Open Banking and sharing your information online

Sharing your banking information allows you to see all your bank accounts in one mobile app or online, analyse your spending and even allows you to make payments directly from your bank account. In this guide, we look at why you would share your information, what the benefits are and how to do it safely.

What is Open Banking?

Open Banking is a term used to describe a set of technologies and standards, which allows consumers to safely and securely share their account information, for example through apps and websites.

For example, you can choose to give secure access to your current account information, held by your account provider, to a regulated company via an app or website. Only you can decide what information you share and for how long, and no one gets access unless you give your permission.

To use an Open Banking service you need online or mobile banking for your personal or business current account.

Services allowing you to share your account information with a company other than your bank have existed for a while but have been provided through a system called screen scraping. Screen scraping involves capturing on-screen information, like taking a photograph of your data.

Open Banking is more secure than screen scraping because, for example, you don’t have to share your password or login details with anyone other than your bank or building society.

Why should I share my information?

Sharing your information allows companies to offer you a wide range of services. However, you can choose how your information is used and who it’s shared with.

You might see these services being provided by companies you recognise, such as high street banks, or by other companies. Services available might include:

  • Account dashboard and aggregation – you can see accounts from multiple banks and building societies in one mobile app or online.
  • Spending analysis – categorise transactions and payments across multiple accounts so you can see exactly how much you’re spending on certain things or with specific retailers.
  • Shopping around for services – for example, if you’re looking for a new energy provider on a comparison site, your spending habits will be automatically analysed and you’ll be able to find the best offers, without having to manually enter all your information.
  • Track financial goals – if, for example, you’re saving up for something, you can create a goal and monitor your progress.
  • Spending limits – see how much you’re spending over a period of time, once regular payments, such as rent and bills, are taken into account.

How can I check an Open Banking service is not a scam?

Check the app or website you want to use is FCA registered and is on the Open Banking website

When you sign up with a company for account information services, the provider should give you enough information to understand the nature of the service being provided and how it will use your data, including whether it will share your data with anyone else.

Before you use one of these services be alert, and make sure you are confident that any organisations you share your information with are who they say they are. You should make sure that you understand the service and that you are happy with who will be providing it to you.

If you don’t understand why you’re giving access, or who information will be shared with, you shouldn’t give permission. If you do not give permission, you will not be able to take advantages of the services being offered.

What information will Open Banking companies be able to see?

Companies should only ask for permission to access the information they need to provide the service they’re offering.

You can choose to give access to current accounts, flexible savings accounts, e-money accounts and credit cards.

Types of information you can share include:

  • account details including balance and name on the account
  • regular payment details, such as who you’re paying, standing orders and direct debits
  • transactions like incoming and outgoing payments from your bank or building society account
  • account features and benefits, such as fees, overdraft payments and rewards.

You can also give them permission to make payments from your bank account, including one-off payments. 

How will sharing my account information work?

To take advantage of account information services:

  • You will usually need to have an app downloaded onto your smartphone, or login to the website.
  • You will be asked to add the details of different bank accounts, so the company can bring all the information together.
  • Businesses who wish to access your information will have to give you enough information to understand how and why your data will be used.
If you choose to given them access to your bank account information, you will either be:
  • Directed to your banking app or online portal to login and confirm you wish to share this information.
  • Asked to send your bank details securely through their own portal.

Your bank will then give the company access to your data.

How will it work for online shopping and payments?

If you choose to use this service, some online retailers may allow you to make payments without using a card. You will recognise this when you get to the checkout and you’re directed to your bank’s website to login and give the retailer permission to request the payment from your bank.

This might also involve additional security checks, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) to prove it is you making the purchase.

For example, you might be sent a code to your mobile phone that you will need to enter to complete your purchase. You might also be asked to authenticate using your fingerprint, or facial recognition on your phone. 

How to give permission safely

To make sure you stay safe when using these services, there are a few things you need to do.

  • Check the company you’re using, or thinking about using, are on the FCA register and the Open Banking website
  • Check your statements and if you notice any unusual activity or payments from your account, contact your bank or account provider straight away.
  • Make sure you know how to cancel authorisation. You should be able to find this information on the company’s website, or by calling them.

Staying safe online is very important.

What to do if something goes wrong

If you notice a payment out of your account which you did not authorise, the first thing you should do is contact you bank or building society as soon as possible. If you did not authorise it, you can claim a refund.

You also have the right to complain directly to a company and they must respond within 15 days, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If your data has been used for something you didn’t agree to, contact the organisation involved. They are required to explain how and why they are processing your information, if you make a formal complaint.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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