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Open Banking

So what is Open Banking?

Open Banking is one of a number of changes to the banking industry in the UK - and you'll start to hear a lot more about it over the coming months, when the changes open up new possibilities for you. It's all about offering you more choice. Open Banking is designed to allow smaller and newer financial services providers to compete more easily with the bigger banks - allowing the bigger banks to compete with each other too - and offer you more choice for how you manage your money.

From January 2018, banks will begin to allow you to share pieces of current account information through Open Banking with other financial services providers. This could enable you to use different services, like seeing your accounts from different banks in one place or using price comparison sites to get a better idea of what current accounts might be best for you. You don't have to share any details through Open Banking if you don't want to. You're in control.

But if you do authorise your bank to share current account information via secure Open Banking, it could:

  • save you time when shopping around for financial services and other products, like utilities, with no need to enter information multiple times
  • use your data to ensure you receive more personal, more relevant quotes
  • allow you to manage many or all of your accounts using innovative money management tools; and as Open Banking develops, it could extend to other financial services like loans and credit cards
  • give you a new way to pay at online checkouts, straight from your bank account.

What changes will I see as a result of Open Banking?

Nothing will change overnight, but over the course of 2018 you should start to see more and more companies giving you the option to share your current account information to help them provide their services. You may also be able to start making payments to online retailers directly from your current accounts. When you want to use these types of services, you'll be able to give your service provider consent and they'll redirect you to your bank's website to authorise them to deal with the other service provider.

If you're happy to share, you'll be able to give your service provider consent and they'll redirect you to your bank's website to authorise them to deal with the other service provider - just log in using your usual Internet Banking details, click to confirm you're happy, and the selected current account information will be sent to your chosen provider using a secure link.

Why is this good for you?

Because Open Banking is designed to give you greater control over your finances. For example, it could make it easier to compare and manage products. It means your financial services providers will need to work harder to offer competitive products, outstanding services and innovative tools to make sure you aren't tempted to leave.

All of which should help make Open Banking the best thing since sliced bread from a customer's point of view.

Coming soon - Artha by first direct

As you'd no doubt imagine, at first direct we want to take hold of the wonderful possibilities that Open Banking presents. That's why we're trialling a new money management app right now - Artha by first direct. Artha is designed to give both customers and non-customers an easy way to keep track of all of their money, all in one place - as more and more providers open up to Open Banking, you'll be able to let Artha watch over what's yours. Watch this space for more information...

Acronym Buster

Application Programming Interface

An API is a parcel of programming instructions that allows separate systems to securely interact.

Financial Conduct Authority

The FCA is the independent body that regulates the UK’s financial services industry.

Competitions & Markets Authority

The CMA is the UK government department responsible for strengthening business competition.

Payment Services Directive 2

PSD2 is the piece of EU legislation that enables Open Banking.



Frequently Asked Questions

    Open all
  • How is 'Open Banking' different to how I bank at the moment?

  • What are the benefits?

  • What data could be shared?

  • Is Open Banking secure?

  • What is an API?

  • When will Open Banking be available?

  • What do I have to do to get started - do I need to register for Open Banking?

  • Why has Open Banking been introduced?

  • I don’t want to share my data - how do I opt out of Open Banking?

  • I want to wait and see before I decide if want to join in - can I?

Any questions? We're here to help…

If you're a first direct customer with questions about Open Banking and how it will affect you, call us on 03 456 100 100 and we'll be happy to help.

Remember, you don't have to do anything if you don't want to - we'll never share your information with anyone without your permission.

If you're not a first direct customer and you'd like to be - find out more about switching to first direct here.

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