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Direct Bank Feeds

How direct bank feeds work

BoxFreeIT has published a great interview with Yodlee’s Joe Polverari on bank feeds and Yodlee’s role in the US market.

There’s a lot of misinformation about the safety of Yodlee and the technology behind it so it’s great to see them come out and dispel some of the myths about how they work. Fears and doubts about Yodlee have long been quelled in the US – where Yodlee and products like it are the standard for aggregation services across the US banking system. Yodlee also happens to be the best at what they do.

In New Zealand and Australia, Xero has direct relationships with all the major financial institutions and a lot of the minor ones. If you have a small business banking account in Australasia, chances are we have a direct feed for you. Long term we believe direct feeds are the right way to go and we’re excited that banks are beginning to provide more elegant ways to get your banking data into our online accounting system. But it does take time to get them to move.

If banks do not provide direct feeds we use our partner Yodlee. We do this primarily in the US but also in the UK market. We offer Yodlee as an option in New Zealand and Australia where a financial institution has has not yet been able to provide data directly to us, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Yodlee feeds generally work well and we’re glad to offer them.

As Xero’s profile grows, an increasing number of banks are working with us to enable next generation direct feeds and new ‘two way’ services. When you bring Xero and financial institutions together in a compelling way, the sum is greater than the parts. We think these new integrated services are ground-breaking and will keep customers engaged and happy.

The US market has woken up to the potential of closer banking and small business accounting integration, awarding Xero Best In Show at the Barlow Research Client Conference for what we’re doing in New Zealand and Australia, and are beginning to do in the US, to bring banking and Xero’s online accouting closer together.

New Zealand and Australian financial institutions have also woken up to the benefits of working with Xero (see ASB’s announced innovation alliance). Xero has been invited by many banks to take an active role in their strategic planning of future small business services. We believe that if we demonstrate next-gen banking locally we can open the door for new services in our large markets where things take a bit more time.

There are some exciting new things coming for small business accounting and banking and we’re delighted to be a part of them.




Gayle Buchanan
7 June 2013 #

that is fab news – two way Xero banking … oh a dream … just think today’s 5yr olds won’t know what is like to have a separate Xero to their on-line banking (just quietly, lucky bugas!)

7 June 2013 #

What is “two way” services. I assume it means entering a payment in Xero and it automatically happening in your bank account rather than requiring the extra step of loading a payment into your online banking.

This would require different user roles and authorisation processes within Xero.

WOuld it also bring real time upload of transactions into Xero or is that only constrained by processing power at the moment?

Sounds interesting.

7 June 2013 #

If I could go to my aged payables screen and click a button to pay a supplier and have it automatically reconcile I would be very, very, very happy. Very happy. My suppliers would be too.

7 June 2013 #

Two way banking would definitely take the combined service of accounting software and bank data automation to another level for business owners. Xero helps to reduce double handling but this would improve that further.

Robbie Dellow
7 June 2013 #

Yes, bank feeds and next-gemeration banking features are a key topic for Xero’s global aspirations.
I see the recent ‘tie-up’ of Banklink and MYOB as enabling the incumbent to ‘keep pace’ with the current Xero situation in its Australasian markets. Will eagerly await the ‘next-gen banking solutions’ which will potentially enable Xero to ‘change the game,’ yet again. Assume this dev work is initially being done with the ‘forward thinking’ ASB? Is there good prospects to have such a similar forward thinking financial institution in the Australia/US/UK markets, as I am sure there is a need to for showcase purposes.

Rob Stewart
7 June 2013 #

Yet no love for NZ based foreign currency accounts, who don’t get partner or Yodlee feeds. Where’s the support for exporters?

Mukesh Bajaj
7 June 2013 #

Two way excellent idea..will save a lot of time & make the banking more interesting & productive, well done Xero

Matt Vickers
7 June 2013 #

Hi @Rob – great point. Good opportunity there for a progressive bank.

Alan Macdougall
7 June 2013 #

What I think would be great is if Xero *was* the interface to the banks. The innovation and design quality we are seeing is far in advance of the average mighty but lumbering Bankosaurus. So let’s have a newcomer come in and be the front-end to one or more commoditised back-end credit and debit buckets – a Bank Simple on steroids, and aimed at business.

Michael Mori
8 June 2013 #

OK – there are real people who actually breathe, that don’t “believe in the internet”. I wonder how they don’t fall off the edge of the earth!

This is just great innovation through dynamic people who believe in what is and create what is not! Go XERO!

Gavin Bottrell
9 June 2013 #

Great Idea ;)

11 June 2013 #

this sounds great. be great to get the xero and cua feed fixed. 3 weeks it has been out.

Mike Block CPA
11 November 2013 #

Does anyone know why the cited Yodlee inteview says it has 13,500 feeds, but Xero recently said 5,000?

I like the idea of automating two way banking. Our 0CPAs program is a stopgap. It does an automatic Reconcile and Save All of all entries, for any or all combinations of accounts and clients. It also can produce sorted bank recs in Excel, so you tend to look at each payee only once. This lets you indicate key terms and accounts in the Excel, with a ? for unknowns to refer to clients. A quick additional sort brings the noted accounts together for faster Bank Rule creation. We will soon automate that as well, as we already export rules to Excel in two sorted formats, to help you find and quickly fix errors. You then can combine Excel files or manually edit them, before importing to create new Bank Rules. We are about to be able to enter missing Name entries and instantly match them with Accounts.

Sorry, this does not yet cover tracking codes, but that will come soon.

17 January 2014 #

Bankfeeds…BAS time and I am highly frustrated at present.
I must be the biggest fan of Xero, HOWEVER:
One serious gripe is the accuracy of bank feeds. C’mon Xero…your big claim to fame is having bank feeds in your new generation accounting software. This is great, however, the thing is I can not trust these feeds. I find myself double checking each import for I have come across too many inaccuracies in the feeds to trust the feeds.
I have raised this issue numerous times with bankfeeds@xero and always seem to get ambiguous replies on how to import statements and video links on how to solve problems. I must say…I am a frustrated user today. I truly hope this feature improves for it is costing me time (=money).
Bottom line, I (and my clients) seem to be paying for features that does not work 100%. My recommendation is: Bank feeds are fundamental as a core feature in XERO. Sorting this out should surely be priority NO1 on your “problems to solve” list.

18 March 2014 #

I’m considering a switch to Xero, but after reading all these post I am hesitant. I think I may wait a year to see if this situation improves.

18 March 2014 #

Hi Steve – I’ve never had a problem with a bank feed. Yes there will be occasional problems but use the “reconciliation report” function to check balances, highlight potential errors, and record a snapshot of your data just in case. Problem solved.

30 April 2014 #

Hi. I’m trying t set up bank feed from a Santander Corporate account (in the UK). However, I’m struggling because the identity, password, etc fields available in Xero do not match those for Santander Corporate login. For example, the first two fields on the Santander login are:Company ID, and User/Log On ID, but they are not options in Xero. Any help gratefully accepted.

Matt Vickers
1 May 2014 #

Hi Oliver, presently we don’t appear to have feeds for accounts that are accessed via Santander Corporate Banking. Please contact and let them know this is important to you.

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