Succesful API calls

A core metric which demonstrates the speed of adoption by end users is the number of API calls made from Third Party Providers to Account Servicing Payment Service Providers (ASPSPs). This data is reported to the OBIE by the 9 ASPSPs only. See Figure 7.

Figure 7: Number API Calls

Source: OBIE. Note: Successful API calls are based on data submitted by account providers (ASPSPs) to open banking. There is no data prior to May 2018. May-July 2018 includes data from 8 providers. August 2018 onwards includes data from 9 providers and 16 brands in total. In June 2019, the number of brands increased to 17. In July 2019 this increased to 18 brands. Since May 2020 it includes 19 brands.

Between 2019 and 2020, the number of API calls has growth by over 450%. This growth is stronger than the growth in live-to-market providers of open banking-enabled products and services (75%) suggesting that growth is being driven both by growth in availability and end user adoption. Care should be used with this data however different propositions can drive very different numbers of API calls and this data should therefore be considered indicative of end user growth.

Successful API calls by Outcome area

It is not possible to give definitive analysis of how API calls are distributed by Outcome Area, but an indicative overview is possible although these results should be used with caution. One of the significant limitations with this analysis is that some propositions are much more intensive in their utilisation of API calls. For example, a payment transaction will in most cases require less than 3 API Calls, whereas a Personal Finance Manager proposition could result in 100s in a typical month (depending on frequency of usage and number of payment accounts added).

Figure 8: Estimated API calls by Outcome area (December 2020)

Source: OBIE. Note: This data is based on submissions of CMA9 ASPSPs (. This partial data has been coded by allocating to Outcome Areas. API volumes cannot necessarily be correlated to levels of customer adoption (because different propositions have different levels of API calls per PSU), but can give some tentative indications).

Drawing firm conclusions is not possible due to the limitations set out above however we can observe that API calls are dominated (60 – 70%) by providers of Improved Financial Decision-Making products and services. API calls remain low for a number of Outcome areas. In the cases of Increased Access to Advice and Guidance and Increased Switching this can be explained by low availability. In the case of Expanded Payments Choice this is likely to be partly explained by the low number of API calls per end user for this use case compared to others, but could also indicate that Payments has high availability, but low adoption to date. This tentative conclusion would be confirmed by the split in the number of API calls, in which PISP API calls represented 0.5% of total volume in December 2020 . One final observation is that Increased Savings & Investments would appear to have a higher share of API calls (10 – 20%) than its availability would suggest (only 4 providers out of 109). This would allow us to tentatively conclude that Increased Savings & Investments is emerging as an area of strong end user adoption, but we would need to seek further data to confirm this conclusion.

Open banking penetration

Using data submitted to the OBIE by the CMA9 we have estimated the penetration of open banking into the digitally enabled total base of consumers and small businesses. As with much of this analysis it contains assumptions and estimates and should be considered directional only.

Figure 9: Estimated penetration of open banking into the broader digitally enabled population

Source: the OBIE estimates based on CMA9 ASPSP submissions, corroborated against BEIS, ONS, Eurostat and UK Finance. Note: This data is based on submissions of active PSU numbers by the CMA9 banks and building societies and number of digitally active end users by CMA9. It therefore only represents penetration within the CMA9 digital customer bases, although this represents a very significant share of the UK population. This data has been corroborated against data on the total adults and small businesses currently using internet banking, derived from ONS, Eurostat and UK Finance.

Recognising the limitations of the underlying data, we can estimate that 1 in 19 digitally enabled end users were using at least one open banking-enabled product or service in December 2020. This figure has increased from in 1 in 40 since January 2020.  

Source OBIE: total API calls = 694m. AIS Calls = 689m. PIS Calls = 3.8m


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