Barclays opens up mobile banking app to rival accounts
Barclays has become the “first” UK bank to allow customers to bring their other current accounts into its mobile banking app.
With competition in UK banking tougher than an East End gangster, banks are trying to stand out and play a game of constant one-upmanship.
Barclays says this new feature gives customers a way to get a clearer picture of their day-to-day finances within its app. It uses API technology – all powered by open banking.
It’s also a riposte to the many fintech start-ups offering a similar service. For example, last month London-based personal finance app Bippit launched with the offer of an account connecting and savings service.
Catherine McGrath, managing director of retail banking at Barclays, says: “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.”
According to Barclays, customers can add current accounts without ever giving out their other banks’ usernames or passwords.
From today (12 September), customers who have a personal or business current account with Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, RBS, NatWest, Nationwide or Santander can choose to view their balances and transactions when they log into the Barclays app. More (unnamed) banks will be added over the coming months.
The free feature will be rolled out over the coming weeks to all Barclays UK personal current account holders including premier, wealth management and private clients.
On the radar
In a separate development, earlier this month New York-based developer platform Beacon closed a Series A funding round led by Pimco. Barclays and Global Atlantic Financial Group, a provider of retirement, life, and reinsurance products, completed the round. There were no financial details.
Beacon Platform licenses its developer platform, infrastructure services, and front office applications. It was founded in 2014 by technologists who worked with SecDB at Goldman Sachs and created Athena at JP Morgan and Quartz at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Beacon has over 70 employees with offices in New York, London, Berlin, and Tokyo.