Details Cookies
United Kingdom
Important margin product information

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs, FX or any of our other products work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cookie policy

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience by enabling, optimising and analysing site operations, as well as to provide personalised ad content and allow you to connect to social media. By choosing “Accept all” you consent to the use of cookies and the related processing of personal data. Select “Manage consent” to manage your consent preferences. You can change your preferences or retract your consent at any time via the cookie policy page. Please view our cookie policy here and our privacy policy here

How pursuing an OpenAPI strategy has helped Saxo build an ecosystem How pursuing an OpenAPI strategy has helped Saxo build an ecosystem How pursuing an OpenAPI strategy has helped Saxo build an ecosystem

How pursuing an OpenAPI strategy has helped Saxo build an ecosystem

Thought Leadership 7 minutes to read
Benny Boye Johansen

Head of OpenAPI, Saxo Bank

What do Italian bank Banca Generali, Australian financial advisor Rivkin, Finnish insurance company Mandatum Life, Singaporean invest management company NoviScient, Chinese fintech Webull and many other financial institutions have in common?

They are all part of the Saxo Bank ecosystem, connected to the Saxo engine through our OpenAPIs and partner APIs.

It is now almost four years since we launched our OpenAPI in Singapore and a lot has happened since then. In November 2015, the idea of an OpenAPI in the financial sector was quite novel and it was not easy to predict how this new paradigm would unfold.

Four years in, we are partnering and integrating with financial companies of a diverse range and at various stages of maturity on a global scale. Each integration is unique, yet every partnership shares some common characteristics. Here I describe how we have leveraged OpenAPI to cultivate our very own ecosystem in the financial industry and offer some useful guidelines for industry participants who are still thinking about how to approach Open Banking and API.

The Saxo ecosystem foundation: Powered by win-win

An ecosystem is defined as a "biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment". This analogy holds to the extent that Saxo Bank as well as each of the connected entities are indeed interacting yet independent businesses. While the technical connection happens through bits and bytes between two computers, the actual connection is between two businesses, which, while acting independently, share information, seek to align goals and form legal and social bonds.

When ecosystems are created the participants must partake in a so-called mutualistic symbiosis, a relationship in which each organism plays a role and, in some way, contributes positively to the ecosystem. At Saxo, we like to call this a win-win relationship, and it forms the cornerstone of our partnership philosophy.

As a tech partner, Saxo delivers the foundation for the ecosystem to emerge and exist. There are three components that have helped us expand our ecosystem of partners:

Unique trading technology. At the core is our trading engine, which is well-connected to the global capital markets, allowing clients to trade a vast range of financial instruments through a single account. End clients are served through three distinct trading platforms (SaxoTraderGo, SaxoTraderPro and SaxoInvestor). Combined with an equivalent set of back office services, our technology makes it possible at scale to deliver a competitive offering in trading and investing.

Robust administrative support. Equally important is a complete set of business processes, legal agreements, licenses, hosting, and systems monitoring, which supplements the trading engine technology to operate and run a bank and service clients.

Connecting technologies. Finally, there is a host of systems and technologies, such as our OpenAPIs, supplemented by standard solutions for security and data streaming, which makes it possible for other ecosystem participants to tap into Saxo’s technology and services. The connectivity is supported by flexible account hierarchies and distinct application and user roles, which govern the level and breath of integration with each of the other ecosystem participants.

Build it and they will come

Today we have over 100 third party applications connected through our OpenAPIs. Some represent integrations of great complexity, while others are simple but effective.

In our partnership with Banca Generali, integration is so close that a joint venture BG Saxo was formed. On the front end, BG Saxo uses a branded and extended version of our SaxoTrader GO trading platform. On the back end, BG Saxo uses a combination of public and partner specific OpenAPIs to implement advanced support for their 2000+ financial advisors.

Webull, on the other hand, is an introducing broker, who has built their own bespoke and complete front end, specifically designed to cater for the Chinese market. They also use our onboading APIs to effectively signup clients in our system.

Finally, Rivkin has built a small app which supplements their personalised investment advisory service. The app presents tailored, actionable investment advice, which the client can accept with the click of a button.

The three examples represent large differences in effort and time consumed by the partner, from several years down to about a month. This is to be expected as each partner brings different qualities and have a unique mission and vision for how they create value.

Taking stock of the ecosystem hygiene and health

An ecosystem doesn’t live and breathe by itself, and the occasional stocktaking is beneficial to ensure our strategy is sound. To that end, I often look to these three elements to a successful ecosystem when I do a stock take on how we are tracking.

Connection: How easily others can plug into the platform to share and transact. This really comes down to having a broad set of well-documented solid and intuitive APIs. We do offer one of the most comprehensive API's for trading and investment, and we are constantly working on improving the developer experience.

Gravity: How well the platform attracts participants, both produces and consumers. This is one of these positive reinforcement cycles, which in our case runs something like this:

  • With more clients on the platform, there is economies of scale thus providing a better product at a lower cost.
  • A better product at a lower cost makes it attractive for more partners to come on board, as they will have a better offering for their clients.
  • Having more clients also attracts more third-party trading platform providers, further enhancing the value of services provided within the Saxo ecosystem.

Flow: How well the platform fosters the exchange and co-creation of value. Gathering our partners at regular intervals for knowledge-sharing and inspiration is well-received, and often leads to increased adoption of best practices. We have also found that through working with many partners, we at Saxo have been exposed to, challenged and inspired by other ways of packaging and selling financial products and services, something which we have been able to incorporate into our own product development.

What is next?

Open Banking is here to stay. Building and contributing to a strong functioning ecosystem has never been more important. Because of APIs and Open Banking technologies, many new digital ecosystems will emerge over the next couple of years. There will probably even be several ecosystems with overlapping interests, participants and offerings, which can easily co-exist.

This will create many new and exciting opportunities and experiences for consumers, as financial information and financial decision making will be made available in a multitude of ways, which will be increasingly timely, relevant and context dependent. This in turn will bring further business and energy into the many ecosystems evolving around Open Banking and Open Finance.


The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website. This content is not intended to and does not change or expand on the execution-only service. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Bank Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Bank Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Bank Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
- Full disclaimer (

Saxo Markets
40 Bank Street, 26th floor
E14 5DA
United Kingdom

Support Centre
For existing clients, please click here to request support via the Support Centre.

Have a question about our products, platforms or services? Visit the Support Centre to find answers for our most frequently asked questions. If you are still unable to locate an answer to your question, you will also find contact details for your local Saxo office to speak with a representative.

Contact Saxo

Select region

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Trade Responsibly
All trading carries risk. To help you understand the risks involved we have put together a series of Key Information Documents (KIDs) highlighting the risks and rewards related to each product. Read more
Additional Key Information Documents are available in our trading platform.

Saxo Markets is a registered Trading Name of Saxo Capital Markets UK Ltd (‘SCML’). SCML is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number 551422. Registered address: 26th Floor, 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DA. Company number 7413871.

This website, including the information and materials contained in it, are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in the United States, Belgium or any other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to applicable law or regulation.

It is important that you understand that with investments, your capital is at risk. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. It is your responsibility to ensure that you make an informed decision about whether or not to invest with us. If you are still unsure if investing is right for you, please seek independent advice. Saxo Markets assumes no liability for any loss sustained from trading in accordance with a recommendation.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.