May 19, 2022

Ushering in Fintech's Next Phase

Zach Perret

Over the last year, I’ve spoken with many of our customers about the priorities and challenges they face. I’ve received invaluable feedback about where Plaid has helped, areas we can improve, and things we should build. Today at Plaid Forum, we’re unveiling new products and initiatives based on that feedback with a focus on three key areas: 

Improvements to account connectivity and conversion 

Providing the best account-to-app connectivity will always be our top priority. We’ve made two big improvements in data quality, reliability, and coverage that are critical to enabling the services our customers provide. 

API-based access: Through bank partnerships and Plaid Exchange we’ve enabled direct API integrations for the majority of Plaid’s traffic. This week, we launched Core Exchange to provide additional open finance solutions for any bank or fintech to securely share data with Plaid aligned with industry standards. 

Data access from fintechs and payroll: To give consumers the ability to connect their data across the services they use, we’re adding more types of companies to the network. The majority of leading fintechs like Chime, Dave, and Robinhood are now data partners as well as customers. We’ve also added new types of data, like payroll data, to make it easier for people to verify their income and employment details. 

These improvements benefit both consumers and digital finance companies who connect external accounts, as well as banks and fintechs whose accounts are being connected. Consumers can access and use more financial products while simultaneously deepening their relationship with the banks and digital finance companies they use. A connected customer is a more valuable customer.

Platform expansions

Based on customer feedback, we’re excited to share a number of expansions to our platform and product suite so you can successfully sign-up and onboard your customers: 

Identity verification: Verifying a customer’s identity is the first step in the signup process for almost every financial product. Earlier this year, we acquired Cognito, which has best-in-class identity verification solutions that leading companies like Affirm, Current, and Republic rely on. 

At Forum, we introduced Plaid Identity Verification (IDV) and Monitor, which bring Cognito products to the Plaid API. Plaid IDV combines a low-friction user experience with all the verification methods you need to fully automate identity verification, comply with AML and KYC requirements, and onboard users around the world. Since Plaid IDV shares a consistent user experience with Plaid Link, the combined steps of identity verification and account linking can be completed in just a few minutes.

Account funding and transfers: What often separates a “sign up” from an active customer is account funding or enabling a person to pay or be paid for goods and services. Funding an account (via ACH) is a required step before a user can invest, send money, or use a digital wallet. 

Many companies already use Plaid products to verify a customer’s account, ownership, and available balance (Auth, Balance, and Identity) in combination with our 50+ Payment Partners for ACH transfers. For those new to ACH, today, we’re introducing Transfer, a solution that combines account authentication, risk assessment, and ACH processing in a single API. 

Income verification: When it comes to lending, securing the income and employment verification that’s needed is often lengthy and adds friction. Just as we’re making account funding easier, Income makes it faster and easier for people to securely share their income information—which helps streamline lending decisions and accelerate loan disbursements.

Fraud prevention

The complexity of fraud in financial services continues to increase. To help companies better protect their customers, Plaid is bringing unique fraud prevention tools that leverage insights from our growing network of over 12,000 data partners, more than 6,000 customers, and hundreds of millions of connected consumer accounts. At Forum, we are introducing two risk-based tools that help lower risk and fraud in account funding and transfers via ACH.

Signal uses machine learning to analyze more than 1,000 risk factors and provide scores and insights that provide more certainty that a transaction will settle, so you can accelerate access to those funds without increasing risk. Early customers have seen significant reductions in unauthorized returns and NSF fees.

Guarantee is powered by Signal and other data sources to guarantee the settlement of ACH transactions and pass the liability of the transaction on to Plaid. Guarantee provides a real-time transaction decision so you can deliver faster access to funds and services for your customers without taking on additional risk. 

Fintech is more mainstream than ever. Now is the time to build for what comes next—simple, secure, and easy ways for people to complete the majority of their financial tasks online. We’re just getting started. 


Get more information about new developments announced at Plaid Forum here.