate and Process Payments:

Data Validation: API enforces validation rules to ensure payment data integrity (e.g., amount, currency).

Integration with Payment Gateways: APIs integrate with payment gateway APIs to process payments securely.

Transaction Processing: Implement transactional behavior to ensure payments are processed accurately and consistently.

Response Handling: APIs return responses with payment status, transaction IDs, and any errors.

  1. Payment Status and Notifications:

API Endpoints: Provide endpoints (GET /payments/{id}) to check payment status and details.

Webhooks: Use webhooks to notify back-office systems of payment status changes in real-time.

Asynchronous Processing: APIs support asynchronous processing for long-running payments.

  1. Refunds and Reversals:

API Endpoints: Define endpoints (POST /payments/{id}/refunds) for initiating refunds or reversals.

Authorization: Ensure proper authorization and validation for refund requests.

Integration with Payment Providers: APIs integrate with payment providers’ APIs to process refunds securely.

  1. Transaction History and Reporting:

API Endpoints: Offer endpoints (GET /transactions) to retrieve transaction history.

Filtering: Allow filtering by date range, transaction type, account, etc.

Exporting: APIs support exporting transaction data in various formats (CSV, JSON) for reporting.

  1. Automated Reconciliation:

Data Formats: APIs provide detailed transaction data for automated reconciliation.

Integration with Accounting Systems: Integrate APIs with accounting systems to automatically reconcile payments.

  1. Security and Compliance:

Authentication: Secure APIs with OAuth 2.0, API keys, or other authentication methods.

Data Encryption: Encrypt sensitive payment data during transmission and storage.

Compliance Checks: Ensure compliance with PCI DSS, GDPR, and other relevant regulations.

Audit Trails: Log all API activities for auditing and traceability.

  1. Error Handling and Retry Mechanisms:

Clear Error Messages: Provide descriptive error messages for failed payment requests.

Retry Logic: Implement retry mechanisms for transient errors to improve reliability.

  1. Scalability and Performance:

Optimized Endpoints: Design APIs for performance with efficient endpoint structures.

Caching: Implement caching for frequently accessed data to improve response times.

Load Balancing: APIs are designed to scale horizontally to handle increased loads.

  1. Versioning and Documentation:

Versioning: Plan for API versioning to manage changes without breaking existing integrations.

API Documentation: Provide comprehensive documentation with examples, use cases, and code snippets.

  1. Testing and Monitoring:

Testing: Conduct thorough unit, integration, load, and security testing.

Monitoring: Set up monitoring for API usage, performance metrics, and alerts.

Workflow Example:

Initiate Payment:

Back-office system sends a POST request to /payments API with payment details.

API validates the request, processes the payment, and returns a response with payment status and transaction ID.

Check Payment Status:

Back-office system periodically checks the payment status using GET /payments/{id}.

API returns the current status of the payment (pending, completed, failed).

Refund Process:

If needed, the back-office system initiates a refund by sending a POST request to /payments/{id}/refunds.

API processes the refund and updates the payment status accordingly.

Transaction History:

To reconcile payments, the back-office system retrieves transaction history using GET /transactions.

API returns a list of transactions with details like amount, date, status, etc.

Automated Reporting:

The back-office system exports transaction data from the API in CSV format for reporting.

API supports filtering by date range and other parameters to generate specific reports.

How Does API-Driven Lending & Payment Process Optimization Work?

An Example of API Driven Access Tokens and Refresh Tokens Used in Banking Processes:

In banking processes, API-driven access tokens and refresh tokens are used to securely authenticate and authorize access to sensitive data and transactions. Here’s an example scenario of how access tokens and refresh tokens are used in a banking API:


Let’s consider a banking API that allows customers to retrieve their account balance and make transfers between accounts. The API uses OAuth 2.0 for authentication and provides access tokens and refresh tokens for secure access.

  1. OAuth 2.0 Flow:

  • Client Application: This is the application (e.g., a mobile banking app) that interacts with the banking API on behalf of the user.
  • Authorization Server: The bank’s authorization server that issues access tokens and refresh tokens.
  • Resource Server: The banking API that holds the customer’s account information.
  1. Initial Authentication:

Client Requests Authorization:

  • The client app requests authorization to access the user’s account information.
  • Redirects the user to the bank’s authorization server with a request for access.

User Authentication:

  • The user logs in to their bank account via the authorization server.
  • Grants permission for the client app to access their account data.

Authorization Grant:

  • The authorization server issues an authorization code to the client app.

Token Request:

  • The client app sends a request to the authorization server with the authorization code.
  • Requests an access token and a refresh token.
  1. Issuing Access and Refresh Tokens:

Authorization Server Validates:

  • The authorization server verifies the authorization code and client credentials.
  • If valid, it issues an access token and a refresh token.

Access Token:

  • The access token is a short-lived token (e.g., valid for 15 minutes).
  • Contains information about the user, permissions (scopes), and expiry time.

Example Access Token: eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJzdWIiOiIxMjM0NTY3ODkwIiwibmFtZSI6IkpvaG4gRG9lIiwiaWF0IjoxNTE2MjM5MDIyfQ.SflKxwRJSMeKKF2QT4fwpMeJf36POk6yJV_adQssw5c

Refresh Token:

  • The refresh token is a long-lived token (e.g., valid for 30 days).
  • Used to obtain a new access token when the current access token expires.

Example Refresh Token: 2YotnFZFEjr1zCsicMWpAA

  1. Using Access Tokens:

API Request with Access Token:

  • The client app makes API requests to the banking API.
  • Includes the access token in the Authorization header: Authorization: Bearer eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJzdWIiOiIxMjM0NTY3ODkwIiwibmFtZSI6IkpvaG4gRG9lIiwiaWF0IjoxNTE2MjM5MDIyfQ.SflKxwRJSMeKKF2QT4fwpMeJf36POk6yJV_adQssw5c

API Validates Access Token:

  • The banking API validates the access token.
  • Checks the token’s signature, expiration, and permissions (scopes).

Retrieve Account Balance:

  • Client app requests account balance: GET /api/account/balance
  • Banking API verifies the access token and returns the account balance.
  1. Refreshing Access Tokens:

Access Token Expiry:

  • After 15 minutes, the access token expires.

Using Refresh Token:

  • Client app sends a token refresh request with the refresh token.
  • Requests a new access token without requiring user authentication.

Token Refresh Request:

POST /oauth/token with parameters:

grant_type: refresh_token

refresh_token: 2YotnFZFEjr1zCsicMWpAA

client_id: Client ID

client_secret: Client secret

Issuing New Access Token:

Authorization server validates the refresh token.

If valid, issues a new access token with a new expiry time.

Response includes a new access token and a new refresh token.

  1. Making Transfers:

Transferring Funds:

  • Client app requests a transfer: POST /api/transfer
  • Includes the new access token in the Authorization header.

API Validates Access Token:

  • Banking API verifies the access token and processes the transfer.
  • Updates account balances and transaction history.

Summary of Tokens Used:

Access Token: Used for short-lived authentication to access protected resources.

Example: eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJzdWIiOiIxMjM0NTY3ODkwIiwibmFtZSI6IkpvaG4gRG9lIiwiaWF0IjoxNTE2MjM5MDIyfQ.SflKxwRJSMeKKF2QT4fwpMeJf36POk6yJV_adQssw5c

  • Expires in 15 minutes.

Refresh Token: Used to obtain a new access token when the current one expires.

Example: 2YotnFZFEjr1zCsicMWpAA

  • Long-lived, valid for 30 days.


Benefits of API Driven Process Automation for the Bank’s Payment Back-Office:

Efficiency: Reduces manual effort and streamlines payment processes.

Accuracy: Automation reduces the risk of human error in payment handling.

Speed: Payments are processed faster with real-time status updates.

Integration: APIs facilitate seamless integration with payment gateways, accounting systems, and other platforms.

Scalability: APIs can handle large volumes of transactions and scale as the business grows.

Compliance: Ensures adherence to security standards and regulatory requirements.

Transparency: Real-time status updates and transaction history provide visibility into payment workflows.

By leveraging APIs for back-office payment automation, organizations can improve operational efficiency, reduce errors, enhance security, and gain better control and visibility over their payment processes.

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