We in the Xero community have been waiting years for a direct bank feed. Many other countries around the world already had this and we were jealous. For the average business owner and user of Xero, there are a few key things they may like to be aware of. These include:

  • multi-user options;
  • domestic EFTs; and
  • Xero direct bank feed.

There are many other services offered in the platform but we have focused on these as the most beneficial.


Well the new platform offers some benefits (other than the bank feed), including multi-users which allows for permissions and better process. The only odd item is that it forced multi-users even for one person businesses. For example, the owner under the system, would be required to prepare a bill payment in one login, then login to a second authorization login to authorize the payment. This is for security and to allow business owners to give a user login to staff to prepare payable’s runs which the owner can then approve for payment. However, has some shortcomings when that is not required.

Domestic Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT’s)

The cash management system is a step in the right direction as a payable’s service. CIBC has realized they need to be able to compete with these new services. Rates were higher than some competitors for example an EFT Ad-hoc payment is at $2.00 per payment. Veem (now in Canada) offers CAD domestic payments for just $1.50. Plooto previously offered services at $1.00 CDN per payment but have now moved to a monthly subscription plus transaction fee. This makes it more difficult to compare to. This of course is at the time of the writing of this article (October 2019).

The advantage of course is that it is within your own banking system and you do not have additional apps/integrations to deal with. However, it does not yet allow for a two-way feed / automated entry in Xero for bills paid (that other apps include). If you are looking for a few one off EFT payments then this is a great solution. The benefits are that it uses your current bank services / platform (once set up) without another app.

Direct Bank Feed

We have been using and testing the bank feeds at Virtual Heights Accounting since its release. The feeds are solid. In the last four months it went offline once and required us to re-enter our credentials to reconnect. The previous Yodlee feed connection was not as strong. Yoodlee fees use a scrapping technology and there is always greater risk of mishap. This is because there is a third party between your bank and Xero with a Yodlee connection. With a direct bank feed there is no third party. However, while the CIBC Smart Banking platform is free, the Xero bank feed connection does come at a cost of $5.00 per month plus GST. This is a bank fee that is charged monthly to your bank account.

Overall the CIBC Smart Business Platform has made some great headway with this product release.  If you have had trouble with your CIBC / Xero connection it may well be worth moving to the platform. The platform could save you the time and frustration of reconnecting your bank feeds or dealing with errors in the feed.

(Side comment: If you go ahead with the CIBC Smart Business Platform be sure to utilize their technical support on set up. The email explanations were not as easy as they could have been, and I ended up spending a good 30 minutes on a call with tech support to complete set up. That was after I had attempted on my own for double that time. Do yourself a favour and get some help early on with setup. The tech person I spoke to was very helpful and thorough.)

Virtual Heights Accounting

A CPA firm that focuses on process automation using technology. We offer year end, tax, CFO, controllership, tax and bookkeeping services. We specialize in professional services, e-commerce and the not for profit sector. If you have any questions, please contact us from our website. https://vhaccounting.ca/contact-us/. If you have any comments on this or any blog you can also email us at info@vhaccounting.ca.