APImetrics, Finextra and tomato pay have released a report capturing the performance of UK open banking providers over the period July 2021 to July 2022, analysing over 17 million functional API calls.
David O'Neill, CEO, APImetrics said that while they "expected there to be differences between the different providers, we didn’t expect to see such a stark difference between the neobanks, CMA9 and traditional banks. The interesting thing for us, especially given that the infrastructure to deliver open banking is new for all providers, is such a difference in performance between each group. We had expected that they’d be closer together.”
The report highlights that API quality, especially the quality of the consent journey is a key factor in the health of APIs operationally. Maintaining a consistent performance is essential to the operation of a healthy ecosystem and the findings of the APImetrics, Finextra and tomato pay report shows there is still work to be done to achieve success in this area.
Nicholas Heller, CEO, tomato pay added: “Reliability and speed of the open banking APIs are critical to the success of the ecosystem. Open banking is a safe and secure way to initiate payments and fetch important financial data. However, business models built on the standard only stack up when the banking infrastructure performs consistently at a high quality."
Alongside this, the report also reveals insight into the differences in infrastructure use and deployment across the open banking ecosystem, with solutions hosted on Microsoft Azure services clearly underperforming those hosted on IBM, which emerges as the fastest platform for serving open banking applications.
Further, while many UK open banking solutions are hosted in the UK, a significant percentage are hosted in data centres across Europe and that can impact overall performance. O'Neill reiterated this point: “Another interesting point that emerged for us, was that while a majority of solutions were hosted in the UK and Ireland, there are still a lot of providers hosting across Europe. There are also pretty clear differences in performance based on location and infrastructure choices that can’t be ignored.”
In Steve Ellis, CEO, Finextra's view: “APImetrics performance data gives banking and fintech technology leaders new insight into the real-world performance of their API services. We are pleased to bring the data and APImetrics insight captured within the report to our readership among banking and payments technology professionals around the world.”
O'Neill concluded: “For open banking to avoid the problems that hit telecoms – with new entrants providing better quality, more developer-centric solutions – there needs to be a deeper focus on the quality of systems and platform infrastructure. What you host on, is at least as important as where you host, and if you don’t examine the cloud ecosystem in its entirety, you could find problems down the line.”
Copies of the report can be downloaded here.