If you are one of the (un)lucky who started using our spending tracker before we completed FCA authorization process, you are likely to see a very apologetic message in Monshare… You can still use our app to track your spending, but you cannot get access to the actual ‘secret’ sauce behind it. Specifically: you cannot connect your bank accounts!
It’s not an oversight. We (and FCA) put your trust and security above all, thus we have spent months on proving to the FCA that your spending data is safe with us. We wanted to share a bit of what it actually takes to get authorized and how it improves your experience of tracking shared spending with Monshare.
What kind of authorization are you talking about?
FCA stands for Financial Conduct Authority and it’s government body overseeing all-thing-finances in the UK. Effectively, most of the businesses that fall under ‘financial services’ would need to establish some sort of relationship with the FCA.
While tracking spending by itself does not constitute a financial service, enabling you to do that straight from your bank account most certainly does. It happens that even when you trust an organization, you cannot simply grant them permission’ to access your banking data. Such organizations need to be registered as Account Information Service providers with the FCA. You can find companies who have been authorized as such at FCA register (Monshare will appear there shortly), do note that none of them are a spending tracker app like ours:-)
But anyone can get authorized, right?
Not exactly and not straight away. As part of the process companies have to prove that they have adequate knowledge, government processes, technology and security in place. Every director goes through extra checks to prove good character, experience and reliability. Here at Monshare we had to write over 150 pages of different documentation, implement numerous governance processes, get our messaging approved and go through 4 rounds of review. So we are really offering a ‘super-charged’ spending tracker app here.
In addition to authorization, we have to make sure we have adequate professional indemnity insurance in place, so that even if some of the unlikely unforeseen events take place, you will be covered.
So how secure is secure?
As secure as it can be. Access to your data is strictly restricted and there is less than a handful of vetted and trained people who would even remotely come to it. All communication with the banks is performed using special bread of Eidas certificates and with our FCA-authorized and ISO-certified truster partner Salt Edge, and all sensitive data is encrypted at rest and in transit. If you want to read more about our security please check out this blog post.
Does it mean you can advise me on where to invest money or sell insurance?
Hold your horses, we are still a personal finance app and our license will only allow read-only access to your bank accounts, which is sufficient for tracking your spending. All further financial services would require additional authorizations and we will gladly notify you if we dare to embark on that journey again.
We hope it clarifies why it took us a while to secure all the necessary permissions and we are very grateful for your patience and understanding. We are preparing for a release of our licensed and authorized spending tracker in the coming weeks. Please don’t hesitate to reach out as if you have any questions in the meantime.
Thank you for reading.