Live bank feeds in Xero (Ireland)
Brexit has significantly impacted Xero customers in Ireland. Xero bank feeds stopped feeding live bank data for businesses in Xero accounting software. This significantly increased the time required to process bank reconciliation in Xero. The division of Xero that manages Irish customers is based in the UK; as part of Brexit, the company lost their ability to “passport” UK-regulated status to Ireland. Bank feeds to Irish banks, including Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland and Ulster bank were impacted.
The Brexit trade deal with Ireland did not cover financial services, which left many Irish businesses in the lurch. Since Brexit, Xero has successfully applied to become an Account Information Services Provider and to passport their regulated status and has started the process to restore Irish bank feeds by the end of the month (September 2022), starting with the Allied Irish bank and Bank of Ireland.
Fortunately, Allied Irish Bank’s (AIB)’s direct feed is available again. If you bank with AIB, you can connect their accounts to the direct bank feed to ensure that transactions will flow into Xero. This avoids the need to export .csv files from your bank and manually enter them into Xero. This process has been a pain point for Irish customers post-Brexit as it increased bookkeeping time.
Let’s take a look at how this feed will work, and which other Irish banks will follow.
Allied Irish Bank Feeds Into Xero
The ability to set up a direct bank feed from your bank or financial institution directly into Xero was a big drawcard for many small businesses as this eliminated the need to manually import transactions. Before Brexit, it was relatively simple to set up a direct, Yodlee or PayPal feed to connect your bank account to Xero, whereafter the feed would automatically send transactions directly into your organisation on a regular basis.
The good news is that Xero is now able to once again provide Allied Irish Bank (AIB) direct feeds to customers in a secure and reliable way. If you are a Xero client, these bank feeds are available at no additional cost. If your clients pay for their own subscriptions, they will receive direct emails from Xero. Direct feeds will be applied to both AIB Business Banking & AIB Personal Banking accounts
How to connect the new AIB direct feed to Irish Bank Accounts
In order to connect to the new Xero Bank feeds, simply log into Xero. From there, you can add your client’s AIB bank accounts.
- Visit the Bank Account page.
- Select add Bank Account. Search for their AIB or AIB Business bank account and click “Agree”.
- Login to the Bank and follow the steps until you are are directed to Xero.
- Confirm that you can see all the accounts you are expecting to see.
If you have been manually importing your transactions, pay special attention to the start date for importing to avoid duplication.
Other Live Feeds and Irish Bank Accounts
Bank of Ireland
The Bank of Ireland’s feed will be restored before the end of the month. Until then, customers can manually import transactions using a .CSV file in a Xero stipulated format. Data can be exported from your bank and uploaded again via the Xero template. However, this does come with some risks. It’s important to check that transactions are correct and to complete a bank reconciliation to match the bank statement. It’s more time-consuming than live feeds, which is why you may want to speak to your accounting team about regular reconciliations.
Revolut is a good solution if manually managing Xero bank feeds isn’t a viable option for you. Revolut’s integration is managed directly, which is why feeds to Irish banks never went down after Brexit. Revolut comes with a number of handy benefits, including an online subscription manager and prepaid card functionality. While it’s worth noting that Revolut isn’t regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, this is a good option for a small business that needs to manage expenses and International payments. Many companies also found prepaid card integrations useful for managing small expenditures and online subscriptions.
Wise is another good option that was not affected by Brexit as they are licensed and regulated by the National Bank of Belgium. There are three main services, including Wise, Wise Business and Wise Platform. Wise is a personal account that enables international payments in more than 55 currencies. Wise Business has bank feeds and multi-user access, while Wise Platform connects to the likes of Monzo, GoCardless and Xero to conduct payments.
PayPal may offer another workaround solution. You can add PayPal as as a payment service in Xero, so that you can accept payments from anywhere, in a currency of your choice. Your transactions will be imported into Xero accounting software every day for reconciliation via your PayPal feed.
You can set up a Stripe feed without setting Stripe up as a payment service in Xero accounting. You can connect to Stripe by adding a new Stripe bank account in Xero and following the activation prompts. Unfortunately, you can’t connect Stripe to an existing bank in Xero to reconcile payments. You’ll need to transfer the balance in the existing account to a new account and archive the account that isn’t connected to the feed.
N26 is a German Bank with a presence in more than 20 countries in Europe. More than 200,000 Irish customers already use N26, which is licensed by the German Central Bank. N26 operations were not affected by Brexit, but it doesn’t offer access to live bank feeds at present either. As a digital bank, it’s easy to make payments and manage your account, but it’s not ideal for business customers.
Xero remains an affordable and intuitive solution for small businesses. While losing access to direct bank feeds in the immediate aftermath of Brexit was a considerable inconvenience, it’s good to see that we are moving towards business as usual once again. If you have been affected by Brexit and need an accounting partner that can help you navigate the complex regulatory environment, feel free to reach out. Here at Around Finance we offer a full range of technology and integration supports for accounting software solutions.