2 min read

UK open banking APIs for personal use

Back when the Open Banking initiative was announced in the UK, I was initially quite excited, I assumed this would mean that I as a regular consumer would be able to create applications that would interface across my bank and credit card accounts.

But when it came about, it turned out it was a fair bit more complicated than that - it seemed to be reserved for approved organisations, or at least it didn't seem accessible in any practical sense for a regular user like myself.

I have periodically looked around to see if any providers had popped up and were providing Open Banking APIs to regular, but admittedly not very hard, assuming it was going to be impractical. But today I came across Terence Eden's post on Mastodon, highlighting a free API by GoCardless.

Free Open Banking API using Nordigen / GoCardless
A few weeks ago I was moaning about there being no OpenBanking API for personal use. Thankfully, I was wrong! As pointed out by Dave a company called Nordigen was set up to provide a free Open Banking service. It was quickly bought by GoCardless who said: We believe access to open banking data shoul…

As detailed in his post above, the API seems reasonably easy to use, albeit with a few back-and-forth steps to authenticate and link your accounts, but having given it a try - I've linked my Monzo & Barclaycard accounts and can retrieve transaction info programmatically.

I'm not 100% sure on what I want to do here, but I am interested in writing something to help get a better grasp on what I'm spending across all my accounts. Monzo Plus has the ability to automatically export to Google Sheets, and I am a Plus customer, but as a programmer - I always would prefer to write code than fiddle around in spreadsheets (even if they're probably the better tool for this..).

I've also got the dangerous idea of maybe even feeding some of this data into GPT to see if it can help format, categorise, budget and analyse my spending. Should I be feeding my financial info into GPT? Probably not, but maybe if I can reduce it down to the bare minimum information (vendor + how much I'm spending), it might not be the end of the world.

It might also be another excuse to sharpen my rusty C# skills, as I detailed in the following post.

GPT APIs, .NET core and a rude Mancunian Slack bot
In my professional life, I’m an EM (Engineering manager) for a software product team. My role is split between delivery, people management and technical leadership. That technical leadership has been, for the most part, fairly ‘high level’, since starting this team I haven’t been hands on in much o…