Part three: How Tink launched in the UK in record time
This is the last piece of our three-part Project Win UK series. In parts one and two, we lifted the lid on our challenge to go live in the UK, and showed how we integrated with the banks and built our categorisation model. This time, we show how all hands on deck meant we could go further and deliver more to complete our mission to go live in the UK – and “win” it.
Our plans for weeks three and four of “Project Win UK” were simple. Get every Tink engineering team on board to deliver above and beyond what we needed to launch in the UK. We wanted to create the most comprehensive open banking service on the market for the UK’s banks and financial institutions – and we’d given ourselves two weeks to do it.
We had already made the connections to the CMA 9 banks included in the UK’s Open Banking legislation. But the data quality and connection speed were not where we wanted it to be. So our teams got to work to make sure it matched what we offer in our other nine markets across Europe.
Going beyond the CMA 9
In order to offer an even broader service in the UK, we decided to add some more banks – including challengers like Monzo – which are outside of the nine included in the legislation. These banks are not required to supply APIs to which third parties can connect.
So we had to securely access the customer data by reverse engineering the bank’s APIs. This allows us to interact directly with the bank’s servers in the same way the bank’s own app would – and guarantee great performance, reliability and availability.
With this, we were able to add Amex, N26 and Revolut to our model. But we didn’t stop there. We also went beyond just aggregating data from current accounts and added other data – such as mortgages, insurance, pensions and investments.
Banking across borders – and more
We then performed the complex task of adding the ability to make payments from any aggregated bank account. And added access to any customer account from the 2,500 banks we can connect to across Europe, enabling us to offer multi-banking support from the UK.
And we still weren’t done.
We carried on tweaking our categorisation model, improving its accuracy to the highest level we’ve seen in Europe. We added personal finance management (PFM) features that help people understand and manage their money better – and give banks better insight into customer behaviour to help them automate services in a personal way.
By the end of the second two weeks we were ready. We could show banks and financial institutions in the UK what can be achieved with the entire ecosystem of high-quality open banking services on one platform. Aggregation, categorisation, enrichment, payments and PFM. And all made possible by the strong engineering culture at Tink.
From a standing start, we went live in the UK in four weeks – accomplishing the mission that we set out to achieve. And then some.