Rapid – Response
Deutsche Bank has announced (covered here by Euromoney) a new version of its FX API which it has dubbed Rapid API (Revolutionary API Design). This announcement follows on Deutsche Bank’s earlier July launching of the new “revolutionary” version of its Autobahn electronic trading platform (covered here – also by Euromoney featuring the same Zar Amrolia pic). DB is only one of many FX providers overhauling their Single Dealer Platforms (SDP) over the past year.
Less covered by the press but no less vitally important to companies like TraderTools, many banks have also released new versions of their APIs this year. As both the APIs and the front ends rely on much of the same back end infrastructure such as a Pricing Engine and Liquidity Management systems, it makes sense that these systems would be overhauled around the same time (allowing for release lag to reduce risk). This is particularly so if the backend systems have upgraded their functionality to support more front end business cases. These might include additional order types, asset classes, and custom algorithms. TraderTools has seen examples of each of these. It is also true that banks have looked to upgrade the technical capabilities of their systems (back and front end). Banks are moving away from manual quote and tier based pricing (leaving more work for downstream systems to convert to streams of aggregated liquidity) to aggregative and stream based pricing.
This Euromoney article and interview with Mr. Amorlia indicates that Deutsche Bank has taken their API perhaps one step further. At TraderTools we have been spreading the word on relationship pricing even before we announced our extremely successful LightFX offering. So when the global head of FX at one of the top liquidity providers goes on record that RP is the principle behind their new API, we have to respond with an Amen! Here are the money quotes:
“Each one of our clients on our platform is unique,” explains Amrolia. “So, we will be working together with each name to offer tailored liquidity to meet their individual requirements.”
“It’s like bespoke relationship management,” says Philip Wood, Deutsche’s global head of electronic-spot trading. “What type of liquidity do you want from us, and how do you want this to interact with the market?
Our best customers take this message to heart, each time we share our statistical reports on LP performance with them and speak to LPs on their behalf. We work neutrally with LPs and our customers to constantly improve service for a win-win-win. The LPs are happy because we don’t charge them and give them great feedback and drive flow to their platforms. The customers are happy because they see tight reliable prices way, way down the size ladder. And of course TraderTools is happy because the more the word is spread and confirmed on both sides of the table the more business we can generate.
Deutsche Bank’s new direction is another step away from generic prices offered to widening bands of customers across multiple anonymous or semi-anonymous platforms to one on one quality based service to customers. Once it was thought that as FX business moved from voice to electronic it meant that quality of service had to shift from knowing your customer to lowest common denominator “as long as it’s black” pricing. In truth, all it meant was that technology and vision had to catch up with the market direction. Now it has.