FreeAgent, the Edinburgh-based cloud accounting software provider, has received credentials from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) enabling it to provide open banking services to freelancers, contractors, micro-business owners and their accountants.

The company is now registered as an official Account Information Services Provider (AISP) under the terms of PSD2 – the new EU-wide legislation designed to open up the banking and payments industry.

FreeAgent is among the first tranche of companies to achieve AISP status in the UK and will now be able to officially embark on its Open Banking strategy.

The accreditation will allow FreeAgent to provide deeper banking integrations with its software, and enable users to more readily access their banking information in a secure and compliant way.

Kevin McCallum, chief commercial officer at FreeAgent, said: “We’re delighted to have achieved our FCA registration as an Account Information Services Provider.

“The FCA rightly sets the quality bar fairly high for any business to become an AISP. We have always taken our security and data responsibilities very seriously, and our AISP status confirms that our internal systems and processes meet the highest standards.

“The integrated and seamless flow of information between banks, accountants and business owners is an integral part of the FreeAgent experience in the future.

“We believe that open banking is going to fundamentally change the way that businesses, accountants, software providers and banks share data – giving people a more secure, transparent understanding of their finances than ever before.

“It will allow us to build new services and customer-focused offerings that would simply not have been possible previously.

“It’s the start of a new era for fintech companies and it’s an exciting time for FreeAgent.”