By Lynne Gowers on 17th October 2019

Open Banking and the Boox app

If you haven’t heard the term Open Banking before – don’t worry, it’s a good thing.

Open Banking is the secure way to give providers of your choice access to your banking information – paving the way for new and enhanced financial products and services that will help consumers and small businesses get a better deal.

Open Banking – background

Following a review of the retail bank market by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), it was found that traditional banks were tying up all the power and preventing new or smaller banks from entering the market, resulting in less choice and innovation and in customers having to pay more.

Open Banking is a series of reforms to remedy this. It is intended to create more competition in the banking industry and modernise outdated systems by allowing you to share your financial data with authorised providers (or other banks), as long as you give your permission.

For users of the Boox app, this is great news. It means that if you are a customer of any of the banks participating in the Opening Banking directive, then you can provide authority for us to import transactions from your business bank account directly into the Boox app, saving you from having to download and import your transactions or transmit the data to us by other means (for some customers we may already have direct bank feeds – more about that later)

Open Banking – available banks

  • Barclays
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • First Direct
  • Lloyds
  • M & S
  • NatWest
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander
  • Ulster Bank
  • Monzo
  • Revolut
  • Starling Bank

More banks may get included at a later date.

How does it work?

Opening Banking is driven by what are known as APIs, which stands for “Application Programming Interfaces”. This is the technology that makes it possible for software systems to talk to each other and exchange data securely.

Is it safe?

Absolutely. To use bank APIs, companies have to be authorised by the UK regulator (FCA) as Account Information Service Providers – AISPs. To do that they’ll need to prove they will comply with regulations to keep your account information safe and secure, and only use their access to provide the service that you’ve asked for.

Our partner for connecting to the Bank APIs is TrueLayer, who are FCA regulated as an AISP.

You do not give Boox or TrueLayer your banking login credentials – you only input these into your bank when connecting the bank feed.

Boox app users

Setting up Open Banking in the Boox app

Authorising us to connect with your bank through Open Banking is really easy.

If you have an existing account set up in the Boox app, just find that account under Banking > Bank Accounts and choose the “Connect” button.

You will then be guided through a series of steps which will take you to the authorisation pages of your bank so that you can instruct them to give us authority to connect and validate your credentials.

If you want to add an account for a bank that isn’t participating yet, then choose the option at the bottom of the list to “Add account manually”.

Once we have authority then we will download any data available since the last transaction that we have and keep it up to date from that point on.

If you do not have an existing account in the Boox app, you will need to add one.

Go to Banking > Bank Accounts and chose the “New Account” button.

Find your bank in the list and then follow the steps to connect.

What if I have an existing bank feed?

If you bank with one of the participating banks above and currently have a daily bank feed set up into the Boox app, we would still encourage you to provide us with authorisation to connect through Open Banking instead as this has become the approved standard for securely and reliably transmitting data.

Just chose the “Connect” option in the app (see below), complete the authorisation process, and we will then switch to utilising Open Banking as the mechanism for retrieving your data.

What if my bank doesn’t participate in Open Banking?

For those banks that aren’t yet participating in Open Banking then you can still provide your bank data to us as you do at the moment, either through a direct feed (if supported, contact us to discuss), or by importing a CSV download of the data that you exported from your online banking.

How do I disconnect?

If you no longer want us to be able to access your account, then you have two options:

  1. Find the account (s) under Banking > Bank Accounts and choose the “Disconnect” button.
  2. Revoke the authority through your Bank’s internet banking service.

Things to note

  • Only business accounts can be connected to the Boox app. If you inadvertently choose a personal account, then we will advise that it can’t be connected and will disconnect the authorisation.
  • We will never have access to your bank login credentials.

Written by Lynne Gowers
Disclaimer Although we attempt to ensure that the Information contained in this publication is accurate and up-to-date at the date of publication it may not be comprehensive, we accept no liability for the results of any action taken on the basis of the information they contain and any implied warranties, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement and accuracy are excluded to the extent that they may be excluded as a matter of law.

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