The time of the week has once more rolled round for us to check on API ratings over the past seven days. Can you believe the year is two-thirds over?!

We launched API.expert earlier in the year as a simple way to provide everybody with insights into the API economy and the leading APIs in different categories in particular.

The basic service is free and will remain free, but other, related services will be built on top of it, including your very own API.expert dashboards.

If something is missing that you think should be here, don’t hesitate to drop us a line! Now, onto what the past week tells us API ratings as we dive into the very last week of August 2020.

API Performance Headlines

To compile our API ratings, we look at more than 200 APIs. Then we pull all the metrics together to give you a general feeling for API quality in a particular category.

We do see that certain providers consistently vie for top spot in their API ratings category, including GitHub and Google. Others do less well, such as Halifax and the NHS.

Top API Ratings – CASC Score

Week Ending August 31

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

GitHub

9.66

COVID-19

COVID-19 Finnhub
API

9.37

Cryptocurrency
Exchanges

 

Coinpaprika

9.51

Fintech

 

Stripe

9.50

Search

 

Google

9.48

Social Networks

 

Google

9.73

Open Banking – PSD2

 

Nordea Bank

9.92

Open Banking – UK

 

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox)

9.74

Open Banking – UK Open Data

 

Bank of Ireland

9.81

UK Government

 

Police.UK

9.19

Us Government

 

Department of Justice

9.88

We have rearranged and renamed some of the categories to better reflect the different types of API ratings, and have added two new categories.

We’ve seen some changes in the API ratings:

  • Stripe topping the new Fintech category
  • Google replacing Twitter in Social Networks
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox) topping the new category of Open Banking UK
  • Police.UK swapping with GOV.UK in UK Government

Nordea Bank retains the crown once again for the private sector with an exceptionally good CASC score of 9.92 (same as last week).

A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional. Eight of the 11 categories are headed by organization with a CASC score of 9.50 or more this week (plus Google has a CASC score of 9.48 in Search, and Coinpaprika and Stripe just creep over the line).

Sustaining a CASC score of >9.25 over a period of several weeks is a good showing and congratulations to those organizations that achieved it.

Top API Ratings – Latency

Week Ending August 31

Category

Organization

Median Latency

Corporate Infrastructure

Microsoft Office

232 ms

COVID-19

CDC Tools

161 ms

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

FTX

213 ms

Fintech

Open Bank Project (Sandbox)

198 ms

Search

Facebook

315 ms

Social Networks

Google

58 ms

Open Banking - PSD2

Railsbank

94 ms

Open Banking - UK

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox)

149 ms

Open Banking - UK Open Data

HSBC

81 ms

UK Government

Police.UK

90 ms

Us Government

Department of Justice

48 ms

A certain amount of change in the API ratings for latency this week:

  • Open Bank Project (Sandbox) topping the new category of Fintech
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox) the new one of Open Banking – UK
  • Railsbank replacing Nordea in Open Banking – PSD2

Department of Justice claims the overall title from Google with a median latency of just 48 ms.

An important caveat: medians can be misleading! An API might have a fast median latency but produce many slow outliers. These won’t affect the median, but they mean that users can experience many calls that were unacceptably slow.

So just being fast isn’t everything. You have to be reliable too if you want to have good APIs and get a high CASC score!

As so often, FTX tops the Cryptocurrency Exchange category by median latency. This week they are down to twelfth out of 18 overall with a CASC score of 8.22, placing them in the Green Zone.

Worst API Quality Overall

Week Ending August 31

Category

Organization

CASC Score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

COVID-19

Coronavirus Data API (thevirustracker.com)

6.65

Cryptocurrency
Exchanges

 

RadarRelay

6.53

Fintech

 

Open Bank Project (Sandbox)

5.62

Search

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

Social Networks

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

Open Banking - PSD2

 

Nobody below 8.00!

 

Open Banking - UK

 

Barclays (Sandbox auth)

3.20

Open Banking - UK Open Data

 

HSBC

7.90

UK Government

 

GOV.UK

4.59

Us Government

 

Federal Communications Commission

7.28

Another fairly volatile week:

  • Nobody below 8.00 now in Corporate Infrastructure, Search and the new category of Open Banking PSD2
  • Open Bank Project (Sandbox) a new entry in the new category of Fintech
  • Barclays (Sandbox Auth) a new entrant in Open Banking – UK
  • GOV.UK replacing NHS in UK Government
  • Federal Communications Commission a new entry in US Government

Barclays (Sandbox Auth) makes a nightmare debut by taking the overall loser award for the week with a CASC score of just 3.20.

Something of Interest

Open Banking – UK is a new API ratings category that covers the UK Open Banking Sandboxes (for now) and the authentication services they use, if they also mimic the auth servers used in ‘real’ Open Banking. We can something interesting from a quick glance at the table.

Of the 8 APIs from 5 banks, 6 APIs are firmly in the Green Zone, and 5 have CASC scores over 9.00.

But Barclays’s 2 APIs are languishing solidly in the Amber Zone for Barclays (Sandbox), and Barclays (Sandbox Auth) made a nightmare debut in the Red Zone.

What’s going on?

All the other banks have pass rates of at least 99.82% and not more than 1.10% outliers. Barclays (Sandbox) is second-fastest, but Barclays (Sandbox Auth) is slow. And it has a very high number of outliers and a pretty low pass rate. It’s a fatal combo.

The fact that the other banks can all manage so much better when doing identical things suggests that Barclays needs to take a look at what is going on with their sandbox. It also suggests how useful peer comparison is – In Open Banking, many banks offer the same services.

So it is not just a case of how well you think you might be doing with your unique APIs. You can compare them directly with your competitors and see straightaway whether you are indeed best of breed – or, as might be the case, not.

See you again in a week as we look once more at API ratings and discuss the first week of September.

Also, don’t forget to look out this week for our September monthly report!

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