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Bank Feeds - a Bear Trap for accountants

Bank Feeds - a Bear Trap for accountants

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Take NatWest for example. They insist that they don't charge their customers for providing a Bank Feed and it is not in their terms and conditions. But Xero says THEY are charged £1.50 a month ny NatWest + VAT for each bank account which they pass on to the customer.

Now take the Accountant's business model. You charge a monthly sum to the customer which includes software 'worth £20' but you are happy because you are only paying £10 for it ON CONDITION that you pay for it and pass on the cost as part of the fee.

This is where it is a bear trap. Say the customer has three Bank accounts. If you did not make it clear to the client that £4.50 would be added to their bill they are going to be a very unhappy bunny. They might even refuse to pay, leaving you out of pocket.

I don't think that this implication is made sufficiently clear

By the way ...
Under Open Banking we are supposed to own our data, and I am not aware that data used by Auto Sergei has to be paid for. Can someone answer this?

Is it that there is a distinction between Bank Feeds (inotiated by banks) and data pulled in by APIs (which the accounting developers do not seem to be using)?


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12th Feb 2019 21:06

Bigger picture is that the small cost of a bank feed is worth paying for because of the time it will save

Santander is only bank I recommend as there bank feeds are excellent and free

As open banking rolls out I suspect most charges will disappear

If a clue t is going to spit the dummy out for £4.50 yet has enough money that he needs 3 banks then I wouldn’t probably want to deal with him

I would happily pay £20 per month for a cloud subscription for a client because of the time saving it gives you compared to messing around with say Sage desktop back ups etc

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13th Feb 2019 08:00

I include the direct bank feed cost in my monthly charges; it’s worked into my plan to pay an av £3pcm/client. It’s worth the money to know it’s there & I don’t have to rely on the client to reset the Yodel bank feed when it breaks.

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13th Feb 2019 08:50

Most clients have only one bank. I know the cost of bank feeds before I quote, but if I forgot then an extra £1.50 of costs isn't going to break the bank. As others have said, I'd happily pay that for the convenience.

We don't actually get a 50% discount on software, but if I did I think that I could live with that being reduced by £4.50

We also don't put a value on the included software. I wouldn't expect a garage to specifically charge me an extra £10 for their diagnostic software.

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13th Feb 2019 09:17

The problem is that the banks are being sneaky with the direct feeds. Yes they don't charge their customers but they do charge the software companies for allowing them to have the data. I know in the rest of the world it is only small amounts so Xero suffers the costs but in the UK the bank charges so high amounts they can't swallow the cost. For example there is no fee for HSBC Hong Kong accounts on Xero but there is for their UK counterparts.

Yes API feeds will be free and slowly they are coming on board. (Xero if you are reading this when is Lloyds happening as we have had so many failed promises).

However at the end of 2017, HSBC and Xero set up a new system (but at £1.50 per account rather than £3.00 ) for the direct bank feeds (but not a API method) so HSBC will not be rushing to change to free API route soon as they have to recoup their investment.

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