Editor | 21 February 2019
FreeAgent is First UK Accounting Software to offer Direct Bank Feeds

FreeAgent is First UK Accounting Software to offer Direct Bank Feeds

FreeAgent is the first UK accounting software provider to offer direct bank feeds via the Open Banking platform.

The announcement means that freelancers and small businesses will soon get secure access to their bank account information in FreeAgent.

They will be able to access up to six years of transaction data and eventually, will be able to create an initiate payments from within the software.

The new feature uses the Open Banking framework to deliver data feeds straight from the user’s bank account.

It is the first step on FreeAgent’s new Open Banking strategy that will see more features added over the coming years to help small business owners manage finances more effectively.

Open Banking is an initiative designed to help create a new generation of financial products and services that give individuals and small and medium-sized businesses a more detailed understanding of their money.

The Open Banking apps and financial products are regulated by the FCA (or a European equivalent) and have to demonstrate that they have bank-level security systems in place before they can ask for a user’s permission to process bank data.

Previously, applications could get access to banking data by using ‘screen scraping’ software that  could read transaction data from your bank account.

This kind of software wasn’t always reliable and banks said that using these services could undermine protections over financial data.

As Open Banking services become more widespread, these ‘screen scraping’ solutions will become less and less viable.

FreeAgent, which was bought out by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) last year, will initially only offer bank feed integration to RBS and Nationwide users before a wider rollout planned later this year.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “We’re really excited to be the first accounting software to offer Open Banking feeds in the UK. From our customers’ perspective it will seem like only a small change to their FreeAgent experience, but it represents a significant step in how they will interact with their data in the future.

“We see Open Banking as as an integral part of our mission to help small business owners understand their finances better and make more informed decisions about their businesses. Eventually, we envisage a whole ecosystem of fintech apps, features and services powered by Open Banking that will make it easier than ever for people to run and maintain their own business."

Miles Grady, Director of CloudAccountant.co.uk said: “We expect to see a whole new generation of financial products, helping businesses make better financial decisions. Open Banking will make it easier than ever for people to maintain their businesses and in a few years time, it will be difficult to imagine this kind of software without banking data.

“With their privileged position working directly with Royal Bank of Scotland, FreeAgent are likely to stay at the forefront of Open Banking innovations for years to come.”

If you would like to learn more about FreeAgent and Open Banking, please speak to a member of the team today. Call: 0808 281 0303.