Something of Interest

NatWest Groups’ two sets of two Fintech APIs are usually pretty performant, but we have seen a definite dip in the performance of the non-Auth APIs in the last week. The Auth APIs held up at 5th (NatWest Auth) and 8th (RBS Auth) out 41 APIs, NatWest non-Auth doesn’t hold up too badly at 10th, but RBS non-Auth is off pace at 22nd.

Now, these Fintech APIs should behave pretty much identically because they are using the same infrastructure. We can see that the median latencies are virtually the same.

There is hardly any difference between the median latencies from different clouds. RBS has a slightly higher percentage of outliers, but the main difference is the pass rate with RBS having a 99.79% pass rate to NatWest’s 99.89%. That’s what has pushed down RBS’s CASC score.

And we see that the warnings and errors that RBS and NatWest produce are the same. We see a mix of 400 (Bad Request), 401 (Unauthorized), 500 (Internal Server Error) and 503 (Service Unavailable) HTTP status codes. All of these issues appear to be related to the Ping Identity system rather than to the open core banking functions.

So, the auth endpoints in the Auth APIs are working perfectly or at least always pass, but problems with authentication and tokens arise with the production endpoints.

Why there are more for RBS than NatWest ones is unclear; it might just be a statistical fluctuation rather than anything truly fundamental.

But whatever the case, this is something for NatWest to have a good, hard look at. And it is why you need to be actively monitoring your Fintech APIs. These kinds of intermittent issues might not be quite as bowel clenching as a full outage, but they still affect both user experience and the performance reported to the regulator. You need to know about them as soon as they happen and get to the bottom of what is causing them before they start having consequences.

Fintech API Ratings: Overall Performance

Week Ending 23 November 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

 

Gemini

9.44

Fintech

Stripe

9.42

Open Banking: PSD2

 

ABN AMRO Bank (Sandbox)

9.69

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

 

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox)

9.70

Open Banking UK: Production

 

Tide (Auth)

9.37

Open Banking UK: Open Data

 

Bank of Ireland

9.74

Bank of Ireland in Open Banking – UK – Open Data takes the overall title again this week with a CASC score of 9.74, up from 9.63 last week.

A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional. Three of the six categories are headed by organizations with a CASC score of 9.50 or more this week.

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. All categories are headed by a Fintech API with CASC score of 9.37 or more, which is a very acceptable level of performance.

Fintech API Ratings: Latency

Week Ending 23 November 2020

Category

Organization

Median Latency

 

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

 

Kraken

227 ms

Fintech

Stripe

304 ms

Open Banking: PSD2

 

Railsbank

104 ms

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

 

Starling Bank (Sandbox)

142 ms

Open Banking UK: Production

 

Tide (Auth)

151 ms

Open Banking UK: Open Data

 

HSBC

86 ms

 

HSBC in Open Banking – UK – Open Data again takes the overall title again with a median latency of 86 ms, down from 85 ms last week.

An important caveat: medians can be misleading! A Fintech 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!

Fintech API Ratings: Worst Overall Quality

Week Ending 23 November 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

 

Coinlore

5.83

Fintech

Nothing under 8.00!

 

Open Banking: PSD2

 

Nothing under 8.00!

 

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

 

OBIE Software Statement (Sandbox)

5.71

Open Banking UK: Production

 

Creation Cards (Auth)

2.11

Open Banking UK: Open Data

 

HSBC

7.72

Creation Cards (Auth) in the Open Banking – UK – Production category takes the overall wooden spoon with a CASC score of 2.11.

We have now split out Fintech APIs into separate weekly and monthly reports. This allows us to give you a more focused view on the different classes of APIs you care about.

In particular, we have been seeing increased adoption of and interest in APIs in the financial sector as uptake of Open Banking accelerates and APImetrics has over the last few weeks been able to add many UK Open Banking APIs (we now monitor all nine of the CMA9 banks) to the ones we monitor and the performance of which can be seen at our API.expert site.

See you again in a week as we crash into the very end of November. And don’t forget to look out for our October financial API report and the weekly and monthly non-financial ones.

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