Finance API Ratings, Oct 19-26: Railsbank has a bad week

We’ve recently split out the finance APIs into a separate weekly and monthly report. 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 finance APIs as uptake of Open Banking accelerates. Here at APImetrics, we’ve been able to add many UK Open Banking APIs to our monitoring, and their performance can be seen at our fantastic API.expert site.

Now, onto what the past week tells us about the state of finance APIs as we move towards the end of October 2020.

API Performance Headlines

We look at hundreds of finance API endpoints and pull all the metrics together to give you a general feeling for the service quality for an organization’s finance APIs in a particular category.

Top Finance API Ratings

Week Ending 26 October 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

RadarRelay

9.29

Fintech

Stripe

9.42

Open Banking: PSD2

Nordea Bank

9.76

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox)

9.70

Open Banking UK: Production

Vanquis

9.20

Open Banking UK: Open Data

First Trust Bank

9.73

Nordea Bank in Open Banking – PSD2 takes the overall title again this week for finance APIs, with a first rate CASC score of 9.76, down from 9.85 last week. A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional. Three of the six finance API categories are headed by organizations with a CASC score of 9.50 or more this week (these three all have CASC scores of 9.70 or more). 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 but one finance aPI category is headed by an API with CASC score of 9.25, which is an acceptable level of performance.

Top Finance APIs By Latency

Week Ending 26 October 2020

Category

Organization

Median Latency

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

FTX

219 ms

Fintech

Stripe

304 ms

Open Banking: PSD2

Railsbank

107 ms

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

Royal Bank of Scotland (Sandbox)

154 ms

Open Banking UK: Production

Tide (Auth)

158 ms

Open Banking UK: Open Data

HSBC

94 ms

HSBC in Open Banking – UK – Open Data takes the overall title again with a median latency of 94 ms, up from 93 ms last week. An important caveat for finance APIs: medians can be misleading! A finance 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!

Worst Finance APIs

Week Ending 26 October 2020

Category

Organization

CASC score

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Binance

7.30

Fintech

Nobody below 8.00!

Open Banking: PSD2

Railsbank

7.65

Open Banking UK: Sandbox

Barclays (Sandbox Auth)

6.89

Open Banking UK: Production

Creation Cards (Auth)

6.45

Open Banking UK: Open Data

Nobody below 8.00!

Creation Cards (Auth) in the Open Banking – UK - Production category takes the overall loser award with a CASC score of 6.45.

Something of interest

Railsbank had a bit of a bad week, propping up the Open banking – PSD2 category. So just what went wrong? finance api ratings We were getting a quite a lot of finance API failures from 20 through 23 October with the number of failures increasing to a peak on 23 October and then no failures for the rest of the week. All of the failures are HTTP status code 500 Internal Server Error, so we would need to look into the backend server logs to see exactly what was happening. Using an active finance API monitoring system is the best way to detect this kind of cluster of failures. You can see at glance that something odd was happening – and get worse at an accelerating rate! The fact that the failures stop indicates that someone at Railsbank may have noticed and fixed the problem. But from our most recent test records, we can see that there are again 500s occurring, which indicate that the underlying problem may have returned. With APIs, eternal vigilance is required. You never know when good ones might go bad. Which means that a state of the art active API monitoring system is also required. finance api ratings The endpoint is also quite low and has a lot of outliers and a high standard deviation of the latency, all of which conspire to push down the CASC score well into the Amber Zone. A finance API monitoring system lets you really understand how an API behaves so that you can start to anticipate issues and provide a better service to your users. See you again in a week as we look at the state of the financial APIs as we crash into November. Also look out for our monthly report for September and, of course, our weekly and monthly reports on non-financial APIs.

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