Ecospend HMRC payments indicative of UK’s embrace of Open Banking


Ecospend, an Open Banking platform operated by Swedish payments provider Trustly, has provided an update on its relationship with HMRC.

The London-based firm has been a long-time partner of HMRC, the UK tax office, having first signed an agreement with the government body back in 2021.

According to its latest update, over one million customers have utilised its Pay by Bank technology to make tax payments totalling £3.3bn to HMRC since the start of 2024 alone.

This represents an increase in transaction volume by 16% year-on-year from 2023 whilst transaction values have also risen 38.9%, which Ecospend attributes to the ‘rapid adoption’ of its solution since it first began to work with HMRC.

Ecospend’s Pay by Bank partnership with HMRC enables the firm’s customers to make direct payments from their bank account to the tax office using validated details, with the benefits of increased transaction speed, greater cost savings and risk reduction.

The company’s partnership with HMRC marked the first time an Open Banking payment method had been embedded within a government system, showcasing the increasing significance of the technology in day-to-day life and finance.

This has taken on even more heightened importance in the context of the government’s ambitions to make the UK a global fintech hub and leader – some would argue it already has this position, but regardless it needs to keep hold of it.

Last year, Joe Garner’s Future of Payments Review focused heavily on Open Banking, highlighting gaps in the UK’s regulation of the technology, particularly around customer protection.

Meanwhile, with 2024 looking set to be an election year, the Conservative government is looking to shore up its image as the party of fintech, but Labour has also published its own financial policies, with Open Banking development a core objective.