A new report published by Finextra and authored by API performance monitoring specialists, APImetrics, has identified three major British banks failing to deliver adequate service levels to consumers of the UK’s CMA9 Open Banking APIs.
Leading the performance ranking throughout 2018 were RBS, Danske Bank, Ulster Bank, NatWest and Nationwide, respectively. All of these leaders maintained consistently good performance throughout the period.
While the challenges of legacy infrastructure were noted in the report, the banks failing to measure up were among the largest and best resourced in the UK: including Barclays, Lloyds HBOS and Santander.
The comparative performance of cloud service providers AWS, Google, IBM and Microsoft Azure was also examined in the report. Availability and latency (broken down into DNS, handshake, connection, upload, download and processing times) were analysed.
David O’Neill, CEO, APImetrics finds the results disturbing. “The laggards are big banks, with large IT teams and extensive resources,” explains O’Neill. “And the APIs are so simple one industry expert called them ‘barely APIs’ - but still three of the largest banks failed to meet adequate service quality levels throughout 2018.
“We would expect things to improve over time, the shocking thing for us is that things haven’t. If anything, they’ve tended to get worse.”
Despite the publication of new versions of the APIs during 2018, performance among the laggards actually deteriorated further when new versions were deployed.
O’Neill adds: “There is a real risk that poor, unreliable API experiences will open the door for challenger banks to step through. The same was experienced in telecoms, when the telcos failed to step up and a wave of new messaging services emerged to supplant their SMS businesses.”
“We are already seeing evidence that the challenger banks are not struggling so much.”
The report uses APImetrics Cloud API Service Consistency (CASC) scoring methodology and millions of data points collected throughout 2018 to analyse the performance of the UK CMA9 Open Banking APIs and the cloud providers that support them.
APImetrics developed the CASC methodology after realising that conventional metrics and systems were inadequate for showing the real performance of APIs. CASC uses the results of API-first organizations, such as AT&T, Microsoft and Facebook, and the performance levels they achieve, to establish a benchmark.
The UK Open Banking APIs Performance Analysis: 2018 can be downloaded here