We learned from our Direct Access backend provider (Yodlee) that as of September 14th, 2019, IGG Software will be unable to support Direct Access for many Banking and Credit Card accounts held at UK and EU financial institutions. Loans, Mortgages, Bills, Stocks, and Insurance accounts will continue to be supported.
This end of service is a result of the new Open Banking regulations set forth by the UK Finance Conduct Authority.
When we first heard about Open Banking (that is Open Banking with a capital O and B) we were pretty excited. It meant our Direct Access (DA) backend provider wouldn’t need to screen scrape websites anymore and we would ultimately get cleaner, more reliable transaction downloading into Banktivity. It would also be more secure as you wouldn’t have to share your bank credentials. However, we got caught off guard. Our DA provider learned relatively late in the game that they wouldn’t be able to connect to the UK/EU banks on our behalf because of both technical and legal requirements of Open Banking.
The technical requirements are something that we are working on, and they fit into our broader roadmap. However, the legal requirements are not something we are currently pursuing. In short, in order for us to connect to the UK/EU banks, we need to be approved as an Account Information Service Provider. Seems pretty reasonable on the front. The problem is, as a small business in the United States, registering as an AISP isn’t feasible for us. We would need to set up a UK branch/office, form a legal entity there and so on. Even though we are just “across the pond” setting up shop in the UK just doesn’t make sense for a company our size.
While researching and learning about ways to incorporate Open Banking connections for our UK/EU customers, we learned about another data aggregation service that takes a different legal approach. In short, they are a registered AISP that shares customer’s financial data with third parties (like IGG) via GDPR. We have considered using this service, but to develop it and integrate it into our existing apps is a significant task. It is a move we are still considering, but we don’t know if or when we will do it. We wish we could offer a more definitive answer, but we just don’t have a clear path at this time.
Which banks are affected?
Other import and input options
If you have been relying on Direct Access to connect to some of your UK/EU banks you have a couple of options going forward:
• Download files from your bank’s website – Many banks allow you to download transactions from their website and you can then import these into Banktivity.
• Enter transactions manually – Banktivity has an outstanding transaction editor and transaction entry feature. You can manually enter your transactions and reconcile them with your bank statements to ensure they are accurate.