The Fintech market is rich with ideas regardless of regulatory pressure and strict security standards. What allows this industry to stay innovative is the collaboration and teamwork of market players, who form the baseline for a strong industry ecosystem. The thing that empowers such an ecosystem is API end-to-end integrations.
Investors are demanding more holistic service from their advisors. To be able to provide service, most WealthTech companies require the same functional modules, so integrating those with third-party partners could significantly streamline their growth and success. In this article, we’ll explore such integrations in the example of BNY Mellon’s Albridge.
BNY Mellon’s Albridge is a provider of enterprise data management solutions that deliver a single view of an investor’s broad range of assets. It aggregates multi-custodial, insurance, and direct-to-fund data from hundreds of sources to provide a consolidated view of assets. As part of the BNY Mellon’s ecosystem, Albridge, together with Pershing, is the world’s No. 1 portfolio management tool and holds the biggest market share, according to a T3 2020 report. Being an affiliate company of a custodian and collaborating with one of the world’s biggest banks expands the opportunities Albridge provides to its customers and partners, which makes a positive difference compared to other consolidated view solutions.
Albridge was one of the first to develop and deliver an integration network, referred to as Applink®. Albridge has relationships with more than 50 of the industry’s leading technology providers. Through their partner network, clients can seamlessly access tools for customer relationship management (CRM), portfolio management, financial planning, risk management, compliance evaluation, and more. For example, Albridge was recently selected by Independent Financial Partners (IFP), a multi-custodial RIA and soon-to-be broker-dealer that specializes in wealth management and retirement plan consulting, to provide wealth reporting to its approximately 500 advisors nationwide.
Albridge provides a consistent enterprise reporting system that includes two tiers: a data platform and enterprise reporting. The Albridge Data Platform includes API, Single Sign-On (SSO) iFrame, Albridge File Delivery, and Replicated Data. Albridge Enterprise Reporting Platform includes Advisor Portal, Client Portal, Quarterly Performance, and Home Office Reporting and Business Intelligence. These modules are accessible to other platforms via APIs and offer basics such as holdings and balances as well as rate-of-return performance calculations. The same APIs can be used by Fintechs, broker-dealers, and RIAs.
Common integration obstacles and ways to overcome them
Each platform must acquire an Applink license before it can be admitted to the integration network. The company that wants to integrate Albridge’s capabilities must ensure its solution is compliant with the Albridge Applink partners’ requirements and receive a single user ID and password across all applications, including CRM, financial planning, research, analytics, and proprietary systems, before the integration can start.
Once the license is achieved, you can still encounter problems related to the lack of development experience integrating similar solutions. The problems could begin at the integration requirements stage. To start the work seamlessly, you need to know all the requirements and data fields necessary to connect from day one. Otherwise, the integration process will be paralyzed while you wait for feedback from stakeholders.
Also, you may encounter data damage on your system’s side if developers are not skilled enough. To reduce the risk of data damage, Albridge has implemented a sandbox; however, your data is still at risk. Finally, developers without the corresponding experience wouldn’t know all the specific details of integration, such as API limitations, and would require up to 25 percent more time to fill their knowledge gaps than their experienced colleagues would.
To get more information on how to integrate with BNY Mellon’s Albridge, download our comprehensive how-to guide.