Changes to Bank Connections in the UK & EU

Katie_WaveKatie_Wave Administrator, Moderator Posts: 27 admin

Later this year, you will see some changes in Wave due to the upcoming Open Banking regulations coming into force in the UK & EU. You can find our FAQ regarding these changes below. We have also updated our stance on supporting Making Tax Digital in the UK. You can find more information here.

If you have any other questions, please let us know by leaving a comment on this thread.

Will Wave be compliant with upcoming UK & EU Open Banking regulations?
No, Wave will not be compliant with UK & EU Open Banking regulations when they come into effect on September 14, 2019.
Wave’s bank connection feature will no longer be available to users in the UK & EU after Open Banking regulations come into effect in September.

What is Open Banking?
The Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) is regulating banks in the European Economic Area (EEA) to open their APIs to allow Third Party Providers (TPP) to access customer data and initiate payments. You can learn more about this in the Open Banking glossary.
The regulation aims to:

  • Secure electronic payments using Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)
  • Increase digital and online commerce
  • Expand the scope of regulated payment transactions
  • Enhance customer data rights
    For this to happen in a secure and open way, financial technology companies like Wave must adhere to new regulations in order to continue using customers’ banking data.

Where is Open Banking being enforced?
Open banking only applies to UK and EU bank institutions. Wave will continue to use bank aggregation partnerships and internal products to automatically import bank feed transactions from any institution geographically outside of the United Kingdom and European Union.
Customers in other geographic locations (like the US and Canada) that connect to the United Kingdom or European Union bank institutions will also be impacted.

What is Wave's position on Open Banking?
We believe that Open Banking is the right way forward. As companies like Wave continue to strive toward bringing new financial products to the market, we believe that a customer’s access and control of their own financial data is crucial to unlocking innovation.

Why is Wave not supporting Open Banking?
The required operational & technology costs to support Open Banking for our free accounting platform are too high for Wave at this time.
Wave’s revenue comes from financial services based in North America. In order to ensure that we are able to make feature investments to our free accounting and invoicing platforms that bring value to users worldwide, we will continue to focus on growing our business in North America.
While we will no longer support automatic bank imports when Open Banking comes into force, users of our accounting product can still import transactions using statement uploads or Wave Connect.

What are the other solutions that you suggest?
If the automatic import of transactions through a bank connection is a mandatory requirement of your business’ bookkeeping needs, we understand. We’ve done our homework to see what some of our main competitors are doing to support Open Banking. Both Xero and Quickbooks have Open Banking support for their accounting products.

Will Wave ever support Open Banking?
Directives like Open Banking will be advocated and promoted into Canada and the United States in the next few years. Wave believes in these types of initiatives, so when it is timely to develop these features for the UK & EU, we will. As we decide on our international revenue strategy in the future, the United Kingdom and European Union are a critical component of that vision.

Is this Wave's choice or because of your data aggregation partners?
This decision is Wave’s choice. Our aggregation partners aim to support Open Banking, but the operational and technology costs we must commit to in order to become compliant are too high for Wave at this point in our accounting feature’s lifecycle.

When will I lose my bank connection?
Wave will automatically sever the connection to any impacted financial institutions that you have connected on or before September 14, 2019.

How is Wave communicating about this?
In June, we communicated directly with all customers in the UK and EU who have actively used our accounting features in 2019. We will begin showing further messages and notifications in the application through the coming months. As the final deadline approaches, we will send a communication to all users with an impacted bank connection to inform them about when we will disconnect their bank connection.

Does this mean I have to input transactions manually?
Once support for bank connections terminates, users can continue to input transactions into Wave and continue to use our accounting features. We offer a bank statement upload tool, as well as a Google Sheets integration called Wave Connect to allow users to upload transactions in bulk. Users can also enter individual transactions manually.

What does this mean for Wave's other free software?
There are no changes to the availability or functionality of any of Wave's other features. We know that Wave's free features offer incredible value to small business owners around the World. We'll continue to offer and improve our free invoicing and payments processing integration with Stripe in regions we currently support.

Does this change apply to payments processing with Stripe?
This does not impact Wave's integration with Stripe for payments processing.

I'd be willing to pay for these services, would you build it then?
Right now, the operational & technology costs of complying with these regulations in the EU and UK is not the right business decision for us.
In order to ensure that we are able to make feature investments while keeping our accounting and invoicing platforms free for users worldwide, we will continue to focus on growing our business in North America through our paid services in that region.

Is there any way to opt out of this?
No, there is no way to opt out of this change.

Are you doing this because the UK/EU isn't generating revenue?
Wave’s primary revenue comes from financial services based in North America. As we continue to evolve our international strategy in the future, the United Kingdom and European Union will be a critical component of that vision.

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Comments

  • kaashpkaashp Member Posts: 1

    Are you able to provide instructions on migration to the alternatives you suggested? A quick chat with Quickbooks said they are unable to help.

  • Paul_UKPaul_UK Member Posts: 2

    alternatives are needed. Any suggestions??

    This is really disappoint news. i did like how Wave works but this news will mean we need to find an alternative. Clear UK & EU are being pushed out of the development roadmap

  • RD3RD3 Member Posts: 2

    Same question as Kaashp. How can I migrate my data from your site to Xero or Quickbooks. Please can you offer guidance. I am very disappointed having used your service and recommending it widely for a long time.

  • wavemattwavematt Member Posts: 4

    seriously disappointing that Wave seems to be pulling out of European market, maybe something to do with their takeover?
    This bank connect was the main reason we took the risk to move over to them and it changed our lives now we have to start all over again.

    We have just tried to connect using 'wave connect' and it sets up as far as the sheet then a warning box appears saying that our version of wave does not support wave connect, so it seems our only option is to enter manually or leave wave.

    embarrassing for us as we have recommended and moved over lots of people to wave in the past 2 years.

  • NoelsNoels Member Posts: 0

    Hi,
    I had an email today letting me know that Wave will not be updated to adhere to new EU & UK open banking laws and so any current open banking connections will be lost and I will need to input transactions manually.

    I'm a bit confused whether this will effect my current Paypal and Etsy integrations. Will these integrations still work or will I have to input transactions for those manually as well as the bank account?

    I'm hoping that someone form Wave will have the answer!

    Thanks in advance.

  • murrayzz1murrayzz1 Member Posts: 5

    That's the end of that, then. I'm not interested in this product without the bank feed.

  • murrayzz1murrayzz1 Member Posts: 5

    TO EVERYONE : Pandle looks like a fine alternative, includes bank feeds, is already MTD compliant, and is only a fiver a month. www.pandle.com. Best of all, they CAN be bothered to support EU customers.

    Personally, I would have preferred Wave to start charging and use the revenue to get compliant, but they clearly don't give a toss about us.

    edited June 18, 2019
  • smashingsmashing Member Posts: 3

    This is absolutely devastating news. We are an international business operating in Canada, the US and UK. Wave was PERFECT for us. And it is NOT a free service, when we are paying for Payroll. When we heard the news about the H&R Block takeover our hearts sank. We felt it would almost certainly result in bad news to follow. Because it always does, no matter the wordsmithing and feel good platitudes around it. This MUST have been known before the takeover. Worst fears realized! H&R Block we literally blame and hate you for this decision, and we are going to spread that feeling as widely as feasibly possible.

  • smashingsmashing Member Posts: 3

    One more thought for H&R Block and the Wave principals... H&R Block paid $527 million to acquire the business. Just how much would it have costed to integrate Open Banking? I can't imagine it is anything more than a tiny fraction of the acquisition cost. So a) why could H&R Block not simply add another million or two to the cost, and b) Why did the Wave principals not insist on this in the agreement for purchase. Or were you so blinded by dollar signs that you incompetently overlooked this?

    Not exactly happy as you can tell....

  • snappyfishsnappyfish Member Posts: 49
    Absolutely ridiculous.. This wave company runs a bit like the PayPal integration.

    I guess as its free they can dump valued users.
    edited June 19, 2019
  • ErikErik Administrator Posts: 194 admin

    @wavematt What are you looking to carry out with Wave Connect? Some features of Wave Connect should be supported by the version of Wave you are using, but some are not (anything to do with reports and transactions). 

Because we understand that our users will need this tool in light of these recent updates, we are hard at work moving users over to an updated version that does. Please send me a DM if you are interested in going over some specifics about your account.

    @Noels none of your integrations (found on the Integrations page in Wave) are affected by these changes. The only area that should be affected by these changes falls under the Banking page.

  • Katie_WaveKatie_Wave Administrator, Moderator Posts: 27 admin

    @kaashp @Paul_UK @RD3
    We understand that this is disappointing. We're here to support you through getting your data out of Wave in order to move your accounting to another provider if that makes the most sense for your business.

    Xero and QuickBooks are both Open Banking and MTD compliant for the UK, which is why we’ve suggested them as alternatives.

    When it comes to moving your information over, Xero has a guide here: https://central.xero.com/s/article/Start-using-Xero-UK and QuickBooks has an FAQ to help get you started here: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/community/Getting-Started/Common-questions-about-importing-data-to-QuickBooks-Online/m-p/238772

    Both require you to export data from Wave. You can do this under Settings>Data Export or by running reports in your account. You can also use Wave Connect which is our Google Sheets integration to export your data: https://support.waveapps.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020768272-Wave-Connect-Easily-import-and-export-data-with-Wave-s-Google-Sheets-add-on-

  • wavemattwavematt Member Posts: 4

    Hi Erik i need a detailed explanation of how we can use wave connect to upload our bank transactions in the easiest way but without overlapping/doubling them, we reconcile pretty much daily which is why the bank connect was so useful.
    I need to know if it is feasible to do as an upload or if it is too time consuming and creates too many issues we would also need to consider moving away from wave, very reluctantly.

  • RD3RD3 Member Posts: 2

    @Katie_Wave thank you for that. I will be moving to Quickbooks. I still can't believe you have so willingly just binned your UK and EU business. But sobeit.

  • Justin_AJustin_A Member, Moderator Posts: 3

    @wavematt @Noels @smashing
    This change for UK&EU customers has been coming for some time, and was made based on the requirements of the new UK & EU Open Banking regulations. In evaluating both the operational and technology costs required to become compliant for Open Banking, we came to the conclusion that the costs were too great for us to justify.

    To become compliant, Wave would have to open a physical location in the EU with full time employees, as well as build out brand new technology. Bearing the costs and time to do this doesn’t make sense for our current and planned short term strategy.

    Wave makes revenue principally through paid products in the US and Canadian markets. We plan to continue to focus our efforts on those markets in order to support our mission of providing free accounting and invoicing software worldwide.

    We know that this is a disappointment to many of our UK & EU accounting customers who count on their bank feed to make bookkeeping as painless as possible. Our invoicing and accounting tools will continue to remain free for all users worldwide, and this change has no impact on our integration with Stripe for Invoice Payment processing, as well as our other integrations (Etsy, PayPal, Zapier).

  • wavemattwavematt Member Posts: 4

    Just letting anyone on here know who is considering switching, i have been chatting to the Guys at Pandle and they have confirmed this:

    "I have already heard from my MD and we are making the switch over to open banking shortly. So I can confirm you will be able to have the bank feed through us."

    So they may be another alternative to Wave, im taking a detailed look at the software now.

  • lc_web_uklc_web_uk Member Posts: 1

    I would just like to leave a positive comment here, Wave has been a great aid to me being free to use over the last 2 years, and personally while I can understand the value the bank feed feature provides I'm just happy to still have the awesome platform that is Wave, and hopefully you guys can integrate bank feeds again in the future!

  • Armada_FCArmada_FC Member Posts: 1

    Extremely disappointed at this latest development, but I am still enjoying a fantastic platform. Without you my accounts would look like something from the dark ages lol. This change, I guess it comes off the back of the BREXIT that is still going on!. Anyways, some alternatives would be nice and what about adding new banking connections after the September deadline has passed, will that still work or not.
    I have been on the phone to Pandle and they have said that they will not be supporting open banking either, thoughts. If anyone knows a good FREE alternative, then drop me an message on [email protected]

  • BobTBobT Member Posts: 1

    Pandle are supporting opening banking, they have confirmed that to me

  • Philip OsbornePhilip Osborne Member Posts: 2
    How can a directive to make banks MORE open and accessible result in you being LESS able to access them?? This seems so contrary and illogical!
  • wavemattwavematt Member Posts: 4

    Pandle also have confirmed to me they will be supporting open banking.

    I totally agree also that Wave has been great for us too and i have done nothing but pass on positive feedback about it, it is a perfect platform and the very last thing i want to do is leave as it is so good.

    However one of the best parts is the bank feed which makes the whole package so easy to use and i just cant imagine the manual or wave connect upload will be as error free (perhaps wave can publish a detailed article about the smoothest way to replicate the bank feed?? this might keep us from leaving so hastily)

    I must admit i do worry that if Pandle (a much smaller company) seem to be able to switch to use open banking seemingly quite easily and wave cannot? That just puts doubt in my mind that Wave intend to support or provide for the UK EU market going forward, perhaps im wrong and i hope i am but i need to be prepared either way.

  • russphotorussphoto Member Posts: 1

    Pandle charge £5 a month so the comparison isn't exact. The bottom line here is that the profitability of providing the facility that they do in the geographical region they do is counter to the new level of greed of their new owners. Wave wasn't perfect but it did what it did and it did it for me for free. So starts the new search....... Oh and Quicken files aren't .QIF they're .QFX and MMoney are .OFX not .QIF files evidently. The confusion continues and we'll sort it outfor them.

  • JasonConwayJasonConway Member Posts: 2

    Totally shocked about this and Wave is damaging it's UK brand by taking this step. Such a shame that a recent takeover has caused this sad news that will remove a big percentage of your customers.

    I LOVE using wave so this is a real kick in the stomach for me as it's so easy to use and I've invested time to learn all of the features and I've even recommended it so so many people.

    You mention it's not the right move but after being taken over with such a huge payoff it's not going to wash with anyone that it's not the right investment for you to develop.

    Goodbye Wave, hello Pandle, I just hope they are strong enough to resist thier souls being bought.

  • MerlinAccounts_UKMerlinAccounts_UK Member Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    I've been advocating Pandle for some time now, particularly when Wave was prevaricating over MTD for VAT. At £5 per month it is an inexpensive alternative to Wave and does many things Wave does (and more now by default!). Sage/Xero/Quickbooks are all well known market leading brands but all come at a price.

  • Tony_DTony_D Member Posts: 1

    I would really love to stay with Wave. Is it possible to share a step by step tutorial on how to transition from automatic banking to uploading the statements please?

    Many Thanks,

    Tony

  • JamieDJamieD Administrator Posts: 1,117 admin

    Hey @Tony_D. Definitely more than happy to help out here.. we have a few help centre articles that include visuals on how to accomplish this in Wave, and should be beneficial in your particular situation. If you are on the most recently updated software, you can also use our Wave Connect feature which allows you to import data via a Google Sheets integration.. here are the two help centre articles I recommend following:

    https://support.waveapps.com/hc/en-us/articles/208621556-Upload-bank-and-credit-card-statements

    https://support.waveapps.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020768272-Wave-Connect-Easily-import-and-export-data-with-Wave-s-Google-Sheets-add-on-

  • snappyfishsnappyfish Member Posts: 49

    @JamieD said:
    Hey @Tony_D. Definitely more than happy to help out here.. we have a few help centre articles that include visuals on how to accomplish this in Wave, and should be beneficial in your particular situation. If you are on the most recently updated software, you can also use our Wave Connect feature which allows you to import data via a Google Sheets integration.. here are the two help centre articles I recommend following:

    https://support.waveapps.com/hc/en-us/articles/208621556-Upload-bank-and-credit-card-statements

    https://support.waveapps.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020768272-Wave-Connect-Easily-import-and-export-data-with-Wave-s-Google-Sheets-add-on-

    Are any of these files OK?

    • Microsoft Excel (XLS)
    • Microsoft Money (QIF)
    • Intuit Quicken (QIF)
    • Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
    • Text File (TXT
  • lara_amilara_ami Member Posts: 2

    Hi really disappointed to read this email from Wave. Wondering what I'm going to do now as I don't want to input everything manually again:

    "Wave’s accounting features will not be supporting Open Banking regulations when they come into effect in September 2019.

    Wave’s bank connection feature will no longer be available to users in the EU and UK after Open Banking regulations come into effect in September. Wave will automatically sever the connection to any impacted financial institutions that you have connected on or before September 14, 2019.

    At this point in Wave’s development, it is not feasible for us to support the cost of work required for our free accounting features to become compliant with these regulations.

    We have made this difficult decision in order to uphold our commitment to providing free accounting features and to ensure that we can continue to invest in feature improvement for our free accounting and invoicing platforms for all our users worldwide.

    Wave will not continue to support further MTD compliance beyond 2020.

    Wave will not continue building further technology to support MTD in the UK beyond 2020. This means Wave will not comply with MTD requirements for income tax filing (slated for 2021), and will not build support beyond the existing VAT 100 report that can be filed using bridging software."

    Such a shame. If this is effecting all UK and EU will quickbooks still have this option?

  • DavenirDavenir Member Posts: 6

    Wave's craven decision here, 7 days after their sale is quite clearly entirely strategic and has little to do with Open Banking. The EU/UK customer base is simply an overhead they wish to shed. Also please realise that Wave is not free. Every time you get paid by a client via credit card Wave receive a % which is completely acceptable in my opinion but useful to keep in mind when evaluating alternatives

    Would be helpful if others reported back here on the results of their research for suitable alternatives. Seem like Pandle is a reasonable fit..

  • PaulCPaulC Administrator Posts: 94 admin

    @snappyfish Wave can import from any of the following file types:

    Uploading from a .csv file directly into Wave can be fiddly, so if you are using these files, we recommend opening them in Google Sheets and uploading using Wave Connect. This is also the best option for .xls and .xlsx files.

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