Xero has announced in a blog that HSBC has continued to enhance the integration to its software. Using the latest set of API’s the HSBC bank feed is now designed to “set and forget”. This means that once configured users no longer need to change anything or restart the service. Users of Xero and HSBC, account holders only need their login details for both the Xero and HSBC accounts.
The bank feed still operates only once a day at 11am, though unlike many others it appears to occur seven day a week. The blog infers that this is a new style of bank feed that uses a more robust connector. Though the blog does not explain in detail what difference this will make other than for the initial set up.
Accounting partners are able to find out which clients can upgrade to this new feed through Xero Bank Explorer.
HSBC drop price
HSBC has also dropped the price for the feed. The new price is £1.50 per month. This is in line with what NatWest, RBS charge. Metro bank charge only £1.00. Barclays bank are still charging £3.00 per month, though whether they will lower that charge now will be interesting to see.
Xero also announced that Cumberland Building Society has introduced direct feeds to Xero. It brings the number of banks that integrate bank feed to Xero to ten. Missing from the list is Lloyds and TSB in terms of the main UK banks.
What does this mean
For small businesses in the UK this is good news if they can take advantage of it. Understanding what their current bank balance and the current cash flow situation is critical to survival. HSBC itself is one of the leading UK banks to small businesses. It has invested £24 billion in loans to small business in the last three years and has more than 1 million customers. Whether this integration will improve further and give more ready access to finance for small businesses is unclear, but it is a path that HSBC should consider. Small businesses often need rapid access to funding and if the banks, with clear visibility of how a business functions can allocate loans to those business electronically, it could help significantly.