December 02, 2021

Reimagining the future of credit and financial data

Shibani Sanan

As fintech continues to grow at an exponential rate, it's important for us to slow down and take stock on what access truly means. For me, it means building an ecosystem that gives everyone the same access to financial services and tools that help them live better lives. It’s also about improving access for those who are unbanked or credit invisible. And that is why Plaid’s mission to unlock financial freedom for everyone speaks to me.

1 in 5 Americans today are credit invisible. What this means is that it’s much harder for them to get an education, start a business, or even buy a house. I resonate with this as an immigrant to the US as I’ve shared the struggles of applying for an auto loan with little to no credit history two decades ago. Incredibly, this problem still exists today. Recently, I bought a new car and the dealership required paper documents for income verification. I thought to myself, what if we could make this process seamless and digital so that it could be a simple one click experience? You can see why this is a problem I feel deeply motivated to solve. 

9 in 10 Americans today use fintech to manage their finances and that represents a 30% growth over the last year. While Plaid has built a strong foundation that enables connectivity to over 12,000 financial institutions worldwide, with more people relying on fintech today, we still have a lot more to do. We’re focused on improving the quality of the data that we provide to enable all types of use cases, while also ensuring consumer data security, transparency and control are a top priority. We’re continuing to make incredible strides in our partnerships with financial institutions, the move towards open finance and our work with payroll data to make it seamless for consumers to share their financial data with lenders. At the end of the day, no matter what fintech app you use, or what financial institution you bank with, we want to create magical moments for you (as a consumer) as you manage your financial life digitally. 

I’m incredibly excited to join Plaid as Head of Engineering for two strong technical groups: financial access and credit, that are focused on building products that expand financial access to more people and foster an inclusive credit system. Over the next year, you will see us scale our engineering function to continue delivering best-in-class and high quality data connectivity solutions, traffic optimization for financial institutions, and differentiated insights with data science and machine learning.

The fintech revolution has just started and will be a long road ahead. I’m more excited than ever to have a front row seat on this journey with Plaid and I’m optimistic that the work we do will contribute to a more equitable and accessible financial ecosystem for everyone.