An update on Starling And Amex

Hi everyone

I wanted to update you on where we are with the rollout of Amex and Starling. These 2 providers are very important to us and getting them setup is a key priority here at Snoop HQ.

The Snoop platform is designed to work with any bank. For the 25+ providers we already work with, as you’ll know, we use Open Banking and connect through standard interfaces that nearly all banks subscribe to.

However, Amex and Starling are two banks that don’t subscribe to Open Banking standards meaning some bespoke development is needed to connect with them.

For Amex, we’ve had a number of concerns about the online journey that Amex customers will use to connect to Snoop, as it’s been unstable when we’ve been testing it. You’ll understand we don’t want to put anything live we don’t have 100 per cent confidence in. We have seen others do this, but it’s not how we like to operate.

Amex have acknowledged there are problems with what’s been provided so far and have committed to release a 2nd version of this interface, although they’ve not yet committed to a date that they will do this! Our ambition remains to have Amex connectivity available in May and we will provide a further update in 2 weeks.

Starling is proving to be much simpler to integrate and they don’t have the issues described above. However, some of the bespoke components we need are tied into the Amex delivery so the two projects are connected. Again, our ambition is for a May delivery and we’ll update in 2 weeks.

I hope this update is helpful. As ever, do let me know any thoughts.

I can promise that the connection of new banks – not just Amex and Starling - remains a very significant focus for us. Indeed, we hope to switch on new accounts that subscribe to the Open Banking standards such as NewDay credit cards (Amazon, Marbles and many others) as well as the broader HSBC range very soon.

Paul

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I’ve been lurking on these forums everyday for about a month now waiting for a proper Starling update. Shame its going to probably going to take you another month but thank you for the update.

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Hi everyone

We’ve made really good progress on connecting to both Amex and Starling in the last two weeks. We have accounts connected to our test systems and are making sure that transactions and balances from both these providers are processed correctly and are compatible with all of Snoop’s features.

Our current plan sees us deliver Amex connectivity by the end of May with Starling following shortly after. We’ll keep you updated – we’re really excited to get both these banks into operation soon.

Paul

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Great news! Looking forward to both!

Thanks for the update, highly appreciated. Shame that Amex are not following Open Banking!

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Sounds good. I like my starling and plan to drop my old bank when snoop takes startling on board.

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Fantastic! Can’t wait to get Amex in Snoop and have an all around view of my accounts. If you need a ‘in the wild’ beta tester then let me know!

I would be interested to here what specifically is the approach is being used for Starling and AMEX - if they are not using “Open banking standards”.

Looking forward to AMEX and also interested in their connectivity if they are not using open banking standards.

Hi everyone - to explain a bit more about the differences in ‘standards’.

In the UK, all the largest banks were mandated to work together to agree some interface standards to make Open Banking work. These standards exist today and are managed by a central organisation called the Open Banking Implementation Entity (see here: https://standards.openbanking.org.uk/)

All the big banks must follow these standards - under UK regulations. However, smaller banks are not obligated to follow these exact standards. In the UK, nearly all the smaller banks have still adopted these standards - which is great for companies like Snoop as we have one (relatively!) consistent approach. Even with standards, we do have differences between some banks.

Amex is obviously a predominantly US bank that operate globally. So although they have the same obligations to provide some sort of technical interface, they were not obliged to adopt the UK standard above, and chose not to.

Starling are a slightly different case. Although they were also not obliged to use the new standard, they were were already well ahead of the curve and had previously developed their own interfaces to allow apps like Snoop to connect. As they already had solutions in place (and were not mandated to adopt the new standard), they decided to stick with what they had.

The standards cover all sorts of things - such as how the ‘consent’ journey works (when you give your permission to share your account), what data items we get, how error handling works, what security protocols are used etc.

For Amex, pretty much all of this is different to the UK standard. Starling is not so very different, but still requires custom development to make it work.

Amex and Starling customers don’t need to be concerned about this - the interfaces are still secure and robust. It just means more work for us to support different methods.

I hope that’s useful @0weavern and @hawkzzter

Paul

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Thanks again for the update.

Just noticed I can add AMEX now. Thanks!

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Wow that’s very eagle eyed of you @sinmok :eyes:.

We only switched that on 30 mins ago. To be honest we were not going to announce this until tomorrow to give us a few more hours to check everything with our own accounts - also because we have some scheduled maintenance that starts at 10pm tonight and will prevent any new account linking.

But yes, Amex is now available :partying_face:

I will post a full update tomorrow morning as there are few things we still need to improve.

Well done for finding our little Easter Egg until tomorrow :wink:

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Omg finally - this is gonna make tracking spending so much easier for me! Sooo happy.

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Looking forward to Starling - that will make Snoop much more useful (instead of just fun) since Starling is my only bank for current accounts.

Can you clarify how their Spaces are going to be displayed in Snoop, Paul? Other apps take a range of approaches - from ignoring them (not helpful), including them with the linked acct balance (also not great, but slightly better), and showing as a separate saving acct/goal (ideal).

Thank you!

Morning everyone.

I’ve summarised the Amex position here:

@d4g we will provide a full update on Starling very soon and I will ensure we pick-up your question on ‘Spaces’

Paul

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Ah, just spotted Amex is available too (hadn’t been following the above)! Hooray! This makes me so happy and now really makes Snoop more worthwhile for me.

I initially got annoyed by this Snoop, telling me I could get more value by adding more accounts whilst thinking to myself ‘Well I would if you connected to the ones I want’ but then I saw that Amex had magically appeared! Get that word out there soon (otherwise the standalone Snoop seems out of place)!

Well done on getting it in there :innocent::clap:t2:

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Hello Paul,

Any updates on the Starling connectivity? Really looking forward to linking these accounts.

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Hi @Weedevil we will be providing a full update on Monday.

Thanks for your patience - rest assured we are working as hard as possible to get Starling over the line, like we did with Amex last week.

Have a great weekend

Paul

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Great news re Amex, and after over 30 yrs with The Co-operative Bank as my current account provider, there refusal to do the open banking has made me do a switch to another one. That alone has saved me £16 a month by going to a non packaged account( the extras I found I had anyway!) and still have same overdraft facilities I had before!

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