Open Banking doesn't change your relationship with your bank. It means that, if you choose to, you can share certain pieces of information with other financial services providers or use them to send money directly from your current accounts. This could help you make more informed decisions about the products and services that you use. You don't have to use Open Banking and you give your consent to other providers on a case-by-case basis. You can also revoke your consent to sharing data at any time.
Open Banking is designed to make it quicker and easier to compare financial products and, for example, select the right current account for you. With Open Banking, when you're getting online quotes or comparing accounts, you may be able to share your up-to-date current account information with a regulated third party - this means they will know the deal you're currently getting and can provide more tailored recommendations.
There may also be services which offer budgeting and debt management guidance. These are just examples and the idea is that Open Banking allows regulated third parties to provide a range of different services. You will also be able to send money directly from your current account to some online retailers and transfer to other accounts.
Only businesses and organisations regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or another relevant financial services regulator in the EU are allowed to use Open Banking APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), and strict security mechanisms and governance structures are in place for anyone wishing to access and use customer account information.
The organisations must also be on the Open Banking register, which means that a request from a third party who is not on the register would be turned down.
If you have an M&S current account and want to use Open Banking, you must be registered for Internet Banking and have an M&S PASS. When you give consent to someone to access your financial information or make a payment, you'll be re-directed back to us to authorise the request using your Internet Banking details and your M&S PASS.
If a company asks you to share information, they have to be clear what they are going to do with it, and how long they will keep it for. The only current account data they can ask you for through Open Banking is divided into the following four groups:
- Account name, number and sort code, account balance and any other name which you give to your accounts
- Direct Debits, standing orders and other payee agreements that you may have set up
- Incoming and outgoing transactions
- The types of accounts you have, including benefits, fees, services and interest
It is your choice if you use Open Banking. It is aimed at helping you have more control over your finances and offers a new way to send money, but this is your choice. You may decide to wait and see what services are offered in the future before deciding to take part.
If you don't want to use Open Banking you don't need to formally opt out, just decline any request to access your current account information via Open Banking.
To begin with, the nine largest retail banks and building societies operating in the UK and NI will be offering Open Banking to customers; Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC (including M&S Bank and first direct), Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, RBS Group and Santander.
Open Banking is an initiative driven by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), aimed at bringing greater competition and innovation to banking services. This could grant customers more control over their data and finances as well as access to other service providers to meet their needs.
A third party provider or TPP is a regulated third party – who, with express customer consent is able to access customer information held by Banks or help customers to send money directly from their accounts. Under new rules (Payment Services Regulations 2017), the TPPs will be regulated by the FCA in the UK.
If you have a concern about money sent from your M&S current account, please contact us.
If you have an issue with a product you bought, or if it hasn't arrived or you received the wrong item, please contact the retailer.
If money has been taken from your account without your authorisation, contact your bank or building society as soon as you notice. Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to pay your money back.
Open Banking Limited is the company set up, as required by the CMA in 2016 to deliver Open Banking. The OBIE works with the UK's largest banks and building societies as well as challenger banks, financial technology companies, third party providers and consumer groups to:
- Design the specifications for the Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) that banks and building societies use to securely provide Open Banking
- Support regulated third party providers and banks and building societies to use the Open Banking standards
- Create security and messaging standards
- Manage the Open Banking Directory which allows regulated participants like banks, building societies and third party providers to enrol in Open Banking
- Produce guidelines for participants in the Open Banking ecosystem
An API - or Application Programming Interface - is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. When it comes to Open Banking, think of it as an armoured vehicle carrying small packets of data between two places.
It's extremely secure and delivers only what is necessary and nothing more. The third party makes a request via the API, M&S Bank responds to it by packaging information up, encrypting it and sending back, but distance between the two is maintained at all times.