Lloyds and Halifax launch Open Banking aggregation

Lloyds and Halifax have launched Open Banking app functionalities to allow customers to see their account balances with other banks in one place.

Customers using their mobile banking apps will be able to view accounts and transactions with RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Santander and Nationwide, without the need for multiple logins, as part of new financial data sharing functionality.

Announcing the move, the banking group said that more providers would be added to the Open Banking functionality “in time”.

Customers can add an account in their online banking app using a secure Application Programming Interface (API) connection by choosing the account provider, logging on to the service and selecting the accounts that they want to share with the requisite security permissions.

Stephen Noakes, transformation director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Bringing Open Banking technology into our apps is the next step in a series of exciting new features designed to make it easier for customers to manage their money online.”

In a separate development, Halifax revealed that it was planning a redesign of its mobile banking app over the course of this year in line with the trend for customer friendly interfaces pioneered by the likes of Monzo and Starling.

Shortly afterwards, Tom Blomfield, chief executive of challenger bank Monzo was alerted by social media users to the new design’s apparent similarities with the Monzo interface.

In a lighthearted Tweet, Blomfield pointed out that the card used in the advert still featured Monzo’s BIN number and the name of a member of staff.

He tweeted: “It's great to see your updated brand identity, but it looks like you forgot to update couple of things.

“The card in the photo still displays the @monzo BIN (5355 22) and the name of one of our staff members.”

A spokesperson for Halifax explained that the advert was: “One of many early mock-ups of a potential redesign of the Halifax app, but one we’re not going to use. We look forward to revealing our new look app soon.

They added: “Our design agency have apologised to us for the inadvertent release of one of their concept images, but we have told them ‘no harm done’.”

The new functionalities come after the banking brands launched a suite of features to help online banking customers keep track of spending and protect against fraud, including Google Maps, helping to track the location of debit card transactions.

This service is already available for Android customers and will soon be available for iOS devices.

The banking group also announced plans to integrate payday information with outgoing bills and direct debits as it steps up efforts to use financial data to help clients budget.

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