HSBC’s new app will let you manage accounts from other banks
A new banking app by HSBC will let the user manage multiple accounts with other banks, from one app.
“HSBC Beta” will allow users to add accounts from 21 different banks, 98% of the market, when it launches next month as an iOS app for around 10,000 customers. This will be a ‘test and learn’ platform ahead of a general launch for both iOS and Android phones expected in early 2018.
The new app was introduced at HSBC’s Innovation Outpost event, in London on Tuesday and has been trialled by 200 customers so far.
The move is part of the bank’s $2 billion spending into modernisation, to keep up with a banking sector that is constantly being challenged by the introduction of new technology. It is aimed at competing with apps like Monzo that are geared at making banking easier.
“Lots of people ask us if a big bank like HSBC is relevant in today’s competitive fintech landscape,” said head of digital for UK and Ireland Raman Bhatia. “What sets us apart is that we have millions of customers, which provides a unique insight into how we can continue to improve our digital banking offering.”
All banks are moving towards more open ways to handle data. In January next year, a new directive called Open Banking will come into force. The biggest banks will have to give third parties access to their data, in detail to the level of current account transactions. These rules were set out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last year.
This will change again when, PSD2 is the second Payment Services Directive developed by the European Union, comes into place. The regulations are designed to further break down the monopoly banks have on their customers’ data.
But Bhatia said this is just the start of the new features HSBC has in store. Other ideas on their way include a feature that shows how much money users have to spend until payday, and Spend Analysis, which puts purchases into categories so user can analyse their spending.
HSBC is no stranger to new technology. The bank was one of the first banks to push ahead with biometric banking, as the bank rolled out voice recognition and fingerprint ID systems for 15 million customers in January last year.
“The launch of voice and Touch ID makes it even quicker and easier for customers to access their bank account, using the most secure form of password technology – the body,” Francesca McDonagh, HSBC UK’s head of retail banking and wealth management said at the time.
When it comes to the security of the new app, the company says they are taking it seriously.
“We are currently reviewing our terms and conditions to take into account developments in open banking and APIs which will include the use of third party providers and will be in place before the new regulations come into force,” a spokesman said.
“With the introduction of PSD2 (payment directive) in January, the rules around banking apps are likely to change, and financial intuitions are aware of this. As we are first trialling Beta, by the time it is available to the wider public we expect more information on how terms and conditions across all banks will be affected by PSD2.”