FreeAgent, the innovative cloud accounting provider, has secured an industry first by successfully connecting its software to the UK’s biggest banks through the new Open Banking framework.
The company, which makes award-winning software for small businesses and their accountants, has linked banking data from the CMA9 - the nine-strong group of the UK’s biggest banks as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as part of the Open Banking initiative. The move means FreeAgent is the first accounting software company in the UK to achieve this functionality.
FreeAgent is now beta-testing new banking data feeds with the CMA9 - whose customers include more than 80% of the UK’s small business owners - with a view to officially launching them this summer. Once live, FreeAgent customers will be able to receive a fast, secure flow of data directly into their business accounts, giving them greater visibility over their finances.
The CMA9 connection means that FreeAgent will be able to provide Open Banking data feeds to customers of the following banks:
- AIB Group UK (trading as First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland)
- Bank of Ireland (UK)
- Barclays Bank
- HSBC Group (including First Direct and M&S)
- Lloyds Banking Group (including Bank of Scotland and Halifax)
- Nationwide Building Society
- Northern Bank Limited (trading as Danske Bank)
- The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (including NatWest and Ulster Bank)
- Santander UK
Earlier this year, FreeAgent became the first accounting software in the UK to provide any kind of data feed through Open Banking - which it provided to customers with RBS and NatWest business accounts.
Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “We see Open Banking as an integral part of our mission to help small business owners understand their finances better and make more informed decisions about their businesses. Becoming the first software in our industry to connect to CMA9 banks and enable a strong, robust flow of financial data is therefore a great achievement that shows we are at the vanguard of Open Banking for small businesses in the UK.
“Open Banking was designed to put more capability and control into the hands of business owners and bank customers. 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 a small business.
“We're looking forward to building on our Open Banking foundations and showing our users what we'll be able to do for them in the future with more direct access to transaction information and payments."