Six million Barclays customers to get access to new Open Banking feature

By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 12 September 2018

Editor's PickDigital Banking

The high street bank will begin rolling out its new tool from today.

Six million Barclays customers to get access to new Open Banking feature
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Barclays is looking to turn Open Banking to its advantage.

Big banks are often pitched as the victims of the new framework, which has been live since the start of the year. The rules force the UK’s biggest banks to allow third parties to tap into their vast reserves of customer data, with the proviso that permission must be granted by the customer in question.

The hope is that third parties – often fintech firms – will use this trove of transactional data to build a range of customer-centric features, such as money management and comparison tools.

But the banks who must open themselves to third parties may also use the framework to access data held by their rivals.

Barclays has today launched a new feature designed to do exactly that.  

The new tool allows app Barclays Mobile Banking users – all six million of them – to view information on accounts held with seven rival UK banks. Those banks are Lloyds, Halifax, Santander, Nationwide, RBS, Bank of Scotland and NatWest. More providers will be added soon, according to a video released by the bank (below), in which First Direct, HSBC and M&S are also mentioned. 

Barclays boasts a grand total of 24 million UK customers, but the new tool is only available to app users.

Using the tool, customers may view all transactions and balances across accounts held with any of the seven integrated banks. Those customers can get access without having to enter security information, as the accounts have been integrated using API technology.

Barclays claims to be the first UK bank to have used APIs to launch an Open Banking feature within its app.

At this stage, it’s a read-only tool – meaning payments cannot be made using accounts held with other banks.

The free feature will begin being rolled out from tomorrow. It will be available to all Barclays UK personal current account holders, including Premier, Wealth Management and Private Clients.

Catherine McGrath, managing director of Retail Banking at Barclays, said in a statement: “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, offering a simple and secure way to get a clearer picture of your finances, all in the place six million of our customers already go to do their banking.”

Barclays customers can also use a Third Party Permission Centre to decide which information they want to share under Open Banking rules.

Up to now, HSBC has been arguably the most proactive UK bank when it comes to Open Banking. The company launched a flanker brand (separate from its core app and website) called Connected Money earlier this year, giving customers an overview of all their current accounts. 

Barclays’ claim to be the first UK bank to launch an Open Banking feature using APIs is based on the tool being fully integrated into the existing Barclays Mobile Banking app, rather than existing as a standalone brand.   


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