HSBC has an innovative new app, Beta, taking on challenger fintech startups and rivals

 
Lynsey Barber
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HSBC's Beta app will include accounts from other banks (Source: Getty)

HSBC is seeking to get ahead of rivals and fend off growing challengers with the launch of a new banking app.

The banking giant will play up its position as a trusted high street bank and make the most of millions of customers with the roll out of the financial management app Beta.

Read more: Open Banking just came a step closer but the clock's ticking on a deadline

It comes months ahead of rivals who are expected to do the same with the deadline for sharing customer data under competition rules coming in January, and as startups such as Monzo and Starling ramp up their own efforts to build out their own services.

The efforts are part of $2bn spending globally to modernise HSBC and has been built “replicating the model of an agile startup”. It will seek feedback from customers, hence the name, initially from several thousand invited to download it before a wider public rollout at the start of next year.

Beta lets users aggregate their accounts from across HSBC and 20 other banks. It can analyse spending habits and send alerts among other features.

Read more: Barclays' former top boss has landed millions for his fintech startup

“Lots of people ask us if a big bank like HSBC is relevant in today’s competitive fintech landscape. What sets us apart is that we have millions of customers, which provides a unique insight into how we can continue to improve our digital banking offering,” said head of digital for UK and Ireland Raman Bhatia, adding that it was “just the starting point” for new features.

Banks have been working on opening up their data as part of Open Banking plans that were set out by the competition and markets authority (CMA) last year and wider European rules will soon come into force under PSD2.

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