The headline game for these players has been around “how many” banks they are integrated to — and even when there were only a few PSD2 APIs available, some claimed to have integrated over a thousand banks. How is that possible?

The answer is to an ancient-old technology called screen scraping that has been around in the industry way before PSD2. Ironically, many of these players have gone against the fundamental principles of the PSD2 and open banking by adopting screen scraping as their API integration strategy.

So, if you are from a Product, Tech or R&D team with a mission to seek out a reliable API service platform provider, you should ask yourself; Is working with a screen scraping based API aggregator a reliable choice? Let us do a direct one-by-one comparison of screen scraping versus pure API integrations technology based on four main parameters.

1. Security

API integration:

API technology relies on banks’ own security layer.

Screen scraping:

A screen scraper is directly given the user’s authentication information or authenticated access, leaving the access in the hands of third-party providers with it being difficult to remove.

2. Reliability

API integration:

API access have laws governing reliability, depreciation and quality of interface. Breaking changes does not create downtime without time to mitigate, and authorities will react if this requirement is broken.

Screen scraping:

A screen scraper may break due to the lack of versioning. If the website changes even a little, the data might not be found until the screen scraper adapts.

3. Speed

API integration:

API is designed to facilitate real-time interbank communication.

Screen scraping:

Screen scraping is slow as a lot of data must be downloaded and processed frequently.

4. User-experience

API integration:

Free to build user experience on your own terms within legal limits that are common to all banks.

Screen scraping:

It often results in a bad user experience (especially when scraping HTML) and can occasionally stop working as a counterattack from banks’ security layer.

•••

So, we have looked at four direct comparisons between screen scraping and API integration technology. As screen scraping is bound to become “illegal” under the PDS2 terms, working with a provider that relies on it would not be a sustainable decision for your business strategy.

A lot of providers do not make this explicit on their website, so make sure to do your due diligence correctly when exploring different options out in the market.

From day one, Neonomics has stubbornly stuck with the choice of pure API integration with full confidence that this is the only future-proof way to navigate the open banking landscape. If you’re curious to learn how we can help you facilitate API-driven payments, give a shoutout to our sales team!