by George Nott

Pocketbook app first to integrate with Macquarie open banking platform

Jan 17, 2018
APIsBusiness IntelligenceCollaboration Software

Personal finance management app Pocketbook says it is the first app to integrate with Macquarie’s open banking platform.

The platform, which provides APIs so fintechs and other third-party providers can more easily connect to customer data and offer new services, was initially piloted in September.

The Pocketbook integration will give its users “the option to connect and manage their personal finances” and more easily “add their banking and credit card accounts” the company behind the app, Zip Co, announced this morning.

Pocketbook users are able to manage access to their data in real-time through the Macquarie banking app. Authorised third party providers like Pocketbook have read only access to that customer’s data through a secure token which then reads the data from Macquarie’s systems.

The platform removes the requirement for customers to reveal banking login details to third parties, meaning services can be accessed far more securely.

Macquarie is an early-mover in providing APIs for third parties to connect to its banking data and is the first to do so comprehensively.

The bank is “the first in Australia to give customers control over their everyday banking data and the power to securely manage how they want to share it” it said.

ANZ bank has made a limited number of APIs – unrelated to customer banking data – available via its developer hub.In December 2016, NAB launched a developer portal with a limited number of APIs relating to NAB branch and ATM locations and NAB foreign exchange rates.

Payments giant Visa, meanwhile has published more than 40 APIs “for every payment need” on its developer platform. Financial institutions that fail to make their APIs openly availablewere “doomed”Visa’s ANZ head of product Rob Walls toldComputerworld Australiain September.

“This is a landmark day for Australian fintech. Pocketbook’s first-of-its-kind integration with Macquarie’s banking and financial services group shows that momentum for this innovation is growing fast and we are at the forefront,” said Zip co-founder and CEO, Larry Diamond.

“Zip is committed to transparent, fair and friendly financial products that support the totality of a customer’s financial health. Pocketbook is integral to this mission as is open banking, which will give customers access to their data, foster transparent financial decisions and promote competition within a safe and trusted framework.”

Pocketbook is the largest non-bank Australian financial management app with over 400,000 users. It was acquired by the ASX-listed Zip Co – which is behind the ZipMoney and ZipPay brands – in 2016.

Alvin Singh, Pocketbook co-founder and CEO added: “This is all about creating a great user experience – as easy and intuitive as authenticating via Facebook or Google. It’s a pleasure to see Macquarie’s banking and financial services group embracing the benefits open banking can bring to Australian consumers.”

In July last year the Government commissioned an independent review to recommend the best approach to implement an Open Banking regime in Australia.

The report was due at the end of last year but has not yet been released.

“Our customers have been telling us they want to securely connect their information into their favourite accounting software, budgeting app and other innovative services they’re interested in. Macquarie’s open platform will make this possible,” Ben Perham, head of personal banking in Macquarie’s banking and financial services group, said when the platform was launched in September.

“We’ve built a highly personalised digital banking experience, so empowering our customers to securely manage how they want to use their own data is the logical next step,” he added.