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Opening Banking

Idea suggested by Dan Wragg 1 year ago

Just wondered if ClearBooks has looked at integrating open banking so they can receive transactional detail through APIs?

I've got a Starling business account and they are currently pushing out compatibility with Xero and Freeagent..

Thanks

30 Replies

Thanks, Dan - yes we have that on our radar as it is indeed something we would like to explore, if there are any developments on this in future we will let everyone know.

Unfortunately this will probably be the difference between us switching to another provider next year or staying with Clearbooks which is a shame, especially as it's probably just as much a case of the banks being difficult than Clearbooks.

Having said that though, Clearbooks seemed to be going somewhere a few years ago but since they got funding all development and improvement seems to have stopped and the answer to most of the ideas on this forum are along the lines of "we might work on it in the future" so I don't have much faith that this will even happen.

HSBC opening bank feed too, and Xero is already on there.

So if Clearbooks is considering moving from Yodlee to native HSBC bank feeds, that will be great.

This is really high on the agenda - along with a new mobile app. Currently, the bigger projects we are working on are our new product Micro (hoping to scoop up some of the businesses still on spreadsheets when MTD officially launches) and preparing for MTD. These projects are nearing completion soon.

We are still releasing lots of small improvements which are being announced on the News section of the community (with some inapp notifications when appropriate).

https://secure.clearbooks.co.uk/community/news

So just to put this in to context - for me, Stripe integration into invoices and these bank feeds are the most critical, and as another poster said above it may be the difference between staying with Clearbooks and going to Xero. Would prefer to stay as moving data is difficult but not having the two features will probably cost me an hour a day...

Hi John,

Are you any further along with this given it was high on the agenda last year?

Thanks

Obviously not!

Clearbooks not interested to do anything Now openbanking is open and yodlee feeds are till septeber So its time to move to Xero

I'm so sorry I missed this post - we have some official announcements about this soon (this month hopefully), we have indeed been preparing and this is currently in development (in collaboration with our existing integration partners Yodlee).

Hi John,

Gentle reminder - where are we on Open Banking?

Nearing the end of FY, it's my annual decision time - should I move to Xero or not?

Thanks!

Hi Perry,

This is still in development but nearing completion - some official email coms will be sent to all customers soon.

Last month, Clear Books secured FCA registration to provide Open Banking bank feeds.

Yes!

Things are moving forward...

Currently I'm using Yodlee to sync my accounts. Would open banking mean that we can by-pass Yodlee and get live banking updates to our account?

Hi Sam,

No. So, our open banking feeds will be done in cooperation with Yodlee and so will still be run through the Yodlee feed system.

All the best,

Mohamed.

No further update? Seems to be little to no development at Clearbooks now unfortunately.

Guys, are we really no further on with this?

Over a year on from the original post and we are no further forward?

@Mohamed You kindly replied to my message 5 months ago about by-passing Yodlee in favour of direct Open Banking Access. Interestingly you said you planned to continue the partnership with Yodlee however I just came across an Article written by Darren Taylor (who I'm assuming works for or worked for Clearbooks) who stated the following, all be it, back in 2014:

"Had any bank offered an API, Clear Books would interface with that bank directly, cutting the middle man — Yodlee. But no bank does, and that’s where Yodlee comes into play."

The original article can be found here: https://www.clearbooks.co.uk/blog/yodlee-issues-an-explanation/

I'm just wondering what has changed and why using Open Banking directly is not on the table?

Thanks

Sam

Hi Sam,

I'm afraid that Darren no longer works here. To answer your question more fully, open banking is just a requirement for banks to comply to a set of standardised API made available to the public. A third party is not necessary but is the most viable way of providing bank feeds whilst we focus on developing/ improving Clear Books. Due to the complexity of Open Banking, regulators have delayed this to March.

We are currently working towards offering open banking options in time for that enforcement date.

All the best,

Mohamed.

Open Banking is currently in operation with a number of banks - March is the date they MUST comply by.

My bank Starling use direct feeds with Xero, for free. No need to link with Yodlee or any other archaic system. This, along with a few other reasons, is why I'm having to think about leaving Clearbooks.

Hi Dan,

I'm sorry to hear that you want to leave. If you wouldn't mind sharing with me what other reasons you have for wanting to leave I would be interested to know.

Regarding open banking, I'm afraid that at the moment we are not able to provide open banking feeds, but we are currently working towards being fully compliant in time for the March deadline and to provide direct feeds.

Just to clarify, however, the direct feeds provided by Xero are done via a third party called Openwrks.

All the best,

Mohamed.

Hi Mohamed

There's a few things -

Stripe payments - We would like customers to be able to pay an invoice, on the invoice, we currently have to raise a separate invoice through stripe to achieve this. I asked about this a few years ago, as it really should be basic feature - but no movement.

Open Banking.

Till integration - My till software will integrate with Xero (at a cost) which will allow daily sales postings that I can't do automatically with ClearBooks.

To name a few...

My biggest issue is the lack of development, which has left Clearbooks left behind. We've been with Clearbooks since incorporation - 7 years now, and nothing has really been developed.

Hi Dan,

Sorry for the late reply. I can understand your points. I do understand that Stripe is a major point and at this moment in time we do not support this and it is not something we are able to provide in this moment in time. Till integration is also another thing that we do not support and that is not on our roadmap at present I'm afraid.

Open banking is something we are actively developing at present and that we will be in a position to offer by the deadline date. So for this we can say with certainty that we will be able to provide this.

We are also developing a new API that will provide the opportunity for further integrations.

Finally, we have just completed development of our new mobile app which was our most popular feature request of late.

If you do decide to leave, I wish you all the best and I hope that all your future endeavours are successful.

All the best,

Mohamed.

Any update on connecting to a Starling Business account?

Hi Osbert,

I'm afraid not at this moment in time. We are still working on our open banking implementation. We would be able to confirm details nearer the time.

All the best,

Mohamed.

Thanks for prompt and clear response. Unfortunately I'll now be moving away from Clear Books after many years. Now the others offer the option of seamless integration, I no longer have the patience to export csv bank files and import them to book keeping software.

Hi Osbert,

I am sorry to hear that you are not happy. I have checked with our product team and I can confirm that we will have support for Starling bank feeds established by Mid-March. This is a preliminary ETA at this stage but I just thought that I would mention this as I can see this is a significant point of dissatisfaction for you. If you have any further questions please let me know.

All the best,

Mohamed.

Hi Mohamed

Thanks for the preliminary ETA - that is indeed good news. If this works in the next month or so, then no need for me to change services. Apart from this, Clear Books generally meets my needs.

Hi Osbert,

I am very happy to hear that we meet your needs in all other areas! I'm sure we will have a lot more information nearer the time. I hope you have a lovely day and if you need anything further, please let us know.

All the best,

Mohamed.

@Osbert - I sympathise with you. After 11 years on Clearbooks it is embedded in our company processes. In the past few years I have been tempted to move to Xero.

There are two big features (that I sponsored early in Clearbooks history) that are missing in Xero:

  • Automatically submitting VAT ECSL (with Brexit this may not be a requirement next year? Who knows)
  • Setting up your own SMTP server so the emails come from your company account directly - less chance of spam detection.

But yeah: problematic automatic bank feeds and ancient APIs are really major Clearbooks disadvantage.

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