Barclays has released an update to its core mobile banking app allowing customers to view accounts from rival banks in one place.
This change has been driven by the new open banking regulations which came into force earlier this year. Open banking is a UK regulation which forces the big banks to open up customer data via a set of secure APIs, meaning customers can give access to their financial information to approved third parties. The aim is to boost transparency for financial products and encourage the creation of innovative banking solutions.
As opposed to HSBC, which decided to launch a new standalone app, first as a Beta then as the Connected Money app, Barclays has opted to embrace open banking through its core mobile banking app by releasing multiple account views as a feature.
The new feature is available immediately to customers with the latest version of the mobile banking app installed. It allows customers to view their balances and transactions for other personal or business current accounts with Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, RBS, NatWest, Nationwide or Santander once integrated through the new open banking APIs. More providers, account types and additional features will be added soon, the bank says.
To set up the feature, customers simply select the bank with which they have another account from within the Barclays Mobile Banking app. They will then be securely redirected to their other bank's app or online banking page to choose which accounts they would like to connect.
Catherine McGrath, managing director of retail banking at Barclays said: "Today, lots of people have current accounts with more than one bank, so keeping track of your finances can be tricky as well as time-consuming. Our new feature is designed to solve this problem, offering a simple and secure way to get a clearer picture of your finances, all in the place six million of our customers already go to do their banking."
Customers can view and revoke these permissions whenever they want.
"Our customers have already trusted us with their money for over 325 years, and we want them to know that we will treat their data just as securely," McGrath added. "We will never ask customers to share their login details for another bank and we will always ensure they have full control over their data, with the ability to manage information sharing quickly, easily, and above all safely."
By launching this feature Barclays becomes the latest bank to embrace open banking in the spirit which it is intended: giving customers the power to better view and control their finances. Of course they have had to be forced by regulators to get to this point, but the relative speed at which they have adapted their core mobile app is certainly progress for the sector as a whole.