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Hargreaves Lansdown partners with Ecospend for open banking payments

The brokerage’s partnership with Ecospend will enable customers to add money to their accounts without pulling out their debit cards.

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Hargreaves Lansdown.

Hargreaves Lansdown has partnered with open banking provider Ecospend to provide an open banking-powered “pay by bank” service for its clients.

Ecospend’s solution will allow Hargreaves Lansdown’s users to make payments directly to their accounts without the need for cards.

The news comes as open banking is seeing increasing adoption within the UK. Less than four months after reaching a milestone of 5 million open banking users, the UK recently hit a new record of 6 million users.

Ecospend, founded in 2017, provides open banking tech that is used across 13 HMRC tax regimes, including self-assessment, PAYE, corporation tax and VAT, and was recently acquired by Swedish fintech Trustly.

Ecospend first hit the headlines when it nabbed a £3m contract to build the HMRC’s payments infrastructure, and earlier this year said that nearly £2.5bn worth of transactions have been made in a year via its open banking technology.

Using the new solution, Hargreaves Lansdown users will no longer need to enter card details when adding money to an account, which the firm claims significantly reduces the risk of data entry errors and card fraud risk.

The payment is authorised via the client’s chosen online banking service, in app or website, typically using biometric ID.

Hargreaves Lansdown claims the account to account ‘pay by bank’ method, which bypasses card networks and interchange fees, can bring cost savings as well as efficiencies, and that the automated user experience removes the risk of human error and saves the time taken to reconcile manual bank transfers.

Hargreaves Lansdown is not the only major firm to announce a payments partnership with an open banking provider in recent months. 

European open banking platform Tink recently announced it struck a deal with Revolut at the Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam.

George Rodgers, senior product manager at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the new integration will enable a simpler payment journey, as well as instant settlement for deposits and withdrawals.

“Offering an open banking payment method is a step change in the payments experience that Hargreaves Lansdown offers its clients,” said Rodgers.

James Hickman, chief commercial officer at Ecospend, said the tie-up was “just the tip of the iceberg”. 

“Open Banking offers service providers an opportunity to serve customers with a range of solutions that are more convenient and secure, from payments to digital authentication and instant credit checks,” said Hickman.

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James Hickman

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