September release and a hackathon

Besides the increased number of banks (15 at the moment) we're actively working with, we added the first three Payment Initiation skills, just in time to be used by the teams at the hackathon.

The hackathon

We had 22 teams registered but we could only accomodate half of them due to logistics. Mindspace Pipera is an amazing location, probably the best in town for events like this (big thanks!!).

It was a key moment for our alpha testing phase. But what exactly we did get following this event:

  • security testing? Not really. People are more focused on building the business logic so they'll abuse whatever security practices you'll try to suggest. After all, it's only a limited number of hours to win the prize :)
  • stress testing? Maybe. During the two days the CPU load barely moved up a bit. The BEAM (Erlang VM) is well known for requiring exceptionally low resources even on heavy load - WhatsApp achieved 2 million TCP/IP connections (each managed by a process) on a single BEAM instance back in 2012. One of the teams was building an experimental ML model based on transaction data so I asked them to flood the API with requests from multiple sources - and all went well proving that our backend is rock solid, without even using horizontal scaling yet.
  • documentation? Yes - another confirmation that most of the devs (the younger ones :) prefer to write the code first, then read the docs. But we know that already. SDKs, Postman, short videos are more relevant nowadays and we have them on the roadmap.
  • skills testing? Yes! This is where people tried to integrate Open Banking into their own existing business apps, or build entirely new experiences.

Playing with Finqware skills

Open Banking is still in its infancy. As technical people, we're studying how to best integrate these APIs in our web/mobile/backend apps without sacrificing on security and at the same time to offer a decent user experience.

A key takeaway from the hackathon was that no matter what integration flows we'd envision, it's too early to call it a standard. A developer working on a chatbot interface will most probably have different requirements compared to one working on an enterprise backend integration. At Finqware we got you covered. We're ready to work with any developer on these custom flows and discover the best ways forward. We can easily publish skill versions for any such flow and make others re-use the same practices.

Speaking of chatbots, congrats Franc for winning the first edition of OBH :)

Next steps

Adding more skills into the middleware is important. But the critical metric, at this phase at least, I believe is not the number but the diversity. Bringing completely different Open Banking flows under the same developer experience is what makes a middleware valuable.

During the following weeks we'll be sitting at the same table with various teams interested to integrate Open Banking into their business flows. It's important to shape the API based on real market needs so we're curious on what those discussions will bring.

Happy coding!