Apple Wallet can now show UK users their bank account balances

It could be the start of more Apple banking services in the UK.

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Apple has quietly launched a new iPhone Wallet feature in beta that lets UK users see their current account balance, along with recent deposits and payments, 9to5Mac has reported. It's powered by the UK's Open Banking API, and follows Apple's purchase of Credit Kudos, a company that uses Open Banking to give users a snapshot of their financial health and creditworthiness.

The new feature, which also shows users their balances after purchasing something with Apple Pay, arrives as part of the iOS 17.1 developer beta. Users must first authorize it through the Wallet app, then authenticate using their bank's app or website. All banking data will be stored strictly on users' devices and not on Apple's servers. Supported banks in the beta launch include Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Monzo and Starling.

The Wallet addition is a rare Apple feature that premieres in a territory outside the US. Apple doesn't even have its Apple Card available in the UK yet, so it's a relatively minor player in the region so far. At the same time, its purchase of Credit Kudos gives it major connections in Open Banking. The latter company's API taps into the UK's open banking platform to analyze bank account data, aiming to help banking providers make faster and better decisions for people seeking loans or other financial services.

Open Banking — which forces the United Kingdom's nine major banks to to release their data in a secure, standardized form — is unique to the region and doesn't exist in the US (though the government is working on it). Europe introduced a similar system called PSD2 back in 2020. The two are similar, so Apple could feasibly bring the same features to Europe, where it effectively dominates smartphone-based payment systems with Apple Wallet.