You may have been seeing messages from us recently about switching your account connections to Open Banking. We know it can be a daunting seeing these new options & you may have heard about Open Banking before but not be quite sure what it actually means so we wanted to take this opportunity to share some more information with you about these upcoming changes.
- What is Open Banking?
- What are the benefits?
- Why do I have to do this now?
- Who are the CMA9?
- What do I need to do?
- Why can’t I see some of my accounts?
- What happens to accounts not on Open Banking after March 14th?
What is Open Banking?
Open Banking is a change to UK regulation which gives you more control over your data and helps you bank the way you want to. Under the Open Banking regulations, sharing your transaction information with third party companies will be made possible through APIs.
Short for application programming interface, APIs make it possible for the software at one company to access information from the software at another company.
At the moment your accounts are connected using a method called ‘credential sharing’. Switching to Open Banking is essentially just a technical update to how you get your data into Money Dashboard. With Open Banking your bank will be sending us the read-only data directly rather than using a third party (We use Yodlee) to help.
What are the benefits?
The aim of Open Banking is to increase competition in the banking industry. It’s an industry-wide change that has been led by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
By requiring banks to make this information accessible, these changes will let regulated Financial Technology (Fintech) companies, like Money Dashboard, build even more useful features. Open Banking will offer more accurate data, more frequent updates, better collaboration between regulated apps and banks (no more confusing Ts and Cs from banks etc), and ultimately more control over where your data resides.
Why do I have to do this now?
As with any ambitious technical project of this scale the banks have encountered problems with their implementation of the new data feeds.
Originally the CMA9 banks were mandated to make data available via standardised Open Banking APIs by September 2019. However, due to the enormous difficulty of the project to implement robust APIs firms were granted an extension by the FCA until March 14th 2020.
Who are the CMA9?
The nine largest banks and building societies in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, based on the volume of personal and business current accounts.
AIB Group (UK) plc trading as First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland, Bank of Ireland (UK) plc, Barclays Bank plc, HSBC Group, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Nationwide Building Society, Northern Bank Limited, trading as Danske Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, Santander UK plc (in Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Definition provided by the Open Banking Glossary.
The FCA expects all Current Accounts and Credit Cards to be made available via Open Banking by March 14th.
We have delayed offering switches as a number of banks have continued to encounter challenges delivering robust APIs and consistent data and we wanted to ensure the best possible service for you and minimal disruption. However, with the banks now reporting uptime of 99.3% and the deadline approaching we are now asking all our users to switch to the new account connections so you can continue to access data through the API.
What do I need to do?
When you login you should see the option to switch the account connection type for a number of your accounts. This is a one-off update to your connection details and when we’ve testing it internally it can be as quick as 30 seconds but never more than a couple of minutes.
You will be giving your bank an instruction to send your read-only transaction data to us here at Money Dashboard directly so you can keep seeing all your accounts in one place.
You can see a list of accounts supported on Open Banking here
Why can’t I see some of my accounts?
The banks determine what accounts they make available via the Open Banking APIs.
Only certain types of accounts are currently mandated to be included - i.e. Credit Cards and Current Accounts. What we have seen in practice is that some Savings accounts have also been included at the discretion of the bank.
Accounts covered by Payment Services Directive (PSD2) are any account you can make payments from and should be made available by your bank. For your savings accounts and other account types (e.g. Mortgages, ISAs etc) if you can make transactions from your account to another account not owned by you then it should be available to switch to Open Banking. However, the majority of savings accounts will not appear via Open Banking.
Unfortunately we can't tell beforehand which of your accounts your bank will support a connection for so we provide prompt options for all accounts (including savings) in case they are supported.
The CMA & FCA are intending to implement future legislation under the concept of “Open Finance” in the future which will support access to all account types including Savings, Pensions & Insurance products via APIs directly from banks to authorised third parties like Money Dashboard.
In the meantime you can also keep track of other, non-supported accounts using our “offline account” feature
What happens to accounts not on Open Banking after March 14th?
At Money Dashboard we’ve always been the place to see all your accounts in one place.
For accounts not covered by Open Banking where possible we will continue to support access to your accounts via credential sharing.
You can see our list of supported providers here. We are continuing to add new connections as the banks make them available, keep an eye out for new updates and let us know which connections you want.
We understand change can be difficult, but as a Money Dashboard user you are ahead of the curve embracing the future of personal finance. The advent of Open Banking and Open Finance will provide the ability to deliver a holistic view of your entire financial situation & wellbeing.
Please always feel free to reach out to our help team should you have any questions or concerns.