How many times have you thought to yourself “Damn, I really wish my bank account had an API”? I bet the answer is a lot. Well, today is the last day you will ever think that again because we are pleased to announce that the Teller API beta program is now open to the public.
Starting today, you can create a developer account, connect your bank, and start making live API calls into your bank accounts in less than 5 minutes.
Live data, fast
If you’ve ever integrated with an account aggregator that works by “screen-scraping” you will appreciate what a leap forward Teller represents. Never again will you deal with day-old stale data or wait tens of seconds while it is refreshed for slightly less stale data.
Every Teller API call hits your bank to return current live data reflecting the current state of your account. Not only does Teller return live data, it does so extremely quickly, in most cases under a second.
Do you have accounts at multiple banks? No problem, we will communicate with each bank concurrently and return normalised JSON to you in the same time it takes to fetch data from a single bank.
A step-change in user experience
Another big problem with the latency “screen-scraping” suffers from is that interactivity is made very painful, for example when onboarding a user to your product using a screen-scraper to fetch data it can be dozens of seconds before the user gets any feedback.
Consider this side-by-side comparison of the Teller onboarding flow and the account onboarding flow of a typical Fintech app that uses screen-scraping.
Look how long it takes for a screen-scraper to fail when supplied with bogus data, while Teller comes back instaneously with an error message. Imagine this is your user making a typo while entering their information. You can guarantee users will delete your app in frustration if this is their first experience.
A quantum-leap in capability
Although we are not launching this functionality today, Teller is the first banking API available to the public that is capable of moving money and managing your account. Transfer money between accounts, make external payments using Faster Payments, and manage your payees, standing orders, and Direct Debits all through the Teller API. For the first time in history it is possible for a developer to build a full replacement the bank’s own first party app. If you have the product chops you might now be thinking about the possibility of disintermediating banks altogether.
Stay tuned for more informations on these APIs in the coming weeks.
The preferred business model of the incumbent screen-scrapers seems to be:
- Provide a poor quality product
- Charge you a large setup fee
- Make you commit to an exorbitant minimum financial commitment
- Lock you into a long contract that is impossible to end early
- Make you sign an NDA so you can’t warn others
We do not believe in that. We won’t charge you a setup fee, make you jump on a call or watch a webinar to get started. You can spend as little as you like, and you can leave us at any time. We want to provide you with such a great product experience that you will never leave and will want to tell everyone about it.
We realise that our revenue will most likely be a very long tail with a small number of customers bringing in most of the cash. So we want to cast the net as far as possible to increase the chances of finding those customers from day 0. This is why Teller is free for apps with up to 100 users. We want you to hack out that idea you’ve been kicking around for the past 6 months. We want you to do it now and we want you to ship. Teller is 100% aligned with you and your users.
Your success is our success.
Teller is available today for Santander UK, Barclays, Natwest, Nationwide, RBS, Isle of Man Bank, and Ulster Bank.
Create a free developer account today.
We can’t wait to see what you build.
Stevie Graham (@stevegraham)