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May 19, 2020

Introducing Plaid Exchange

Niko Karvounis & Jesse Dhillon

Updated on May 12, 2022

The financial ecosystem is undergoing an unprecedented digital transformation due to new realities brought on by COVID-19. Consumers and businesses have turned to fintech to manage their finances in record numbers. Digital transformation that was expected to take years is now predicted to take place over a matter of months. Now, financial institutions everywhere must be prepared to meet their customers’ rising demand for digital connectivity.

Today, Plaid is launching Plaid Exchange to accelerate consumer-permissioned data access strategies for financial institutions. As fintech adoption has grown, so have the needs of financial institutions that must now manage unprecedented customer connections across thousands of fintech apps. Plaid Exchange gives financial institutions, from banks to wealth management firms, an open finance platform that includes critical tools required to manage the secure and reliable data connectivity their customers’ financial lives demand, today and for years to come. At the heart of this platform is the ability for consumers to maintain control and transparency into where and how their financial information is permissioned and shared, increasingly important as more people rely on a variety of digital financial tools to manage their financial lives.

Over the past year, we communicated with over a hundred financial institutions to understand their evolving priorities and deliver a solution that fully encompasses what a financial institution needs to implement scalable API-led data access rooted in user transparency and control. With Plaid Exchange, financial institutions can bring an API solution to market in as little as 12 weeks. Implementing Plaid Exchange also means saving on the costs associated with standing up an API, such as building tools and programs to manage developer testing, implementation, and risk management.

Developed with shared security, transparency and reliability needs across the ecosystem in mind, Plaid Exchange is an API platform for financial institutions that provides the connectivity to:

  • Establish token-based API connectivity. Financial institutions can leverage tokenization to maintain connectivity, and help ensure even more reliable integrations with the 2,600+ apps on the Plaid network today.

  • Optimize infrastructure load. With a bi-directional Plaid Exchange integration, financial institutions benefit from smarter scheduling and load management for data updates.

  • Build one integration for open finance needs. Plaid Exchange is a solution for the digital financial ecosystem stakeholders; it’s open finance in a box, so financial institutions can integrate with multiple data partners through the Plaid Exchange integration.

  • Align with key connectivity standards and principles in the industry. As an active member of FDX and multiple industry standards bodies, we’ve designed Plaid Exchange to reflect key principles around access, consumer control, transparency, and security.

  • Enable new control tools for consumers. Plaid Exchange includes the ability for financial institutions to easily build a consumer control center that gives their customers more visibility and enhanced control over how their financial information is shared and where their accounts are connected.

In the coming months we will announce more products, tools and services for financial institutions to monitor and manage integrations, and additional ways to accelerate digital strategies with the Plaid infrastructure. For the fintechs we support, Plaid Exchange will continue to strengthen data connectivity across the Plaid network without requiring changes to integrations.

We understand integrating new technology with legacy systems can be a key challenge - 44% of executives called this the top obstacle to digital banking transformation. To help, we’re working closely with integration partners, including core banking providers and development companies like Kunai and Core10, that aim to make it easier for banks to plug into Plaid Exchange. We believe APIs are the future of open finance, and we want to make it as easy as possible for all financial institutions to incorporate APIs into their broader digital transformation agendas regardless of budget size and resources.

Institutions are already up and running on Plaid Exchange today, with many more in the implementation process. Given data access and financial management will only become more intertwined, Plaid Exchange aims to enable financial institutions, from Wall Street to Main Street, to meet the needs of their customers today and in the future.