Case Studies

First Abu Dhabi Bank Accelerates Cloud Connectivity With Kong

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Efficient Delivery

Accelerated commercial mobile banking application delivery from seven months to three months

Low Operational Costs

Retired legacy infrastructure in favor of a containerized-based architecture, cutting operational costs by 57%

Evergreen API Platform

Expanding platform from 200 to 500 API endpoints to expose every function of the bank as an API


  • Undergoing organizational DevOps transformation to promote cloud best practices.
  • Custom plugin development was needed to meet industry standard financial service requirements, such as OAuth, mTLS, LDAP and others.
  • Decomposing legacy applications and adopting a microservice architecture to expedite time to market for customer-facing applications.


  • Rapidly scaling out a containerized infrastructure with the Kong Kubernetes Ingress Controller to provide a single entry point and easy management.
  • Flexible plugin architecture to meet industry standard requirements out-of-the-box.
  • End-to-end service connectivity to ensure reliable communication between legacy and cloud-native applications.

Strengthening the Threads of Customer-First Innovation

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, in Khalifa Business Park, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates with an international network spanning five continents. In line with its commitment to putting customers first, FAB is always looking to strategically invest in market-leading solutions that will strengthen the financial well-being of its customers and stakeholders. FAB seeks to ensure that cutting edge technology, agility and innovation are designed into their processes and infrastructure for their products and services.

Stitching Together Legacy and Cloud Native Use Cases

With the banking industry transforming at lightning pace, FAB elected to refactor its monolithic applications and adopt a microservices-based architecture. This was done to accelerate development, improve business agility and enhance the bank’s overall customer experience. In May 2020, FAB implemented Kong’s API gateway to advance the bank’s company-wide legacy to cloud-native transformation initiatives and deliver reliable financial services.

FAB Covets Kong’s Plug-and-Play API Gateway

When Jayakumar Ganesan, Head of Service – Digital Platforms at FAB, and his team evaluated API gateways, they saw Kong’s modular plug-and-play design as a major advantage. It empowered FAB’s developers to focus on building business logic, architects to focus on accelerating time to value and operators to focus on connectivity management.

“For most API gateways on the market, you typically need to undergo some level of customization effort to have it properly fit into your existing ecosystem. Industry standard plugins that work out-of-the box are one of Kong’s major strengths. Getting out of the business of writing custom plugins allows us to focus on building new functionality rather than utilizing more resources to maintain the API gateway infrastructure,” said Jayakumar. “In terms of manageability, scalability and agility, what Kong provides us is best in class.”

Provisioning for a Highly Performant Containerized Ecosystem

FAB is leveraging Kong to efficiently provision and manage high-performance runtimes across its AWS, Azure and on-premise environments. The United Arab Emirates bank is now charting a course to expedite time to market for its customer facing applications by scaling its containerized ecosystem.

“We are aggressively moving our APIs into a containerized ecosystem. We currently have about 200 APIs in production that are running our core business – our goal is to double that number over the next three to five years, and these will all be powered by Kong,” said Jayakumar. “All of our legacy services and any new APIs that we develop will all be running through the Kong platform by default.”

Recapturing Development Efficiency With Kong

“As we moved toward microservices, we required a lightweight solution that could seamlessly align with our multi-cloud and on-premise environments,” said Jayakumar. Kong’s deployment agnosticism, plugin architecture and ingress controller designed to enhance service orchestration within containerized architectures make this possible. As a result, FAB has been able to cut operational costs by 57% and dramatically reduce the need for developers to write infrastructure code.

“With Kong, we were able to deliver one of our commercial mobile banking applications in three months instead of seven. We also now save four months of total custom development time by utilizing Kong’s turnkey features and plugins.”

“The scalability and agility that Kong provides our bank is best in class compared to any other service connectivity platforms that we have worked with.”

– Jayakumar Ganesan, Head of Service – Digital Platforms, First Abu Dhabi Bank

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