Middle East Top 10 Banking Website Performance Benchmark

There is a general agreement that speed has become of paramount importance to today, and tomorrow’s customers, especially technophiles.

Having been significance of every second, customers have a lot of choices, and they are not willing to engage in a website that is not responsive or slow.


The speed of technological changes makes it necessary for financial organizations to drive digital transformation to support new business models, reduce operating costs, and improve customer experience. As a result, we were intrigued about the status of the Top 10 Banking Websites in the Middle East. Thus we performed a comprehensive benchmark among these players.



Research Questions

  • How does a web performance benchmark of the Top 10 Middle East Banks look like?

  • How many are impacted by performance issues?

  • What are their top performance challenges?


Benchmarking Approach

  • Synthetic monitoring of their websites for 1 week

  • Test execution every 60 minutes from 3 locations

  • Used Dynatrace Synthetic Monitoring


Sample Monitoring Script


{

"version": "1.0",

"requests": [

{

"description": "akbank.com ",

"url": "https://www.akbank.com/

"method": "GET",

"validation": {

"rules": [

{

"value": ">=400",

"passIfFound": false,

"type": "httpStatusesList"

}

],

"rulesChaining": "or"

},

"configuration": {

"acceptAnyCertificate": true,

"followRedirects": true

}

}

]

}


We've executed our monitoring scripts once every 60 minutes for 7 days on the following locations:

  • Abu Dhabi

  • Bahrain

  • Dubai


There are some obstacles regarding conducting performance benchmarks for banking websites.

  • Limiting the performance check to the front-end layer since we don't have access to all the backend systems.

  • Hundreds of devices and browsers are in use

  • Customers are connected using all kinds of network speed and geographical connections


to mitigate the complexity and provide a reliable comparison, we utilized a SaaS-based synthetic monitoring approach. We use the start page web URL of the top 10 banking websites and execute them every 60 minutes on three monitoring locations.


Many factors impact website speed and performance benchmarks include several metrics. However, to prevent redundant complexity, Page Size, Time to first byte, and Page load time can be considered for performance comparison.

  • Page load time: Represents how fast a request or a web page is getting loaded in a Browser.

  • Time to first byte: Represents the performance of a web sites backend systems. The longer it takes to deliver the first byte back to an end-user or their device, the slower the entire page load time.

  • Page Size: Represents how much data gets transferred to a customer by accessing the website.

How to compare these metrics?

We opted to use the average page size, time to first byte, and page load time for each bank throughout the one-week monitoring period after examining several techniques. To make our comparison more understandable, we've normalized these data and reported the average values as percentages.


Sample calculation

Average response times


Bank 1: 6 sec page load time

Bank 2: 6 sec page load time

Bank 3: 12 sec page load time


Benchmark calculation


Bank 1: 100/summary(Bank1, Bank2, Bank3)*6 = 25%

Bank 2: 100 / summary (Bank1, Bank 2, Bank3) * 6 = 25 %

Bank 3: 100 / summary (Bank1, Bank 2, Bank3) * 12 = 50 %

Page load time Benchmark: (25 + 25 + 50 / 3) = 33 %


Results


Page load times of Bank 1 and Bank 2 are better than the Benchmark.

Page load times of Bank 3 is 17 % above the Benchmark.


The results of our Performance Benchmark for top 10 Middle East Bank websites:

Our performance comparison demonstrated that 90 percent of the banking websites are facing performance problems.


As can be seen from the chart, the high average value in time to first byte is a prominent issue of all banking websites.


Seventy percent of banking websites encounter problems owing to high page size. Consequently, customers face a website incur them to download massive data which in turn leads to performance slowdowns. Low network speed can also make such not optimized web page size and more serious issue.