More than a quarter of UK current account customers will be able to view products from different banks on one screen thanks to a new app feature from a banking giant.
Lloyds Banking Group – the country’s largest current account provider – has become the latest high street name to utilise open banking, This is Money can reveal.
It says that Lloyds Bank and Halifax customers will now be able to view their personal accounts at up to six rivals after an update to its mobile banking apps.
Bank of Scotland introduced open banking functionality for its customers in December 2018, but this has now been rolled out across the rest of the group’s banks.
Open banking: Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers can now view accounts at six different banks in its app
Customers can add an account in their online banking app using a secure open banking connection, by choosing an account provider, logging into the service and selecting the accounts they want to share.
Lloyds insists that login details for other banks will never be shared. Once that security process is complete, customers will have access to accounts and transactions in one place.
While the service is open only to Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers, those using the updated app can view accounts they hold with NatWest, RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Santander and Nationwide, and it more providers will be added in time.
This means customers can view other current accounts they may hold, along with credit cards, personal loans and mortgages, that are with other firms.
Lloyds has become another major UK banking firm to introduce open banking functionality.
Banking giant HSBC also released its ‘Connected Money’ app last year, but that relies on screen scraping, rather than open banking functionality.
Screen scraping instead works by copying available data to an external database, which can then be viewed outside the original financial institution.
HSBC’s app allows users to view, though not manage, current accounts, savings accounts and mortgages from up to 21 different banks on one screen.
Barclays also allows its customers to view balances and transactions with seven other banks, including Lloyds and Halifax, while logged into its mobile app.
Through open banking, customers of both Halifax and Lloyds can add multiple accounts and cards from different providers securely and view all of them on one screen
It suggests that traditional high street banks are trying to keep pace with digital-only rivals, but it is still questionable how many customers will embrace open banking.
Research from PwC estimated that more than 33million people will sign up to open banking services by 2022 – but a survey of 2,000 people last month found only one in four had heard of open banking, and only one in five knew what it meant.
The Government-backed initiative celebrated its one-year anniversary last month, with the company overseeing its rollout – the not-so-catchy ‘Open Banking Implementation Entity’ – revealing then that more than 100 companies had enrolled so far and 100 more were waiting to join.
Open banking rules require UK banks to share their current account customer data.
This includes details on your income, spending habits and debts, with third-party internet companies.
The idea is that the third party can save you money by helping you budget or shop around for cheap deals.
Some of the new features added to Lloyds Bank and Halifax banking apps include a timeline of scheduled payments for regular bills and monthly direct debits, which the group says is designed to make budgeting easier.
Google Maps functionality is also included for Android customers, enabling them to see the exact location and details of debit card transactions.
Stephen Noakes, transformation director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: ‘We’re focusing on taking our industry-leading apps to the next level by offering customers a fuller view of their finances.
‘Bringing open banking technology into our apps is the next step in a series of exciting new features designed to make it easier for customers to manage their money online.
‘We recently launched a suite of features to help online banking customers keep track of spending and help protect against fraud, enhancing the safe, secure and seamless experience our customers are used to every day.’
Leon Muis, the COO of Yolt, said: ‘This is just another reminder that we are on the brink of an Open Banking revolution.
‘Consumers are already benefiting from more personalised products and services that simply weren’t possible a year ago and, at Yolt, we are ready and waiting for more accounts to be available, such as savings, to offer the consumer an even stronger solution.
‘Open Banking has the power to completely change the way all of us interact with our money. With Lloyds Banking Group helping to raise the profile of this relatively new regulation, I hope we will start to see more and more consumers seizing power and control of their data and finances.’
Is open banking safe?
Last year, our sister title Money Mail asked: Is the open banking revolution a fraudster’s charter?
Concerns have been raised over the safety aspect of open banking – but it is worth pointing out that you must give explicit permission to your bank to share your details – and you can withdraw consent at any time.
You can find out more about what the open banking ‘revolution’ is, whether you should hand over details, how an app will track your money, potential perks, how data is protected and how safe it is share passwords, in this story.