Testing the Limits of Banking Authentication Scalability With HID and Temenos
We had the opportunity to sit down with Tony Coleman, Chief Technology Officer for Temenos, leading banking technology vendor and long-time HID strategic partner. They recently conducted a performance test of their cloud banking platform with some eye-popping results, and we wanted to learn more.
HID and Temenos have shared over a decade of partnership. Can you talk a little bit about that relationship?
We’ve been working with HID before they were even called HID, so it’s been a very long time! HID and Temenos share many clients because our products are fully integrated with their products, so customers enjoy that out of the box experience that everybody wants these days. The amazing work that HID does, the features and functions that are available, those benefit all of our joint clients. It's a great thing to have worked with the company over these years and seen all of that joint success.
What prompted you to perform this recent authentication stress test?
The authentication test was one part of a much broader performance test that we did. At Temenos we regularly run what we call high water benchmarks — where we perform something at the extreme end of scale. One of the angles that we were looking at is the rise of banking as a service, which can be seen as embedded finance, or what most people refer to as “buy now and pay later.” What it causes is a concentration of user activity at a particular financial institution.
So, one of our customers, for instance, has 200 million loans — and it’s all handled on a single platform. What does that mean for my user experience? What does that mean for my secure user experience? You are having to handle hundreds, if not thousands of login requests every second.
Part of conducting this benchmark was to say, if I have financial institution that launched a banking-as-a-service proposition that was very successful, and now they have a hundred million customers that all want to log-in on payday, what does that look like? How do we authenticate those users and keep everybody safe, and everybody secure, and meet the regulatory and compliance requirements? That was the background for this particular test.
Why did you choose to use the HID Authentication Service for this test?
We wanted to test these big concentrations of users in a financial institution, in the case that we would need to be able to handle this type of concurrency. So first, you need a product and a service that's fit for purpose. And we had that with HID. You can have the best partner in the world, but if the product doesn't actually do what you need it to do, the product is not fit for purpose.
We used HID’s authentication service as a service because we want to lean into this idea of cloud native and using managed services for our SaaS business. As we see it, more and more banks are wanting to run the solutions themselves, whether it be that on-prem or, more likely, in a public cloud. This idea of running the software themselves is where most of our clients are going.
Secondly, as I touched on earlier, we have this longevity of relationship. We know we can trust HID and the ease of working with its Authentication Service. We know when we need help, we're going to get the support we need. We had done many performance tests together over the years, and we really wanted to push this up a notch.
What was most notable about the results obtained?
The key thing we were looking for was linear scalability. The idea behind linear scalability is if you need the software to perform more, you can simply give it the same hardware again. So if I need to get a certain level of performance, like a hundred log-ins a second out of a certain amount of hardware — in order to get 200 log-ins a second, I should just need twice the amount of hardware. But so often this isn't the case. This idea that a solution can scale linearly, and it can keep scaling is really important.
The great thing is we saw in this test was this beautiful piece of linear scalability, and that's important because on the other end of the scale, you don't want to have to have the world's biggest set of kits just to be able to handle a few dozen log-ins.
Anything else you want to share?
Only to thank HID again for their involvement. It was really great to get the numbers over the line and be able to work with a partner on a product that many of our customers are live with and they love.
And to show all of that scale was great.
Katie Björk is the Director of Communications and Solution Marketing at HID. She has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communication, market research and change management strategy for several large companies and multiple industries globally. In her current role, Katie is a member of her business unit’s leadership team and focuses on studying the market and ensuring the delivery of an unparalleled user experience in the world of Identity and Access Management.