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UK Bank Feeds – a new way of working

Posted 8 years ago in Advisors by Gary Turner
Posted by Gary Turner

Henry Ford, the pioneer of what we recognise today as Lean Manufacturing, introduced a revolution centred around the elimination of wasteful processes more than a century ago. In his autobiography he explained the essence of it as:

“I believe that the average farmer puts to a really useful purpose only about 5% of the energy he expends. Not only is everything done by hand, but seldom is a thought given to a logical arrangement…his whole idea, when there is extra work to do, is to hire extra men. He thinks of putting money into improvements as an expense. It is waste motion – waste effort – that makes farm prices high and profits low.”

While I wouldn’t suggest that Ford’s farmer is perhaps the best proxy for accounting, take a moment to look around your desk and office. Aside from the odd PC, I’d bet that paper still rules the roost. But more than that, repetitive paper based processes and workflows still dominate the world of accounting and bookkeeping.

We love a challenge

So, in a few weeks we’ll be rolling a new capability to our UK customers which securely imports daily banking transactions straight into Xero. While we’ve had this running for over twelve months for the hundreds of Xero UK customers who bank with HSBC, the UK bank feeds release will enable this ability for most UK banks, credit cards and financial institutions. Around eighty new UK feeds will be added all told.

So, why is this such a big deal for small businesses?

Cash is king. Providing the capability to check your live bank balance and cash transactions from within Xero not only means there’s one less website to visit every morning, it also means that cash based businesses have a fully automated mechanism for loading, analysing and reconciling their cash. Instead of sitting down once a fortnight – if you’re lucky – with a paper bank statment and then repeatedly manually keying, matching, marking and reconciling payments and invoices for each statement line, Xero will will enable you to do a bank rec in minutes every day. Not only do you save time but, critically, you get the benefit of complete, up-to-date visibility of cash.

So, why is this such a big deal for accountants?

Eliminating the need for accounts staff to manually capture, key and reconcile their clients’ accounts not only benefits the clients, but the internal practice efficiencies are multiplied many times over.

Is bank feed data capture a silver bullet, should all my data now come in from my bank statement?

No. While every business will benefit from automated bank feeds, it stands that the more cash based your business is the more you will benefit. But we believe that loading and coding with automated bank feeds, coupled with the full accrual accounting capabilities already present within Xero, will eliminate huge amounts of wasteful re-keying of cash movements, as well as providing hyper realtime management reporting that is sourced from the real, current cash position – not what it was weeks ago when you last did a full bank rec – could be transformational for many small businesses.

We are really excited about finally bringing this service comprehensively to the UK market, stay tuned for more insight as we get closer to launch.


Xero Makes a Breakthrough – UK Bank Feeds
October 20, 2010 at 7.11 pm

[…] just advised via their blog that in a few weeks they will be rolling out around 80 bank feeds from UK banks […]

iphone app development co
October 20, 2010 at 7.38 pm

I hope Lloyds is one of the eighty!

Dona Skaife (WBS Accountants)
October 20, 2010 at 8.33 pm

Brilliant move Xero, this now removes the barrier if having to remind the client to download the files and send if over to us for our quarter end work!

John Keane
October 20, 2010 at 11.16 pm

Business only, or also for personal?

Benjamin Bowles
October 21, 2010 at 3.52 am

I can’t wait for this, what a breakthrough!

Any chance of some early beta testing….

Catherine in reply to Benjamin Bowles Xero
October 21, 2010 at 11.15 am

@iphone app development co – Yes, Llyods is on the current list!

@John First up we’re bringing bank feeds into Xero Business only using the Yodlee service which is new to us, & once we’ve got it up and running we’ll look to see if it’s something we use with Xero Personal depending on how things have progressed with prospective partner banks.

@Benjamin We’re not doing any beta testing, although with the launch of this service in Australia very soon we’ll know how things have gone.

David Griffiths
October 21, 2010 at 5.46 am

This is going to be a great benefit for a lot of business owners. Coupled with the intelligent way that Xero learns about bank transactions, keeping the bank up to date moves from being a chore to a pleasure.

October 21, 2010 at 9.10 pm

Is the Co-op bank on the list?!

Omar Kassim
October 21, 2010 at 9.21 pm

Hi Guys, this is a really nice development. Any idea when you’ll spread this out to other countries (even those that Yodlee) doesn’t cover?

Is it a case of not being able to access bank feeds in other countries or is it that there aren’t sevices like Yodlee, who aggregate bank feeds, not being able / not convering other countries?

Is there anything that we as heavy Xero users can do, do make this happen quicker?

Any plans to potentially develop an API esque mechanism that will allow us to integrate with our banks using our own relationships with them?

Alastair Grigg in reply to Omar Kassim
October 22, 2010 at 2.29 pm

Hi Omar
Once we have completed the full integration we will be able to connect to any bank account in any region that Yodlee provides access to. Their coverage of banks in countries outside the US seems driven mostly by other Yodlee integration partners becoming active in those regions, giving them the scale of potential customers to extend their coverage. Until we ourselves have a larger concentration of customers in some of these regions it will be difficult for us alone to drive extending the Yodlee service coverage. At this stage we haven’t identified any suitable alternative data gathering service providers in regions not currently well covered by Yodlee.

We have had requests to extend the Xero API to enable importing of bank statement data this way. It is certainly something we’d be keen to provide but isn’t scheduled yet as we have other even more requested API improvements to deliver first – see our Xero API forum on User Voice to register your votes on these improvements.

October 24, 2010 at 7.03 am

Any chance of getting the PayPal feeds fixed after this? I tried to test them out again in the demo account but I guess you’ve disabled the feeds for accounts that don’t already use them.

Earl Rudolfo
October 25, 2010 at 1.21 am

Well done Xero team. You continue to increase your credibility and trustworthiness by following through on your commitment to improve Xero to meet the needs of small businesses. Can’t wait for the Yodlee service coverage in Canada.

I’m thinking that the proactive Xero users should now be looking at ways (following Xero’s lead with bank feeds) to make their internal processes more “paperless” with an integrated document management system to improve efficiency. So get into the “less paper” mindset.

October 28, 2010 at 4.42 am

Doesn’t seem like Lloyds will be on the list but happy to be proved wrong.

Alastair Grigg in reply to Chris
October 28, 2010 at 10.28 am

Hi Chris.
Yes, accounts available through Llyods Personal/Retail online banking site will be available when we release the automated bank feeds in the UK. We are working to extend this to also include accounts from Llyods Business online banking, but can’t confirm the timing of this just yet.

Brad Forester
October 28, 2010 at 1.14 pm

This is positive news, but how long will the US-based Xero customers have to wait for bank-feed rollout? This is probably the biggest difference (on the downside) between Xero and QB for my small business.

November 1, 2010 at 3.29 am

Thanks that’s great news.
Look forward to updates on when.

November 1, 2010 at 10.56 pm

Is there any news on what charges are likely to be incurred. As it stands i am aware that HSBC charge £2.50 + VAT each month. Will these other banks follow their lead, or could they offer the service for free, hopefully forcing HSBC to drop their charge.

I am not overly computer literate but imagine there can not be too many cost involved after the initial set up.

Gary Turner Xero
November 2, 2010 at 6.41 am

Hi Dan,

The new feeds we’re adding will be free of charge.

Brian Curran
November 2, 2010 at 9.53 am

Sounds great, I manually download & import two Barclays accounts each and every day. It only takes a few minutes but auto-feeds would be much better.

2011 Wish List:
I would love to be able to make a payment in Xero and have the transaction feed back into my bank account so that the payment is made via BACS 🙂

November 11, 2010 at 12.10 am


Any further updates as to when daily feeds for UK Barclays customers will start? Also, maybe you can give us an idea of any costs involved and what paperwork needs to be done by us for the feeds to start, as maybe some of this can be done now, so we are ready from day one.

As you can tell i cant wait for daily feeds as i currently download my statement once a week and sometimes have to wait 8-10 days as Barclays online banking doesnt have the statement available for downloading. Daily feeds will be a great help.



Catherine in reply to Dak Xero
November 12, 2010 at 11.26 am

@Dak – we’re still on track to roll out feeds for the UK now that they’re up and running for Australian organisations in the next few weeks – no exact date yet. Initially the feeds can be used from banks with a simple single login point i.e. they don’t have additional security or token authentication (known as MFA), so you’ll be able to access your Barclays account if it doesn’t use MFA. As for preparation you can do – there’s no cost and no paper work! Here’s a video we posted recently when we launched the feeds for Australia showing how you’d set up a feed.

Brian Curran
December 21, 2010 at 7.20 am

Hi Catherine,
Barclays have a complicated login for their online banking (smart card reader). Does this mean bank feeds will never be available?


James Cox
December 24, 2010 at 5.58 am

Re Brian’s comment, I’m looking to migrate from Microsoft Account 2008 to Xero, but would like to know the answer to the question re Barclays integration, as this would be my final element to make me commit to Xero.

Karl March
January 14, 2011 at 10.56 pm

Hate to ask the same ting again but any news on this for Barclays customers? Integration with my current Xero account would confirm Xero as the finest online software available (everything else is superb..!) Help Barclays move out of the dark ages and I’ll seriously appreciate it!

January 19, 2011 at 9.53 pm

Hi Catherine

As as a number of other UK Bank customers who have made comments above, bank with Barclays, its been 2 months since daily bank feeds came into play, and many more months since it was first talked about, but we as Barclays customers cant take advantage of daily feeds. I appreciate that Barclays do have additional security or token authentication (known as MFA), but you havent even replied to last 3 posts about this subject dated the 21/12/10, 24/12/10 or 14/01/11.

Come on Xero keep us in the picture, please



Gary Turner Xero
January 19, 2011 at 10.07 pm

Hey Dak – thanks for the kick – apologies for not responding sooner.

We just rolled the planned phase of north American bank feeds last week which means we’ll be looping back through the other regions in the coming weeks. Barclays is definitely coming but I can’t give you a firm date right now.

This is a huge endeavour for us and nobody is keener to complete the roll out than we are (OK, maybe a few customers are a little keener!) – so we’ll do our best to keep you in the loop – but please keep prodding if we look like we’re slipping.

February 3, 2011 at 8.22 pm

Any idea on timescale for Barclays in the UK? Are we talking weeks or months? I am thinking of moving to Xero, and will change bank if necessary but there’s no point if it is just around the corner. Thanks!

Graham Shepherd
February 17, 2011 at 4.41 am

Hi – Back on 22 Oct 2010 Jon asked; “Is the Co-op bank on the list?!”

To which Catherine replied; “@Jon – as in The Co-operative Bank (UK)? In that case – yes!”

I’m a Co-operative Bank plc (UK) customer and my Daskboard now suggests that Bank Feeds are available. However when I enter the bank details I’m told they are not recognised.

Can you let me know what the situation is (or will be) with feeds for the Co-op please?


Gary Turner Xero
February 18, 2011 at 9.44 pm

@Andy @Graham – we originally planned to open feeds for both those banks in Q1, but that’s now looking like early Q2. Check back early April for a more defined ETA.

April 20, 2011 at 10.13 am

When are we going to see Barclays supported? This has been promised for over a year now!!

Gary Turner in reply to TMRE Xero
April 20, 2011 at 8.50 pm

@ TMRE – We feel your pain, and I know it might feel like it’s been a year but we were always aiming for Q1 this year. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s now Q2 and you’re still waiting.

We’ll post up an update for Barclays customers and those with other banks who are waiting as we get closer. Be strong!

Michelle Brooks
April 21, 2011 at 9.55 am

We committed to moving all of our companies’ accounting to Xero based on the fact that Xero claimed to offer bank feeds to both Lloyds and Adams bank Plc, yet none of these work and getting a committment from Xero as to when the feeds will become operational has been as painful as pulling teeth! Responses are vague and I am unable to pin them down to an exact date / month this will become operational – one thing I am certain about is that Xero does not do what it says on the tin, which is pretty poor in an age where mis-advertising is neither acceptable, nor legal! Am ever hopeful this post will generate some form of committment but not holding my breath…

Gary Turner in reply to Michelle Brooks Xero
April 22, 2011 at 2.14 am

Michelle, I both appreciate and apologise for causing you to get so frustrated with us on this, but in spite of these issues I believe you still made the right decision to move to Xero.

We’ll work with our bank feed service provider, Yodlee, to get a resolution for you but in the meantime you will have to rely upon Xero’s existing statement import functionality for any accounts for which an automated feed is not yet live. I know that’s not as effortless as an automated feed, but it should hopefully work out for you as a reasonable compromise solution while we resolve the automation issues.

If you would like someone to walk you through that, please drop me a line to

April 25, 2011 at 10.42 pm

A lot of people whinging quite correctly about the Barclays feed. In my experience the bank is the last to roll out any kind of user feature on their website. They have a difficult and outmoded login procedure on their website and their ability to satisfy their customers with changes is the worst in the UK. In addition, they will not at least on a personal account, allow more than one month of data download. So, in less you keep really up to date on this you’re going to be disappointed. On the plus side, if you currently use Barclays you’re really in no worse shape by using Zero as you can’t pull down the data feed very easy in the first place! In my limited experience, pay pal is a much more difficult reconciliation that a bank account as it includes variables such as shipping and fx transactions.

Tony Lawler
May 28, 2011 at 5.07 am

Do you have any idea on Barclays bank feeds, thanks.

June 18, 2011 at 11.19 pm

I am another Barclays Business customer considering switching to Xero.

Any update on the bank feeds issue?

Tony P
June 21, 2011 at 1.54 am

We bought Xero on the understanding that it would download from HSBC. I filled in the forms, waited nearly a month, to be told by HSBC that they only offer link to Business accounts! We are a partnership so have a private account.
If I switch my bank account to Co-Op. do you have a feed that is now live?

Gary Turner Xero
July 20, 2011 at 9.28 pm

Thanks for your patience.

The encouraging news is the next batch of feeds are now in beta test and the first of the Barclays feeds (there are a number of different account types) should become active within the next month or so. It will be a phased roll out but we hope to have full coverage on all the main Barclays feeds by the end of the summer.

We’ll post an update on the blog shortly.

August 9, 2011 at 4.26 am


September 11, 2011 at 10.05 am

So what is happening with the bank feeds? we heard all that noise last year and now nothing… Have you made progress with Barclays?

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