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Customers shopping in the UK will soon be able to ditch paper receipts and use their mobile banking app to see details of all their spending, in the latest example of digital innovation in “fintech”.
Flux, a fintech startup, has partnered with Barclays to offer thousands of customers access to the service with their banking app, to gain an instant, itemised breakdown of everything they buy.
The service is aimed at reducing the use of paper receipts in the UK and shortening checkout times, bringing receipts into the digital era as well as giving people with greater control over their transactions and spending data.
The initiative has been launched ahead of regulation, called Open Banking, which comes into force at the start of next year. It will require banks to open up access to customers’ transaction data — with their consent — so other companies can develop services tailored to individuals’ needs.
At the moment, customers only receive a basic summary of their spending when they check their transaction history on their bank app. Flux, however, will show exactly what a customer has ordered or bought from a restaurant or shop.
Banks have been hindered from developing more detailed transaction information by their old technology systems. Decades of mergers and acquisitions in the sector mean their systems are an amalgamation of different technologies, which often leaves customer data fragmented.
Flux will work with a number of retailers and restaurants to offer the service. The appeal for merchants is that they will be able to see anonymised spending data: this will help them to gauge which products are selling well and to determine which discounts to offer.
However, consumer groups have raised broader concerns over customer data protection. Banks and other financial institutions face impending regulation, called the General Data Protection Regulation, which will impose large fines if customer data are lost or misappropriated.
Flux said that customers must give their consent within the app for the service to be used. Aside from Barclays, Flux also works with new digital bank Starling, and is in discussions with other banks.
Matty Cusden-Ross, co-founder and chief executive of Flux, said: “Nobody wants to keep track of hundreds of bits of paper in the 21st century. We’re determined to digitise the world’s receipts by linking to how customers pay anyway, so we don’t change behaviour at the checkout.”