Something of interest

In the Fintech API November monthly report, we discuss HSBC, which is perennially fast and perennially languishes towards or at the bottom of the Open Banking – UK – Open Data category.

This is because HSBC caches the result with the consequence that you get a lot of outliers when the cache refreshes because of the slowness of pulling the result from the backend. It’s interesting to see how HSBC compares to a performant Fintech API like this week’s category topper, First Trust Bank.

One of the great things about the Open Banking – UK – Open Data category is that it is an exact comparison as the endpoints of the various banks do precisely the same things.

fintech api latency 1
This is HSBC Get FCA Service Metrics BCA V1.0 latency graph, which we can see is quite choppy with lots of significantly slower calls. We can compare this with First Trust Get FCA Service Metrics BCA V1.0.
fintech api latency 2

Here we see a much more consistent service with just variation around a mean of about 300 ms. Yes, First Trust is slower than HSBC, but it is also much more performant.

If we had to guess here, we would suggest that the HSBC request is cached, with each new call taking several seconds and being stored. That is not necessarily a bad thing to do with an API which does not change frequently, and is common where a large and complex back end process is involved. However, when we look at the returned content size, the HSBC content is approximately 75% the size of the First Trust content, suggesting an overall better backend architecture supporting this API. And that’s why First Trust has a CASC score of 9.67. With APIs, consistency is good. You never want to surprise your end-users!

Fintech API Ratings: Overall Performance

Week Ending 7 December 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

 

Coinpaprika

9.53

Fintech

Stripe

9.40

Open Banking: PSD2

 

ABN AMRO Bank (Sandbox)

9.57

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

 

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox)

9.68

Open Banking UK: Production

 

Tide

9.50

Open Banking UK: Open Data

 

First Trust Bank

9.67

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox) takes the overall title this week with a CASC score of 9.68.

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 9.40 or more, which is a very acceptable level of performance.

Fintech API Ratings: Latency

Week Ending 7 December 2020

Category

Organization

Median Latency

 

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

 

Kraken

223 ms

Fintech

Stripe

300 ms

Open Banking: PSD2

 

Railsbank

106 ms

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

 

Starling Bank (Sandbox)

135 ms

Open Banking UK: Production

 

Tide (Auth)

152 ms

Open Banking UK: Open Data

 

HSBC

81 ms

 

HSBC in Open Banking – UK – Open Data again takes the overall title again with a median latency of 81 ms, down from 84 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 7 December 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

 

Coinlore

6.74

Fintech

Nothing under 8.00!

 

Open Banking: PSD2

 

Nothing under 8.00!

 

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

 

Barclays (Sandbox Auth)

6.23

Open Banking UK: Production

 

Creation Cards (Auth)

6.77

Open Banking UK: Open Data

 

HSBC

7.83

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 plunge further into December. And don’t forget to look out for our November financial API report and the weekly and monthly non-financial ones.

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