HSBC first big UK bank to launch a standalone open banking app

apps istock outline205
© iStock

HSBC is the first major UK bank to launch an app which takes advantage of open banking, showing customers all of their accounts, wether they are with HSBC or not

Share

After over six months of testing a beta app, HSBC has become the first of the big UK banks to release a new app which gives users a single view of all their accounts, whether with HSBC or a rival bank.

HSBC UK proved itself an early mover with PSD2 and open banking - two pieces of regulation forcing banks to open up access to customer's financial data, with their express permission, to third parties - by announcing on 28 September that it will allow customers to see all of their current, savings and mortgage accounts from up to 21 different banks - including Santander, Lloyds and Barclays - within a new beta app.

Now with the new app, called Connected Money, it has built on this to allow HSBC customers to view any UK current accounts, credit cards, mortgages and loans in one place. This is done by connecting to the newly opened APIs the banks have been forced to publish by the open banking rules. Users will have to authorise each connection to see it within the app.

In practice this looks like all financial transactions are shown in a single stream, with each one clearly branded above the amount, be it an HSBC transaction or Barclays, Lloyds or American Express, as suggested by screenshots on the Connected Money website (above).

Raman Bhatia, head of digital for UK and Europe at HSBC said: "We listened to the customer feedback from HSBC Beta and took the parts customers liked best to develop the Connected Money app."

Read next: What is open banking? What does it mean for banks, fintech startups & consumers?

The bank is then layering smart features on top of this wealth of data, with features for spending analysis and 'balance after bills', which shows how much a user has left in their HSBC current account until payday, once their regular bills have been taken into account. There is also in-app messaging, so users can receive regular insights into their spending behaviour.

The bank is also working on a 'round-ups' feature, which rounds up a user's debit card purchases to the nearest pound and saves the difference, similar to UK fintech Moneybox. It is also working on nudges, to make savings rule suggestions to customers based on their spending habits.

The new app is available immediately for all HSBC UK current account customers using an Apple device with iOS 10 and above via the App Store.

Other banks

Of the other 'big four' banks, Barclays says: "Later this year we'll be launching new services using open banking, designed to make your life easier and to help you make the most of your finances. In the meantime, you can share your data and make payments from your current account via TPPs [third party providers] approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)."

RBS has said little regarding launching its own services based on open banking so far, but Sky News has reported on rumours that the bank is internally looking to launch a standalone digital bank, which would presumably look a lot like the UK's other challenger banks: Monzo, Tandem and Starling, to name a few.

Lastly, Lloyds is yet to announce any new products related to open banking.

Read next: Lloyds Banking Group prepares for open banking by shifting towards realtime data feeds

"HSBC Connected Money is the first app from a major global bank to offer account aggregation and being first to market shows our commitment to offering the best possible experience for our customers," HSBC's Bhatia said.