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Open banking comes to Reckon! Bank transfers and data feeds are now supercharged

June 27, 2024

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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In a new deal with SISS Data Services (Australia’s leading independent provider of secure bank data services) Reckon is proud to add powerful and secure bank data services to our payroll and accounting software.

As Reckon CEO Sam Allert noted on the fresh partnership,

We’re very excited to deliver this significant enhancement for our small business customers,” said Sam Allert, CEO of Reckon. “By moving to Open Banking, Reckon customers can now enjoy secure, reliable access to all sorts of accounts, including transaction, savings, deposits, loans and credit cards, from a wide range of banks and other financial institutions.”

This integration with the new standard for digital banking is a great step forward in terms of futureproofing Reckon’s solutions and ensuring secure and robust functionality that embraces efficiency and financial transparency.

As Grant Augustin, CEO and founder of SISS Data Services noted on the open banking enhancement to Reckon’s accounting software,

“We’re delighted to be working with Reckon – another innovative Australian technology firm, and one that places a high priority on delivering the most robust, secure solution to their customers. Bank data feeds are key to the efficiency and ease of use Reckon customers enjoy, and we’re thrilled to be working with Reckon to take this to the next level”.

What exactly is open banking?

In a broad sense, open banking is a financial concept that refers to the practice of providing third-party financial service providers open access to consumer banking, transaction, and other financial data from banks and non-bank financial institutions using application programming interfaces (APIs).

Here are some of the key aspects of open banking:

  • Data sharing:
    Banks allow third-party financial service providers to access consumer banking data (with consumer consent) through APIs.
  • Innovation:
    It fosters innovation by enabling third-party developers to create new applications and services that can utilize banking data.
  • Consumer control:
    It gives consumers greater control over their financial data, allowing them to share it with other banks or financial services providers to get better deals or more personalized services.
  • Competition:
    It promotes competition in the financial services sector by reducing barriers to entry for new players and facilitating easier comparison of financial products.
  • Regulation:
    Open banking initiatives are often regulated to ensure data security, privacy, and fair competition among financial institutions.

Open banking is a way to drive financial inclusion, improve customer experience, and stimulate competition and innovation in the banking and financial services industry. It has gained momentum in various countries, driven both by regulatory mandates and market demand for more personalised financial services.

How does open banking work in accounting and payroll software?

So that’s the broader definition of open banking, however this concept lends itself differently to various applications.

When it comes to accounting software like Reckon, what are we more specifically talking about?

Open banking can significantly benefit accounting software by streamlining the process of accessing and integrating financial data from various sources. This is especially true for the general ledger. Here’s how open banking typically works for accounting software:

  • Data access via APIs:
    Banks and financial institutions provide APIs that allow third-party applications, including accounting software, to securely access transactional data and other financial information. These APIs are standardized to ensure compatibility across different banks and financial services.
  • Automatic data retrieval:
    Accounting software can use these APIs to automatically retrieve transaction data from a user’s bank accounts and credit cards. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, reducing errors and saving time for businesses and individuals.
  • Real-time updates:
    Open banking APIs often provide real-time or near-real-time updates of financial transactions. This allows accounting software to provide up-to-date financial information and insights without delays.
  • Improved accuracy and efficiency:
    By automating data retrieval and reconciliation processes, open banking enhances the accuracy of financial data in accounting software. This improves overall efficiency in financial reporting, budgeting, and analysis.
  • Integration with other financial services:
    Beyond basic transaction data, open banking APIs can provide access to a wide range of financial services such as loan applications, investment management, and payment processing. Accounting software can integrate these services to offer more comprehensive financial management solutions to users.
  • Enhanced security and compliance:
    Open banking APIs typically adhere to stringent security standards to protect user data. Users must consent to data sharing, ensuring that their financial information is accessed securely and in compliance with relevant regulations (e.g., GDPR in Europe, PSD2).
  • Innovation in accounting services:
    Open banking encourages innovation in accounting software by enabling developers to create new features and services that leverage real-time financial data. This can include predictive analytics, personalised financial advice, and automated financial workflows.

Overall, open banking transforms accounting software by providing seamless access to financial data, improving efficiency, accuracy, and user experience in financial management and reporting. It aligns with broader trends towards digital transformation in finance, benefiting both businesses and individuals.

What makes open banking so useful to business owners?

So how does all of this make your life easier as a business owner?

  • Instant access to real-time bank feed data:
    This ensures immediate updates on online banking transactions within your general ledger software. This provides a current view of your financial activities and balances without delay.
  • Streamlining administrative tasks:
    integrated bank feeds automatically import transactions into your general ledger software. This eliminates the need for manual data entry by accountants, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.
  • Enhancing productivity:
    Business owners, bookkeepers, and accountants no longer need to chase data, upload bank statements, or complete manual setups for bank feeds. This improvement boosts overall efficiency, allowing accountants (or savvy business owners) to focus more on providing services.

If you want to feel the power of open banking in our flagship cloud accounting solution, check out Reckon here, or if you use it already, this capability will be automatically updated.

Why leave it there?

To find out more about Reckon

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