The race is on to uncover the UK’s most popular banking app in AccountingWEB’s 2019 software awards survey.
Developments in fintech (financial technology) over the past year have raised the profile of a new breed of hybrid banking/accounting services such as Countingup and Coconut, not to mention challenger banks such as Starling, Tide, Monzo, Cashplus and numerous others that are taking on the high street banking giants with online alternatives.
Then there’s the case of RBS/NatWest Group, which acquired small business bookkeeping software house FreeAgent. Intuit QuickBooks and Xero are looking at the market from the other direction, and are starting to position their accounting systems as platforms for small business payment, banking and finance processes.
In some cases, the latest developments have been stimulated by the open banking initiative, which has put in place standard application programming interfaces (APIs) to channel payments and transaction data in and out of bank accounts to authorised third party providers.
Funds for competitive innovation
Another factor behind the UK fintech boom is the RBS restitution fund to stimulate innovations that will take business bank accounts away from the big high street banks. Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and HSBC currently handle the vast majority of bank accounts for UK small businesses, but the government committed £425m to fund alternative suppliers in this sector after it bailed out RBS during the 2008 global financial crisis.
In February the Banking Competition Board that oversees the RBS fund granted £120m to Metro Bank, £100m to Starling and a further £60m to a joint bid from small business bank Tide and Clear Bank, its clearing partner. More cash will be doled out from further grant pools later in the year.
But are these grants achieving the desired effect by giving digital challengers a leg up? Or are the high street giants continuing to hold on to their dominant market shares due to customer inertia and apathy?
There’s only one way to find out… VOTE in the 2019 AccountingWEB software survey banking app category.
The survey feedback will serve a couple of purposes. First, we will include the information in one of our Software Reviews comparisons to help businesses and their accountants find the most suitable banking apps for their needs.
The survey will also give AccountingWEB live customer data that we can use to track the use of banking apps among our online community. Our thinking is that assessing banking apps is a good proxy for measuring small business satisfaction levels with banks old and new and that the insights we share with our members will make business banking decisions a little easier. All we need is your help.
About John Stokdyk
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.