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August 06, 2020

Financial Access at Plaid

Ginger Baker

The rapid digital transformation of our industry has created a unique opportunity to help people lead healthier financial lives. However, the economic fallout from COVID-19 has caused job insecurity, left small businesses at risk, and frayed the fabric of our economy. For me, this has generated a renewed sense of purpose.

That’s why I am delighted to be joining Plaid to build and lead our Financial Access efforts. Throughout my career, I’ve pursued initiatives that leverage macro trends, like the proliferation of mobile phones or growth of messaging apps, to deliver financial access at scale. Today, that trend is the ability for individuals to access and share their financial information to unlock new experiences and tools; an important shift in how consumers can take control of their financial health. Plaid’s role in connecting banks, fintechs and consumers is a unique position to drive impact in a way that can benefit the full ecosystem.

Plaid has built a foundation of connections with financial institutions that enable us to drive towards a partnership-centric model where we can deliver real value back to banks. It is now time to unlock digital innovation with financial institutions at the scale we have seen from fintech over the past five years. To get started, we are focusing on three initiatives to drive the ecosystem forward:

Deliver API-led solutions. In May, we launched Plaid Exchange to help accelerate the ability for institutions to manage increasing customer connections across thousands of fintech apps. Our team will partner closely with banks to build new capabilities into Plaid Exchange that deliver secure, reliable data connectivity and great digital-first experiences to their customers.

Build an Open Finance network. The world recently learned the importance of making all types of financial information accessible when businesses struggled to access and share the payroll data required to receive loans through the Payroll Protection Program. We will work across the industry to enable user-permissioned access to a range of financial information, beyond just bank and checking account data, as part of creating a digitally-delivered financial ecosystem. This will unlock opportunities for banks and others to better serve their customers.

Advance industry standards. Plaid is in a position to collaborate with all parties on standards that benefit the ecosystem. Our work will continue with industry and regulatory bodies to define standards that enable better outcomes for consumers. We will also collaborate to advance digital strategies in accordance with new and anticipated regulations from the OCC and CFPB.

Banks play a meaningful role in communities around the world. They keep local economies vibrant and growing as well as assist people and businesses in key milestones throughout their lives. At the same time, an increasing number of people and businesses crave the digital experiences many fintechs offer. Plaid's Financial Access team will help partners accelerate digital roadmaps regardless of size and resources, empowering banks to continue the legacy of innovation and service that has benefitted millions of people around the world.

We are just getting started on this new approach where we work in bilateral partnership to inform our industry’s next chapter. This is important work that can help repair, and ultimately strengthen the fabric of our economy. I look forward to working with you all in the months to come.