April 23, 2021
Building a better customer experience for you
Learn how your feedback informed our most recent work to improve the quality of our products and tools.
Your voice drives a lot of the work we do to unlock financial freedom for everyone. And we want to do even more to provide you the best possible experience with Plaid—so you can build great products and services that solve big problems, and help millions of people.
So we’ve taken a step back and reevaluated how we as a collective team can better support your experience building and scaling with Plaid. What follows is what we’re doing concretely to shore your confidence, and covers both what we've done so far this year and what’s in store for the rest of 2021.
Back to basics: close listening
As we started planning for 2021, we anchored around one question: what does quality mean to you as fintech developers with diverse needs?
To answer this question, we quickly assembled cross-functional teams to surface, investigate, and champion that feedback on faster cycles. The team reached out to dozens of customers across all verticals and use cases to better understand how customers broadly define quality. Unsurprisingly, the answers ranged—some of you focused on Plaid Link conversion and customization, while others are more concerned with data freshness, Item health and troubleshooting, institution health transparency, and technical support.
These conversations were tremendously helpful. And the best part of all of this was being able to ideate on the spot with all of you. Your openness and transparency gave us a clearer sense of what's working, what’s not, and what you really need from us. We took this feedback and quickly went to work brainstorming ways to solve for as many of these issues and problems.
Small changes over time lead to big impact
We’re excited to share some of the quick ships as part of our ongoing work to address all of your input on quality. The changes we’ve implemented aren’t just one-off product improvements. We also upleveled internal systems, added new dashboards for monitoring, and reinforced existing tools so you can have greater visibility into your integration, support cases, and more. All of this is in addition to our work to ensure your users can easily connect their financial accounts, and your access to reliable user-permissioned data that powers your app or digital service.
You told us that the Dashboard is the hub of your integration with Plaid. It should have everything you need in order to deliver a great experience for your users. With this in mind, here’s what we’ve shipped recently:
Item Debugger: Accessing real-time performance data can help you to better understand and resolve your users’ connection issues. Try the Item Debugger, our newest troubleshooting workflow in the Dashboard, which gives you a comprehensive view of any Plaid Item in one place.
Institution Status: View the connectivity status as well as Item add and update success rates for investment institutions. The status and success rates reflect information as of the most recent market close.
Support Cases: We made the filters for searching support cases clearer so you can easily find cases based on status (e.g. Closed). You can also search by the affected institution_id which will help your team to determine if an issue has already been filed by someone else.
Production Access: Your team members (non-admins) can now view and access the Dashboard while they await for production access to be approved.
Bank API Migrations (OAuth)
We recognize that you need more guidance and time to prepare for bank API migrations. There are several work streams underway to make it a smoother process in the future. In the meantime, below are a few improvements we’ve made to help with your migrations.
OAuth guide: We updated our API docs to include more details on managing OAuth consent. Additionally, there is a list of steps for implementing OAuth which you can review along with our new videos on YouTube.
Sandbox: You can now access Platypus OAuth Bank when you use account_filters on Plaid Link token creation.
Many of you wanted improvements to transaction categorization and reconciliation. We’ve shipped the following upgrades, and will be continuing the work throughout 2021.
Credit cards: We increased the recall rate for ["Payment", "Credit Card"] by 40% and doubled the number of predictions for this category.
Payroll: We added support for gig-economy workers from Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, DoorDash, and Postmates which yielded a 8% increase in the recall rate for the [“Transfer”, “Payroll”] category. For Canada, we also implemented changes to improve the overall categorization of payroll transactions.
Utilities: Hearing that customers care a lot about the utility categories, we proceeded to add support for 400+ smaller utility providers which increased our coverage from 80% to 90%.
International: To further support open banking in the UK, we launched two new timestamp fields: authorized_datetime and datetime.
Bug fixes: Several bugs impacting our integrations with Citi and PayPal have now been resolved. These bugs were causing some transactions to disappear or appear as duplicates.
For lenders, it’s especially important to know whether or not an account is owned by an individual or two people. We improved our integration for Navy Federal Credit Union to now display joint account holder information where available.
Lenders using Assets have the option to retrieve an Asset Report with insights such as transaction categories. If a lender did not specify insights to be included in the original Asset Report, the report can now be refreshed to include the insights.
To further support an API based financial ecosystem, financial institutions built on Plaid Exchange can now experience seamless connection for sharing investment data.
Knowing when there are updates to user-permissioned data is essential to staying on top of your user’s financial health. We recently built webhooks for Liabilities which will notify you when a new loan account has been added to an Item or if there are any changes to an existing loan account’s data. Stay tuned for more information as we release this feature for Liabilities in the coming weeks. Below is an example of the webhooks object:
There are many projects still in the development phase which we’ll share more on as our work progresses. One idea is to provide more insights into an institution’s connectivity like their historical status and number of data refreshes in a given 24 hour period. We’re also exploring greater flexibility in configuring Plaid Link across multiple products. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.
A standard for 2021
All the changes and improvements that we’ve made so far were not a one-off effort. They were just the first fruits of our ongoing focus on improving your experience with Plaid. We’ll continue to rely on open feedback from you to help guide our roadmap and prioritize the quality improvements that you wish to see next.