Financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) is to offer open banking payments after agreeing a major deal with global payments platform Ecospend. It is the Bristol-based institution’s first foray into the open banking market and will allow its customers to make payments directly into HL accounts without the need for cards.
The payment is authorised through the client’s chosen online banking service (in app or website) typically using biometric ID. The account-to-account pay-by-bank method also bypasses card networks and interchange fees.
Ecospend was founded in 2017 and is an open finance technology platform provider that counts HMRC and ITV among its customers. Last month, Swedish fintech Trustly announced it had acquired the business for an undisclosed sum.
Hargreaves Lansdown said it assessed the open banking market in February and selected Ecospend based on the quality of its technology and services, and the “robustness” the platform had demonstrated through its partnership with HMRC.
HL’s adoption of open banking is part of the organisation’s digital transformation strategy, according to George Rodgers, senior product manager at the firm.
He said: “Offering an open banking payment method is a step change in the payments experience that Hargreaves Lansdown offers its clients. Our clients can expect a simpler payment journey as well as instant settlement for deposits and withdrawals compared to days under the current system.”
James Hickman, chief commercial officer of Ecospend, added: “We are thrilled to be working with the clear market leader to deliver a new solution that is both a natural replacement for cards and the perfect response to changing consumer behaviours and digital adoption.”