What’s a Direct Feed?
A Direct Feed is a primary connection between a financial institution and Xero.
It’s a secure electronic transfer of account transaction data from a financial institution to Xero. Once a Direct Feed is set up, the high-quality data flows reliably without any action from the customer. Behind the scenes, financial institutions send daily files, and they are automatically uploaded into Xero ready for customers to reconcile.
Xero customers have two alternatives if a Direct Feed aren’t available. They can download their account data from internet (online) banking and upload it to Xero, or they can use a third-party service like Yodlee.
How the data is transferred
Once the financial institution has processed its daily transactions, a batch file of data for multiple customers is sent to Xero. Xero matches the data with individual customers and uploads it to their Xero account. When the customer logs in, their transactions are waiting for them to reconcile in Xero. Xero receives batch files by 5am so the data can be ready first thing in the morning when Xero customers log in to check the state of their business.
Setting up a direct feed
A financial institution can offer their customers either manual or automatic setup of a Direct Feed. They differ in setup costs and benefits, so financial institutions can choose the method that best suits their size and customer base.
What does this mean for you?
With up to date information regarding your financials, it gives you the power to make informed business decisions regarding your sales and purchases, whether you should buy that new vehicle or if that customer has fully paid up their account.
The use of the Direct Feed also makes matching expenses from Receipt-bank a breeze. As the items are processed through to Xero, these will ‘match’ up to the Direct Feed, showing as green. A simple check to see if the dates, amount and Supplier match the transaction (taking into account a slight difference in the date for bank processing) is all that it takes before matching the payment to the expense.
Receipt-bank article “Matching items in your Xero Bank Feed”
Xero Bank Reconciliation