April 07, 2016
Updated on November 21, 2018
Let’s face it: Bank accounts weren’t designed with 21st century needs in mind. That’s a big part of what drives us here at Plaid—exploring how we can use technology to bridge existing infrastructure with changing consumer needs, strengthen security across the system, and reliably exchange data. At the end of the day, it comes down to making it easier and more secure for consumers and businesses to access and leverage this information.
There has been some effort over the past decade to create a more standardized data model—OFX is one of the original standards and one of the more widely implemented. Recently, the OFX Consortium (of which Plaid is a member) has taken some steps to bring this standard inline with some more modern authentication mechanisms.
Today we announced—along with the rest of the OFX Consortium—an update to this specification that supports token-based authentication models. Before long, we believe that tokenization in bank authentication will, and should, become the standard. Recently we announced Plaid Link, so developers only ever get tokenized access to their customers’ bank accounts. Shortly after that, we struck a partnership with Stripe to tokenize account numbers. We believe both these efforts are huge and much-needed improvements to the system. However, we still have a long way to go.
The OFX spec is one of many competing specification standards in the financial community. We’re excited to work with all of them and make sure that any change in the financial system empowers consumers and enables developers to keep creating amazing and innovative applications. Check out ofx.org to learn more.