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HSBC: Meeting the requirements for Open Banking with Serverless Computing

This session discusses how HSBC built their Open Banking solution using AWS Lambda, Amazon API gateway and other AWS managed services.

This video is about how HSBC met the requirements for Open Banking using AWS Serverless technologies. The video is presented by Adam Raffe, Imtiyaz Jatu and Sahana Hussain.

This session discusses how HSBC built their Open Banking solution using AWS Lambda, Amazon API gateway and other AWS managed services.

In addition, the video also covers how HSBC is using AWS globally to meet all the Open Banking requirements and to handle the huge number of API calls the bank receives on a daily basis.

At the beginning of the presentation, Adam Raffe mentions that HSBC has been using AWS services and that the AWS & HSBC architecture team work closely in order to produce patterns as well as designs for the common AWS use cases.

At 4:08 Sahana Hussain introduces the history of HSBC, its growth and the prominent services offered by them. HSBC’s data centers are available in 21 countries and the bank is present in 66 countries and territories. The mission of HSBC is to make the banking experience simple, secure, faster, safe and easier to manage. HSBC believes in working in partnership externally and internally with the best resources and focusing on customer satisfaction.

At 5.32 the presenter explains ‘Open Banking’, a completely new digital channel which allows the integration of banking platforms with a third party platform to create value-added services. At 9:37  she begins to explain the ecosystem of Open Banking and the main participants involved in it. The bank’s exposed APIs will be consumed by the participants of the ecosystem and the developers of the community.

Components of the Open Banking Platform

The developers of the community will take a look at the APIs to interpret and create mock services within the sandbox. Ultimately products and value-added services are created that will then be consumed by the customers.

At 12:10 Sahana explains how Open Banking is implemented at HSBC. They follow the industry standard established in the UK to ensure easy adoption. The JSON and RestFul APIs are used during the implementation process. HSBC is currently working on a cloud-first strategy as it ties perfectly with the delivery of Open Banking.

At 14:11 the presenter provides an overview of the Open Banking solution strategy, which includes identifying the third-party providers, API processing, consent hub, dev portal and logging. Their company ensures that the third-party providers comply with the specification and regulation created by the regulator. The process of identifying the providers is implemented using the OAuth token trust store.

At 14:52 she describes the API processor component as the heart of the Open Banking platform. This component takes care of how the APIs are being exposed and how the API requests are processed. In addition, this component is also responsible for the transformation of the API results and routing. These are followed by the integration which is done with the help of Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS).

At 15:20 Sahana explains that the consent hub is the vital component from the customer point of view. She adds that no customer data is shared without their consent. The developer portal component allows the internal developers to explore and exploit the APIs that are exposed and to test those in the sandbox environment.

Design considerations and delivery challenges

At 19:35 Imtiyaz describes the challenges which were faced during the implementation of the open banking system. Some of the main challenges include following the new specifications introduced by the regulations in the UK and the huge demand to harness the power of multiple disparate on-premises systems. The other delivery challenges include cost control requirements, resourcing challenges and managing the complexity of the procurement process within HSBC.

At 21:25 he lists out the design considerations made during the Open Banking implementation process. He mentions that AWS provides self-service, scalable, resilient, secure infrastructure. The AWS component helped in filtering out the third party traffic before it reaches the on-premises infrastructure.

At 27:00 the Open Banking implementation outcomes are discussed. The presenter mentions that in a year, HSBC had 4 major and 15 minor releases in a year with an uptime greater than or equal to 99.99%. The Open Banking implementation challenges and opportunities were summarized by the presenter at 30:35.

The main challenges include Lambda cold starts, API Gateway private API support, API Gateway WAF support, API Gateway mTLS support.

The presentation concludes with the key takeaways section which is discussed at 36:02. The presenter emphasizes that AWS helped in delivering the complex Open Banking system within a short span of time. AWS also enables delivering on-demand infrastructure which is capable of scaling horizontally, supporting cost optimization.

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