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Open Banking

Anything that puts customer choice first will always be welcomed by us, and we believe it will make banking better for everyone. But what is it? Here's the lowdown...

So what's Open Banking?

Open Banking has been designed to offer you greater control of how you manage your money by enabling you to share information with third parties who can provide a range of services such as seeing your accounts in one place, budgeting and comparison tools and much more. 

There are two core themes to Open Banking:

  • Account Information Sharing enables you to benefit from services provided by third party providers, such as price comparison sites to check if there might be a better account for you, or to see all your different  account balances and transactions in one place.
  • Making Payments enables you to send money directly from your account using a third party provider.

Additionally, a new payment method has been introduced (Card Based Payment Instrument Issuer) which allows a third party provider to issue you with a card which you link to the payment account of your choice.  You can make payments with that card and the third party provider will ask us for confirmation that you have funds in your account to cover the payment. We will only respond with a yes or no answer. If the third party provider wants to access funds in your accounts, they will need to make separate arrangements with you for this.

There are also two methods by which third parties may choose to access your account:

  • Application Programming Interface (API) based access where the third party provider will ask you for your consent and you'll be securely redirected to our online authentication process. This will be similar to the way you log on to our Online Banking services. If you’re using our Mobile Banking app you'll able to use your biometric (face or touch) to authenticate, where available. When the process is complete we will send the requested information to the third party provider or make the payment.
  • Third parties may access your accounts similarly to logging on to Online Banking. They will log on using your Online security credentials, which they will need to request from you each time.  You should be aware that they’ll have access to all the information and services you see online in relation to your accounts.  This includes the account summary, payee information and balance data. All third parties that access your information must comply with data protection laws and must be registered or authorised with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They must only access information and make payments that you have consented to.

How will this benefit me?

It’s up to you whether you choose to use third party providers and Open Banking. If you have accounts at different banks, there are apps which allow you to connect those accounts enabling you to view all the balances and transactions in a single place. There may be product comparison sites which could show you accounts that are better suited based on your actual usage. These are just a couple of examples, and it’s worth checking with the third party providers how exactly you could benefit from their services.

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.

Competition & 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

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.