RBFCU

Increased developer flexibility and faster product delivery

REGION  Americas
SECTOR  Financial Services
PRODUCT  Self-Managed

RBFCU and Tyk

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU) needed more agility and flexibility than its API gateway was providing. As such, the company turned to Tyk for a self-hosted gateway solution that would meet its current and future business needs.

Who is RBFCU?

RBFCU is a financial cooperative that grew from providing financial resources to military service members to serving hundreds of thousands of members across Texas and around the world. Now with more than 60 branches, the company’s goal is to help members save time, save money and earn money as part of building a strong financial future.

Why did RBFCU need an API gateway?

RBFCU needed the freedom to grow and develop flexibly while knowing it could rely on its API gateway for security. The gateway that it had in place lacked the agility that RBFCU needed for both its current use-cases and its future needs – hence the company turning to Tyk for a better solution.

Ross Bender, Solution Architect at RBFCU explains:

We desired an API gateway able to handle all authentication/authorization, so developers can focus on business features for their API deliveries. Additionally, we needed a REST friendly gateway as it is our primary type of API.

Why Tyk?

RBFCU uses APIs to scale solutions to solve multiple problems. APIs are used across multiple teams and organisations, so that APIs that accomplish certain tasks can be easily integrated into other applications or use cases. This approach gives RBFCU the power to innovate rapidly.

The company chose Tyk after developing a set of evaluation criteria for comparing API gateway products. These focused heavily on authentication/authorisation features, as RBFCU needed security and stability, as well as the flexibility to customize when needed.

RBFCU’s evaluation showed that Tyk’s feature-set nicely matched its criteria, while providing a friendly and low-barrier-to-entry product. Solution Architect Ross Bender comments:

“The ease and speed with which APIs could be created, secured, and shared were features that stood out to us–ones which we still love!”

How is Tyk working with RBFCU?

RBFCU opted for Tyk’s self-hosted solution, with two environments (production and non-production). With over 750,000 end users for its services and 30 developers, RBFCU needed a solution that delivered both internal and external APIs quickly and securely. It also needed to work smoothly with two data centres and conform with all relevant financial services industry regulations in the US.

Having spent time sharing and cultivating the API-first vision within its development team, which RBFCU understood to be critical to ensuring a uniform approach to service delivery, the company initially implemented Tyk for use primarily by a new business-critical application. RBFCU’s Bender comments:

“APIs allow us to apply the same solution to any similar problem which may arise. It drives interconnectedness between applications and allows for solving business problems in a unique and timely manner. Our APIs are primarily consumed by our own applications, but we are more and more regularly finding opportunities where our APIs can be leveraged by other teams or vendors. It’s always great to be able to say, ‘We have an API for that!’.”

During the implementation, RBFCU’s development team worked closely with Tyk’s solution architect and administration team to support the deployment of the various Tyk infrastructural components that RBFCU required.

How is RBFCU benefitting from using Tyk?

With Tyk’s API gateway in place, the RBFCU development team is now able to focus on the design and delivery of its APIs with confidence. Bender reports:

“With focus on APIs and the understanding they would be a critical component of our success, we needed a product which would allow us to quickly, easily, and securely deliver APIs to market. Tyk really does enable RBFCU to focus on solutions for our business. By allowing Tyk to solve problems which it is uniquely equipped for, RBFCU is more efficient and effective in delivering features and enhancements for our users.”

One of Tyk’s most important features, from RBFCU’s perspective, is the customisation that Tyk’s middleware enables. This has provided RBFCU with the ability to extend Tyk in any way that it needs to, both now and in the future.

In addition, Tyk’s simplicity of configuration and flexibility through open APIs make it possible to accomplish all of the continuous delivery needs that RBFCU encounters. This delivers added peace of mind, on top of the assurance that security concerns are taken care of. Bender adds:

“The most transparent and immediate benefit was enabling the development team to focus on business feature delivery, because security concerns (authentication/authorization) were all handled by Tyk! This resulted in quicker development turnaround, specifically in a few business-critical projects which have been able to provide great value to RBFCU.”

And finally, the quick-fire round!


If Tyk was a car, what would it be?

A BMW 3 Series: a smooth and pleasant experience. It has the power where/when needed, and is thoughtfully created. It’s fine with not being able to tow a boat because it doesn’t need to. It has just the right amount of class.

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

Assuming the duck-sized horses don’t have the speed of a normal horse, I’ll take my chances with them!

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