Category: Bank connections

Toshl Granted an EU PSD2 AISP Registration by Bank of Slovenia

If you’re confused by that alphabet soup in the title, don’t worry, you’re normal. If, however, you work in the FinTech or European Union (EU) legislative space, you’ll know that this registration is a sort of licence that allows us to access balance and transaction data from banks in the EU.

Quick recap:

PSD2 – Payment Services Directive, is an EU directive, further implemented in national legislations of EU member states. It, among other things, mandates all EU banks to provide automated access (APIs) to account and transaction data to third party providers (like Toshl) and regulates how that can be done.

AISP – Account Information Service Provider. Toshl Finance in this case. We help our customers access their bank account data and provide services built on top of that, like helping to analyse how you could spend less and save more money, budget better etc.

As per the PSD2 directive, third party providers like us need to register with a national banking regulator in the European Union, to access the data and provide information services. As Toshl d.o.o., our European subsidiary and where much of Toshl development is done, is registered in Slovenia, we registered with the Slovenian banking regulator – Bank of Slovenia.

The registration requirements and process

It wasn’t an easy process. All together it took us almost a year to complete. We’ve had to provide hundreds of pages of documentation, ranging from our security practices, information infrastructure, risk management, various proof of ethical unencumberedness of key personnel, professional liability insurance, business plans, contracts with business partners related to account information and so forth. Last, but not least, it involved a lot more paper and physical mailing that an all digital company would prefer to deal with.

Yet on a hot summer day, we finally got the news:

As you can tell, there was much rejoicing among the Medici branch of the Toshl monster family.

The registration of TOSHL, razvoj aplikacij d.o.o., can also be accessed on the Bank of Slovenia website: AISP registrations English version, AISP registrations Slovenian version.

Passporting

At the moment, with the help of Bank of Slovenia, we are also sending our registration to all other EU member state banking regulators for confirmation and entry into their national registries. This process is known as passporting.

Benefits

Based on this new registration, we’ll be gradually updating our bank connections to connect in a more direct manner, using our own QWAC and QSEAL eIDAS certificates and with fewer required legal agreements with our partners to confirm, when adding new connections. It will also enable us to work better with banks to provide great new services to customers in the EU. So far, we’ve been using the shared or “umbrella” registrations provided by our bank connection partners Salt Edge and Plaid which help us in providing a more unified bank connectivity.

While we’re glad to have finally obtained this registration, one would be foolish to think all is sunshine and roses in PSD2 land. Even a year after the final deadline for PSD2 connectivity, many banks’ implementations remain abysmal or non-existent, EBA‘s (European Bank Authority) interpretations of the directive perplexing, to say the least… We’ll soon share more on the current PSD2 landscape and challenges ahead in an upcoming blog post.

In the meantime, see which bank connections are already on offer in Toshl and how you can switch to the new type of fully automatic connection (API), if you’ve been using an earlier type so far.

Posted in Announcements, Bank connections

1400 New and Improved Bank Connections in the European Union

You’ll now find a lot more bank connections available in Toshl Finance. 1418 new ones were added to be precise, bringing the grand total at the time of writing to 14 073 bank connections available worldwide. As new connections are added replaced all the time, you might want to click on the link to get the current number if you’re reading later on.

Rather than the raw numbers, what matters more with this update is the way that these new bank connections work. All of the new additions work by using the bank’s official automatic connection (API).

Why does it matter if the connection is API-based?

  • It means the connection will always update fully automatically. No need to click “Update” and authenticate each time anymore. The connections need to be re-authorised every 3 months. Toshl will send you a notification when that’s due.
  • The authentication is done directly with the bank. When you connect one of these new connections, the bank’s website or mobile app will open and you enter your credentials there. This approach is preferable as your credentials only need to be stored and checked by the bank, we and our bank connection partners only get the confirmation that you have logged in successfully and transaction data to import.
  • Such connections are much faster to update. As before, they’ll update at least daily and more often if you open the Toshl app frequently. Whenever you open the app, and the connection hasn’t been updated in the last hour, it will try updating it again, up to 4 updates per day.

Any downside?

  • While mostly available, some rare banks do not yet include credit card accounts in the API connection. Often, this is based on technical limitations or uncoordinated opinions by national regulators. As this goes against both the spirit and the letter of the PSD2 EU directive we expect these initial omissions to be resolved in the future.
  • There can be some other transitional issues, usually depending on how the new connections were implemented on the bank’s side. If you experience any issues with authentication or details of transactions, contact us via support and we’ll try to resolve the issues together with the bank and our bank connection partners.

How do I add these new connections?

Just search for your bank in Main menu / Bank connections and click on it. Where newer API-based connections are available, we’ve already set the new API connection as the default one.

The bank’s authentication will open up, just follow the steps. Once you finish, you’ll be asked if you want to import all the past data, or only some. Once you confirm, the new accounts and transactions will import automatically.

What about my existing bank connections? How can I switch to the new API-based ones?

Your existing bank connections will remain as they are. If the new API type of connection is now available and you would like to switch, you would need to add it as a new connection.

One thing to note, is that the new connection will also add new financial accounts to import on. To avoid overlap of transactions with your earlier accounts, make sure to set the new connection to only import from a certain date onward. Set it to the last day for which you have the data from your older connection.

When your new accounts have imported the data, you can simply merge them with the older accounts and unify them again.
To merge accounts, click Edit below the account list, then Edit again next to the individual account. You’ll see the Merge option there. Set the merged account to keep updating from the new connection.

How do I know which connections are API-based?

When searching for banks, a grey API icon will appear on the right of the results.

To check whether existing connections are API-based, click Edit on the bank connection list. If this notice appears on the Edit form, the connection is done over API.

Got any examples of new connections?

Sure, but all the new 1418 connections would be hard to list. The total of API-based connections on offer is currently 1534. A large part of the number are also regional variations of the same bank federation, like Raifeissen in Germany, Crédit Agricole in France etc.

For example, we’ve added banks for the first time in Slovenia, Luxembourg, Greece, Cyprus. We’ve replaced and added heaps of them in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Czechia, Belgium, Spain

Among the widely used multi-country connections, N26 is now API-based and fully automatic, Revolut has been for a while, bunq is new, TransferWise was also a recent addition…

Why only in the European Union? Why aren’t all the bank connections like that?

To connect with a bank as described above, the bank needs to provide tools, for us to be able to connect like that. As very few banks are in that much of a cooperative mood on their own (to put it mildly), legislation is needed to ensure that people have access to their own data stored at the bank. They can then enable other financial services (like Toshl) to access those data in order to provide services. Sorting out and tracking your finances, in Toshl’s case.

In 2015 the European Union adopted the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which obliges all the banks in the EU to provide APIs to access account information. With the time needed to get that directive transposed into national laws and for it to enter fully into force, we’re now finally seeing the real fruits of that labour.

There are similar initiatives going on in other parts of the world. In the long-EU-departing UK, there’s Open Banking that adheres to the same principles as PSD2 and is still part of the EU scheme. Similar initiatives are gradually taking place in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, India, Ukraine, Canada and elsewhere. However, most are still in the legislative phases and will need some time before they can be used in practice. For the time being, we remain rather doubtful of the US’ industry-led approach, as the voluntary nature of such integrations doesn’t really ensure a level playing field and full availability for all banks and financial institutions.

Do you enjoy posing yourself questions and answering them? Do you get some sort of perverse pleasure out of this?

Yes, very much so. Thank you for asking.

Posted in Announcements, Bank connections

Improved Detection of ATM Withdrawals

Let’s say you withdraw cash from your bank account at your local ATM*.

If you have that bank account connected to Toshl, the expense for that withdrawal will be imported automatically.

However, an ATM withdrawal isn’t really an expense for you, is it? It should really be a transfer from your bank account to the Cash account. You still own that money, just in a different form.

Before, you had to click on that ATM withdrawal expense, click Make transfer and link it to the Cash account where it ended up.

Now, that whole process is done automatically. Toshl will detect that the expense is an ATM withdrawal and automatically save it as a transfer to Cash.

This way, it will already be noted correctly, no adjustments needed.

We worked with many scenarios and data to predict such cases. As banks report this in many different ways and your wallet for cash doesn’t say much at all, it could be that we missed one or two. If you still find an ATM withdrawal on a connected account, which wasn’t made into a transfer automatically, please let us know. Send the details of the transaction to support@toshl.com and we’ll make adjustments to make sure they get detected in the future.

*By ATM we of course mean an Automated Teller Machine, bankomat, geldautomatc, cajero automático or however you call it locally. If your mind automatically went elsewhere, get it out of the gutter, then come back. 😉

I “love it” how banks have everything, “on record”.
Posted in Announcements, Bank connections

Bank Connection News August 2019

To make sure all your new transactions and account balances are up to date in Toshl, thousands of bank connections need to be maintained and working well with the help of our bank connection partners. In addition, we keep expanding the connections on offer, so all your bank, retirement accounts and credit cards can be automatically updated with ease. To keep you abreast of what’s going on behind the scenes, we plan on make such bank connection news a regular fixture on our blog.

Additions
There’s about a 100 new ones in addition to more than 13 000 already on offer. Among them; Starling Bank in the UK, BBVA Compass and Zero in the US. Our Brazilian customers will also be happy to learn that Banco Inter is back after a hiatus. The full list of added connections is available below.

Upcoming (in testing)
The often requested TransferWise and Monzo are in testing and will most likely be available in the coming weeks if all goes to plan. Additionally a lot of new connections in Slovenia, France, Spain and across the European Union are being worked on in preparation for the final entry into force of the new PSD2 directive. This legislation mandates that all EU banks offer official automatic connections, which will mean more bank connection on offer in the future as well as quicker and more reliable existing connections. In the short term it also means a lot of developing and paperwork for our bank connection partners and us.

Ongoing issues
While we try to keep things going as smoothly as possible we do sometimes encounter problems on some connections which we cannot immediately remedy. More often than not, this is due to banks blocking our bank connection partners and 3rd party apps like ours from connecting and ignoring efforts to resolve the issues with dialogue. This kind of often anticompetitive behaviour is one of the issues that the aforementioned PSD2 legislation is tackling in the EU. We’d be very happy to see the rest of the world follow suit in demanding official APIs from financial institutions.

While we cannot get into more details for each connection, at the time of writing we’re experiencing ongoing issues with Capital One (US), ABN AMRO (NL) and AMEX (US).

Bankers and Toshl can actually get together splendidly. It’s sweet really. Sweet like a lollipop.

List of recently added connections

Brazil
Banco Intermedium

Canada
Canadian Western Bank – Online Banking
First Calgary Financial – Personal Banking
First Credit Union – Online Banking
Frontline Credit Union – Personal Banking
Ganaraska Financial Credit Union – Personal Banking
Heritage Credit Union – Personal Banking
Island Savings Credit Union – Personal Banking
Kingston Community Credit Union – Online Banking
Kootenay Savings Credit Union – Online Banking
Northern Savings Credit Union – Online Banking
Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union – Personal Banking
Union Bay Credit Union – Personal Banking
VantageOne Credit Union – Online Banking

Germany
Norisbank Berlin

United Kingdom
NatWest business
NatWest offshore (international)
Starling
Ulster Bank
Virgin Money Bank Credit Cards
Virgin Money Bank Investments
Virgin Money Bank Savings

Netherlands
ASN (personal)

United States
1st State Bank (NE) – Personal
A.R. Schmeidler and Company
ABA Retirement Funds – ABA Retirement Funds
Actinver Securities
ADP – Retirement Services – Plan Participant
ADP TotalSource Retirement Savings Plan
Aetna 401k – Aetna 401k
Aintree Capital – Client Access
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Alden State Bank (NY) – Personal
Alliance Bernstein 401k Plan
Amarillo National Bank – Personal
American National Bank (IA & NE) – Personal
American Trust – Online Banking
Ametek Retirement Plan
Arkansas Diamond Deferred Compensation Plan
Armstrong Bank (OK)
Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union
Arvest Bank 401k & Profit Sharing Retirement Plan
Asheville Savings Bank – Personal Online Banking Services
Associated Securites Corporation
Astra Bank
Atlantic Federal Credit Union
Atos 401k Savings Plan
Bainco International Investors
Baker Botts L.L.P. 401k and Savings Plan
BancWest Investment Services
Bank 7
Bank of Bennington (NE) – Personal
Bank of Clarke County – Personal
Bank of Marin – Personal Banking
Bank of the James
Baxalta Savings Plan
Baxter Savings Plans
Bay Bank – Personal Online Banking
BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass – ClearSpend Visa Card
BBVA Compass Investment Solutions – Pershing
Beacon Community Credit Union
Beech Hill Securities
Beneficial Investment Services
Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.
Best Buy Retirement Savings Plan
BMO Harris Financial Advisors
BNP Private Wealth Management
BNY Mellon Capital Markets
Boiling Springs Savings Bank – Consumer Online Banking
Bolton Global Capital
Booz Allen ECAP
Boyd Gaming Corp 401k Plan and Trust
BPU Investment Management
Bruning State Bank
Bulltick Capital Markets
Cadaret Grant & Co.
Calpers Supplemental Income Plans
CalSTRS Pension2
Capital Analysts Incorporated – Pershing
Capital Guardian
Capital One Investing
CAPTRUST
CAPTRUST Financial Advisors – Client Login
Catholic Federal Credit Union
CB&S Bank in Alabama – Personal
CenterPoint Energy Savings Plan
Charter Bank (WI)
Choice Financial – Mobile Banking
CIRS 401k
Citi International Financial Services (CIFS) – Pershing
City of Los Angeles DC Plan
Clinton National Bank
CNS 401k Plan
Colorado PERA 401k/DC/457 Plans
Commonwealth Securities Limited
Community National Bank
Community National Bank & Trust (KS)
Constellation Wealth Advisors LLC – Client Access
Constellis 401k Plan
CRI Securities
Cuna Brokerage Services, Inc – Pershing
DAIMLER Retirement Savings Plan
DaVita Retirement Savings Plan
Deutsche Bank Alex Brown – DBConnect
Dollar General Retirement Plan
Dreyfus Lion
eChapman
Empower Retirement – ACEC Retirement Trust
Empower Retirement – AEP 401k
Empower Retirement – American Funds
Empower Retirement – Career Education Corporation 401k Plan
Empower Retirement – CCOERA
Empower Retirement – CFG
Empower Retirement – Chesterfield County 457 Deferred Compensation Program
Empower Retirement – Chicago Public Schools
Empower Retirement – City of Arvada Retirement
Empower Retirement – City of Austin Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – City of Los Angeles Premiere Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – Comerica Retirement
Empower Retirement – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Deferred Compensation Program
Empower Retirement – County Of Los Angeles Defined Contribution Plans
Empower Retirement – County of Orange Defined Contribution Program
Empower Retirement – County of Santa Barbara 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – CoxHealth Savings Incentive Plan
Empower Retirement – Directed Account Plan
Empower Retirement – EMJAY Retirement Services
Empower Retirement – Fairfax County Public Schools Retirement Savings Plans
Empower Retirement – Fifth Third Bank Retirement Plan
Empower Retirement – Great-West Smart Track Variable Annuities (Non-New York Residents)
Empower Retirement – Gwinnett County Retirement Plan
Empower Retirement – Hallmark
Empower Retirement – IRA
Empower Retirement – JBS 401k / Pilgrim’s Pride Retirement Savings Plan
Empower Retirement – JPMorgan Asset Management
Empower Retirement – KPERS 457
Empower Retirement – Lockheed Martin Savings
Empower Retirement – Louisiana Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan
Empower Retirement – Mercy Myretirement Program
Empower Retirement – MetLife
Empower Retirement – Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – Minnesota State Retirement System (MNDCP)
Empower Retirement – Mississippi Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration
Empower Retirement – Nada
Empower Retirement – Nebraska Public Power District
Empower Retirement – NetXInvestor
Empower Retirement – New England Financial
Empower Retirement – NYCE IRA
Empower Retirement – Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Empower Retirement – Persi
Empower Retirement – RELX Group
Empower Retirement – Sony USA
Empower Retirement – SoonerSave
Empower Retirement – South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program
Empower Retirement – State of Alaska Supplemental Annuity and Deferred Compensation Plans
Empower Retirement – State of Florida Deferred Compensation Plan
Empower Retirement – State of New Hampshire 457b Public Employees DCP
Empower Retirement – SunTrust
Empower Retirement – TD Ameritrade – 401k Plan
Empower Retirement – TexaSaver
Empower Retirement – The Childrens Hospital
Empower Retirement – Thrivent
Empower Retirement – TN Retire Ready
Empower Retirement – Vail ResortsRetirement – Vermont 457 Retirement
Empower Retirement – Walgreens
Empower Retirement – Washington State Deferred Compensation Program
Empower Retirement – WellSpan Health
Empower Retirement – Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program
Equity Bank (KS) – Personal
ExxonMobil Savings Plan
F&M Bank (NE)
Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California
Farmers and Merchants Bank of Long Beach (CA)
Farmers National Bank (Danville, KY)
Farmers State Bank
Fidelity Bank (Georgia) – Mobile Banking
Fidelity Bank (TX)
Financial Partners Credit Union
Financial Symmetry
Fintegra Financial Solutions
First Bank
First Bank of Linden (AL)
First Choice Credit Union
First Citizens Securities
First Command Bank
First Command Financial Planning
First Community Bank of Central Alabama
First Credit Union (AZ)
First Empire Securities
First Farmers & Merchants Bank (Cannon Falls, Le Suer – MN) – Personal
First International Bank & Trust – Personal
First National Bank of Gilmer – Personal
First Security Bank (MT)
First State Bank (NE) – Personal
Fluor Corporation Retirement Plans
Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership 401k Plan
FSC Securities Corporation – Pershing
Genoa Bank
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Retirement Plan
Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management
Green Belt Bank & Trust
Gwinnett County Retirement Plans
Hearst Benefits Wealth – Retirement Savings
Hefren – Tillotson, Inc
Heidelberg Retirement Savings Plan
Henley and Company
Hewitt Financial Services
Home Bank – Business
Home National Bank (Racine, Syracuse, Middleport)
Honeywell Savings Program
Huber 401k Investment Program
Hunter Douglas Inc Savings 401k
IDB-IIC FCU
Ideal Credit Union
Indiana Public Retirement System
International Assets Advisory (IAA) – Client Access
Intralinks
Invesco – Investor Account Access
Invest Financial Corporation
Investment Professionals Inc.
Jefferies – Private Client Services
John Hancock – Retirement Plan Services
Kohler Company 401k – Kohler Company 401k
Lake Elmo Bank
Legends Bank (TN)
Leidos Your Retirement Center
Lincoln Investment Planning
Lion Street Financial
Lockheed Martin Savings Plan
Lockheed Martin Savings Plan
Los Alamos National Bank – eBanking
Los Angeles Unified School District (457b)
Lubrizol Profit Sharing and Savings Plan
M Holdings Securities
M&T Bank – Web Trading
M1 Finance
Maine State Credit Union
MasterCard Retirement Plan
Mercer Wealth Solutions
Minnesota State Retirement System
Montana Federal Credit Union
NAPA Profit Sharing Plans
National Bank of Commerce (WI & MN)
Nationwide Securities
NBK Capital
Nestle SmartSavings Program
NetExchange Client
NetExchange Investor
NetExchange Investor
NetXInvestor Client
Occidental Petroleum Corporation Retirement Plan
Olin Employee Ownership Plan
One Vision FCU
OneWest Bank – Personal Banking
Oregon Savings Growth Plan
Oriental Financial Services
Park View Federal Credit Union
Parkside Federal Credit Union
Partners Bank of California
Pella Corporation 401k
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)
Peoples Bank (IN, IL) – Personal
PERS/OPSRP Individual Account Program
Pershing Brokerage Services – BNY Mellon
Personal Capital Pershing Login
Piggott State Bank
Portland General Electric Company 401k
PPG Industries Retirement Plan
PrimeSouth Bank (GA)
Publix 401k SMART Plan
Raymond James USA Limited
Refinitiv Retirement Plan
RM Stark and Company
Rockwood Bank – Personal
Royal Alliance – Pershing
Sacramento Credit Union
SagePoint Financial – Client
Sanibel Captiva Community Bank
Saturna Brokerage Services
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union
SECU Brokerage Services
Securian – NetXInvestor
Sentinel Securities
Serco Inc. 401(k) Retirement Plan
Shareholders Service Group
SII Investments
SII Investments, Inc – Pershing
Sodexo 401k Savings Plan
Sorrento Pacific Financial
Spirit AeroSystems Retirement
SpiritBank
St. Louis Community Credit Union
Starwood Savings and Retirement Plans
State of Michigan 401k/457 Plan
Sunlife Savings and Advantage Plan
SUPERVALU STAR 401k Plan
TD Ameritrade
TD Wealth – Investments
The Fidelity Bank (NC) – Personal
The GMS Group, LLC – Client Login
The MYR Group 401k
The Plains State Bank (KS)
The Southern Credit Union
The Vencore 401k Pla
Trading Direct
Transamerica – Retirement – NetXInvestor
Unified Bank
United Launch Alliance 401k Savings and Retirement Plan
Unitus Community Credit Union
University of Iowa Community Credit Union
UPS 401k Savings Plan – UPS 401k Savings Plan
Valley Bank of Kalispell
Venecredit Securities
VOYA Annuity & Assets Contracts – Client Login
VOYA Life Insurance – Client
VOYA Retirement Plans
Waddell & Reed, Inc.
Washington Federal Savings
Washington State Employees Credit Union
West Michigan Community Bank – Personal
Westpac Securities Limited
Wiley Bros.
Winslow
Woodbury Financial Services
York Securities
Yum Savings Center
Zero

You can also see and search all the bank connections available. If you already have a Toshl account, click here to open this bank list in the web app (log in required), where you can connect them straight away.

Posted in Announcements, Bank connections