June 09, 2021

Driving Towards an Open Finance Future

Ginger Baker

Last year, Plaid announced a goal to commit 75% of our traffic to APIs by the end of 2021. This target for fair, reliable, and secure API-based data exchange is one of our top priorities as the industry moves full-steam ahead towards a fully digital financial system. 

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce an open finance partnership with Capital One -- a digital finance innovator -- and the successful completion of our migration to the Capital One API. As a result, Capital One customers can enjoy reliable and secure access to the apps and services in our network, and through the technical partnership we are able to make significant headway in our efforts to help build a credential-less ecosystem. 

Because of the sustained efforts towards open finance, we have completed or have in-motion data access agreements with the majority of major U.S. financial institutions, including U.S. Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and others. Moving to an API-based ecosystem helps make data sharing more reliable, and also helps eliminate the industry’s reliance on credentials, a major priority for us and the broader ecosystem.

Building a better ecosystem for consumers

Consumers have the right to access their own financial information when and how they choose. With a truly open finance ecosystem, people can control access to a wider swath of their financial data, such as savings, mortgages, and investments, all powered by APIs. Plaid’s integrations with financial institutions are designed to ensure more consumers can share their financial information securely with the more than 5,000 apps powered by Plaid -- including Venmo, Acorns, Betterment, and Robinhood. 

Today, more than half of Americans say they use digital tools to manage their money, according to a July 2020 survey. And 59% use more money-management apps now than they did prior to COVID-19. As finance moves from analog to digital, even more consumers will view digital tools and services as essential, making it mission-critical for all industry participants to accommodate for a fully digital financial system.

Plaid’s recent collaborations signal the effort to work across the industry to build a better ecosystem that gives people choice and control over where and how their information is shared across digital tools. Innovation will continue in this area with initiatives like Plaid Portal, a service (currently in beta) where consumers can view and manage their account connections, helping to ensure they remain in control of where their data is shared. 

Helping to lead industry change

Plaid is helping the industry meet this unprecedented consumer demand for digital finance in important ways. First, for banks with the resources to build an API-based data exchange, we can integrate to ensure more reliable data connectivity on behalf of our shared customers and the developers building on our network. 

Second, Plaid Exchange provides an alternative for those that would prefer to seamlessly integrate with a Plaid-built solution, making it easy for any financial institution, regardless of scope and size, to participate in an open finance network. 

We are also a member of important industry groups like Financial Data Exchange (FDX), a not-for-profit focused on unifying the financial industry around a common standard for secure and convenient consumer and business access to their financial data. 

As the world moves closer towards an open finance future, it’s increasingly important for the industry to continue to embrace innovative digital strategies that give consumers convenient and secure access to their financial information so they can better manage their everyday lives. We’re excited to continue to share milestones on our journey there together.