Despite the Chancellor dropping the ‘Making Tax Digital’ legislation in his latest Finance Bill, there's every possibility it will return given the Conservative's remaining in power after June's General Election. With that in mind, APS and Sage have joined forces to help small business get ahead, by integrating their Cashplus account information and transactions into Sage’s new Bank Feeds service.
Integrating bank account information is nothing new per se. Many freelancers and small business already make us of bank feeds in packages such as FreeAgent, or Xero, but more often than not, it involves handing over sensitive bank details and passwords to a third party provider such as Yodlee. Not only is this a risk that many businesses just won’t stomach, it can also be a breach of the bank’s terms and conditions.
Barclays via its DataServices is an exception here, but as others begin to modernise their technology, and mobile-first challenger banks enter the market, the battle to liberate customers’ account data is only going to intensify. By partnering with Sage, APS is helping its Cashplus customers to stay ahead of the curve, just as it was when it became the first non-bank issuer to gain MasterCard membership back in 2007.
Speaking about the collaboration, APS CEO Richard Wagner said:
As a market leader in Fintech, APS developed Cashplus to make life simpler for Small and Medium businesses. Our partnership with Sage emphasises this position.
Small business owners will be ahead of the compliance curve, and with our tech partnership they can focus on building their business rather than sifting through difficult and time-consuming admin.
Competition from SaaS providers such as QuickBooks, and Xero, had seen Sage loose market share over the past few years, but the company has begun to turn that around with an, and is still the most commonly used accounting and payroll software in the UK.
The launch of Bank Feeds, follows an overhaul of Sage’s products, and an aggressive push to encourage its users to sign up to subscription based services over one-off purchases. A strategy that has seen subscription revenues grow nearly 31 per cent in the six months to 31 March 2017.
Seamus Smith EVP Global Payments & Banking from Sage says:
We chose Cashplus to be part of the launch of Bank Feeds because of the company’s payments expertise and its prevalence in the U.K.,” added Sage EVP of Global Payments and Banking Seamus Smith in another statement. “We expect this to be one of the first steps in our journey toward enabling easy and better access to financial services from within the Sage Software.
2017 has been busy year for Cashplus, recently nominated as a finalist for Best Business Account for by Business Moneyfacts Awards. This year the company also completely revamped it mobile application, and teamed up with Deliveroo to offer riders access to its digital banking solutions. The liberation of customers' data is yet another boon for its users and a differentiator amongst many of its competitors.