Altitude's Guide to the Best Open Banking Platforms in 2021
Updated: Feb 10
Many of the financial institutions we’re working with are preparing for the advent of open banking. Some have more technological resources and development capabilities than others. In almost all cases, our clients are looking for tools and platforms to accomplish this. We’ve researched and compared a number of open banking platforms available in the market today, to facilitate that decision.
Open Banking Platforms
A few prominent technology incumbents have created packaged solutions for open banking. These include APIs, integrations with core banking systems, and management tools that enable organizations to control access and get analytics about API usage. Not surprisingly, aggregators like Plaid, MX and Yodlee have their own offerings, and we believe they are well positioned to capitalize on the open banking opportunity due to their existing relationships with banks and developers implementing their products. Most of the players we’ve looked at are North American, although we’ve examined a few European players as well. Our assessment of these platforms is described in our Gartner Magic Quadrant* comparison (Figure 1) and the details below.
Figure 1: Open Banking Platform Rankings
Plaid is a well-known aggregator based in San Francisco, that is used to connect to banks by over 2,600 applications. Among Plaid’s clients are familiar names such as Venmo, Betterment, Square Cash App, and Robinhood. Plaid has been traditionally using screen scraping and bi-lateral data sharing agreements to obtain client and account data. In May 2020, Plaid announced the launch of Plaid Exchange, its open banking solution, to become an official channel for banks to share financial data.
Connected to over 1100 financial institution.
Extensive list of Fintech implementations.
Robust product vision.
API management tools are minimal and not fully fleshed out.
We believe that Plaid will be one of the leading providers in open banking due to their extensive network of financial institution relationships, partner implementations, and ease of use of their product. Plaid has significant and ever expanding footing in both sides of the market. We have partnered with Plaid as an implementation partner.
One of the oldest established Silicon Valley software giants, Oracle has a mature suite of banking products. It is no surprise that Oracle has also released an open banking solution that complements and integrates natively with its core banking products.
Mature company and platform. Oracle features over 1600 APIs for open banking and core banking functions (see Figure 2).
Deep integration with Oracle’s core banking platform (see Figure 3).
Comprehensive set of complementary Oracle banking products.
Likely dependent on the Oracle technology stack and databases. At present, it’s not clear whether there is a cloud offering available.
Traditionally, Oracle products have had challenges in customer experience.
High maintenance fees.
Figure 2: Oracle’s Banking APIs. Source: Oracle Corporation.
Figure 3: Oracle’s Open Banking Solution. Source: Oracle Corporation.
Axway is an enterprise integration company established in the year 2000. Axway specializes in digital transformation and has been traditionally focused on managed file transfer, B2B integration, API management, content services, and other mission-critical solutions. Axway is making a significant investment in open banking. In 2020, financial technology executive Eyal Sivan joined Axway as the Head of Open Banking. Mr. Sivan also runs a podcast named Mr. Open Banking.
Execution strength and product diversity.
Partnerships with technology giants and consultancies that include AWS, Deloitte, Microsoft, Accenture, Capgemini, CGI, Cognizant, Dell, DXC, HP, Hitachi, and KPMG.
Open Banking appears to be a nascent practice within Axway, but it is evidently a significant area of focus.
MX is another established financial aggregator and portal. Based in Lehi, UT, MX offers multiple products that include financial data aggregation, data enhancement, account and identity verification, wealth management solutions, and personal financial management (PFM). On its website, MX advertises the Open Finance Portal for open banking connectivity.
Established roster of clients and data connections.
Robust open banking vision.
Strong set of complementary products.
Maturity of the open banking platform and management tools is not clear.
One of the oldest and most established aggregators, Envestnet’s Yodlee is a well-known name among both banks and mature Fintechs. Yodlee has announced its open banking platform, which is based on the FastLink 4.0 product.
Established bank partnerships and bi-lateral data sharing agreements. Partners include such as Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Charles Schwab, Wells Fargo, and others.
21,000 financial institution connections and an extensive list of clients that include Intuit’s Mint and QuickBooks.
Data enrichment capabilities using machine learning-based actionable insights.
The FastLink 4.0 API is complicated to implement and maintain.
Product seems like an adaptation of the Yodlee aggregator. Financial institution API management and instrumentation tools are not evident.
Finqware is a Fintech startup based in Bucharest, Romania. The company was established in 2018, and in January 2021 has secured a seed round of 500,000 EUR. Despite being an early stage company, Finqware has secured notable clients that are Eastern European banks that include Banca Transilvania (the largest bank in Romania by assets) and 7 Croatian banks.
Open Banking vision and company agility.
Early stage company. The primary focus appears to be on Eastern Europe.
Open Bank Project
Open Bank Project is an open-source banking middleware. It’s run and managed by TESOBE, a Berlin-based professional services company that implements open banking at global banks. According to the company’s website, Open Bank Project includes 350 APIs and is used by 11,000 developers. Their source code is available on GitHub.
Established financial industry relationships in Europe.
Frequent contributions through open source.
Agility of company and platform.
Open source platform lends itself to security challenges.
Limited number of contributors.
Roadmap: future plans for the platform are not obvious from existing public information. The Open Bank Project roadmap is available on Github. Open Source software doesn’t easily lend itself to clear roadmapping.
The German software giant SAP AG is well-known for its ERP software and has a strong foothold in many corporations. Not surprisingly, SAP is also playing in the open banking space and is referencing several clients on their website that have started using a combination of SAP’s products to deliver a more connected, enhanced customer experience. SAP has also published a detailed whitepaper with a robust vision for the future of banking and where it sees itself playing.
Strong footing in the enterprise space with well-established ERP and business management products.
Robust vision for the future of banking, relying on: Seamless Connectivity, Data-Driven Intelligence, Operational Effectiveness, Financial Insight and Risk Control.
Solid network of partners, including top global consulting and professional services firms.
Open Banking solution seems to be an adaptation of existing products - but it wouldn’t be surprising if SAP announces a dedicated platform in the near future.
High licensing costs, based on the company’s enterprise focus and pricing of existing products.
MuleSoft is a San Francisco-based software company that provides integration software for connecting applications, data and devices. Mulesoft was acquired by Salesforce in 2018 for $6.5 billion. Although Mulesoft’s focus is primarily on API management, the company has made strides into Open Banking through a partnership with Plaid (link). MuleSoft also published a whitepaper describing how to build open banking solutions using MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform.
Solid API management platform backed by Salesforce, with out of the box compliance with ISO 27001, SOC 2, PCI DSS and GDPR.
No apparent packaged solution designed specifically for open banking. The focus is on API management, that lends itself better for clients designing and building their open banking platform on top of MuleSoft’s tools.
Apigee is an API management company that was established in 2004 and acquired by Google in 2016 for $625 million. Apigee’s robust API management capabilities and Google backing lend it well to delivering an open banking offering. Apigee’s open banking solution is marketed as a part of Google Cloud as Apigee Open Banking APIx. It includes API accelerators for Open Banking (UK) and PSD2 (EU) compliance. An additional API Accelerator is available for Australia/CDR compliance. We classify Apigee as a challenger due to its heavier focus on API management as opposed to providing a dedicated open banking product.
Reputable and robust API management platform with an impressive roster of clients that includes PayPal, Equifax, and Goldman Sachs.
Native Google Cloud integration and reliability.
Primarily focused on API management. No dedicated open banking product or publicly shared open banking vision.
In summary, there are multiple platforms available for open banking implementation. Some are pre-packaged purpose-specific products, while others are focused on API management and are geared towards organizations that will do their own implementation. If your organization is using an existing vendor for your core banking platform, it may make sense to select an open banking platform that natively integrates with that vendor. If you need help with assessing your organization’s readiness for open banking and platform selection, contact us for a consultation.
Are there any additional open banking platforms that you believe we should cover? Please let us know.
*We have conducted our analysis and classification of open banking platforms using the Gartner Magic Quadrant framework. Altitude Consulting is not affiliated with Gartner.