Goal: Instant payments,
Real-time connectivity
Region: United States
Type of data partner: Fintech

Branch needed to ensure workers not only had flexible ways to move their instant payments between their Branch Wallet and other financial apps and accounts, but also access to real-time financial insights.

With Plaid, Branch users can easily connect to 7,000+ fintech apps and financial accounts, helping them make the most up-to-the-second decisions about their finances.

Fast, flexible access

Today, 63% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, including nearly half of those making six figures. This means that a single unexpected cost can easily tip the scales into financial strain: Think insufficient funds, overdraft fees, or—in worst case scenarios—predatory loan requests.

That’s where Branch comes in. Partnering directly with employers and companies, the free workforce payments platform has made it their mission to accelerate payments to workers—from W-2 employees to independent contractors. Through the Branch Wallet, workers gain instant access to the money they’ve already earned whether it’s wages, tips, mileage reimbursements, or more. 

To help do away with the antiquated approach to payroll and payments and create more value for their users, Branch needed a way to make sure workers could link their bank accounts to their Branch Wallets and move money as seamlessly and as safely as possible—as well as see the most up-to-the-second picture of their finances.


of today's users want to be able to connect their bank accounts to apps and services

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Branch users can establish real-time connections to fintech apps in less than 60 seconds


Branch users have made over 600,000 connections to external fintech apps via Plaid

Real-time payments

Meet Rob. He delivers pizza around Indianapolis five nights a week. Like most food delivery workers, he’s seen a dramatic shift over the past few years from customers handing him cash to saying, “the tip is on the card”. 

For Rob and his co-workers, that means they have to turn in receipts at the end of each shift and pull their tips from the register. The only problem is, the register rarely has enough cash to cover everyone. 

Branch makes it easy for Rob’s employer to instantly send tips, mileage reimbursements, and one-off payments to employees after each shift. And because everything is trackable and automated, there’s no manual data entry required, no more trips to the bank to make change, or adding tips to employees’ paychecks and making them wait two weeks. 

Branch’s real-time payment solution is finding success across industries, and particularly for gig economy workers, such as Walmart grocery delivery people and Uber drivers. The latter, for instance, can now get paid instantly after every ride, easing the cash-flow needs of everyday working Americans who don’t have the luxury of waiting until their next paycheck.

“We all live in a real-time world. Why shouldn’t we get paid right away?”

Ahmed Siddiqui, Head of Product at Branch

Better financial decisions 

With Plaid, Branch allows workers to connect their financial data to more than 7,000 fintech apps on the Plaid network, including 9 of the top 10 most downloaded financial apps in the Android and App Store—all in real time. 

For the millions of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, this real-time connectivity allows them to get an accurate view of their finances, including their transactions, so that they can make more informed financial decisions. Should I move money over to Robinhood so that I can make an investment? How much money can I send to my family overseas? Can I trust that my budget on Rocket Money is up to the second accurate? 

With Plaid, getting those real-time insights is easy. 

“Helping our users access the most current picture of their finances is critical to empowering their daily financial decisions. We have Plaid to thank for that,” explains Siddiqui.

In fact, over 400,000 Branch users have already connected to external fintech apps and services via Plaid’s Data Connectivity solutions, totaling over 600,000 connections. To do so, they can find Branch in their favorite apps that are part of the Plaid network and can connect to them in real time. A successful connection typically takes less than 60 seconds.

Building differentiated products

Today’s consumers understand the value of data connectivity, with 75% agreeing it’s important to be able to connect their bank account to the digital finance apps and services they choose. One of the driving factors behind this number is the growing expectation that today’s fintech companies need to solve real-world problems for their customers. For many, that starts with connectivity. 

Given this shift in consumer demand, fintechs like Branch are facing brand new pressures to enable data connectivity easily and safely. By working with Plaid, Branch is able to stay at the forefront of digital finance and offer customers convenient and secure access to consumer-permissioned financial data. 

As the financial ecosystem grows, so will the opportunities for Branch to build more differentiated services, increasing the lifetime value of their customers and retaining their place at the center of their customers’ financial lives. 

“Plaid is always looking to what’s next, anticipating and building for the future. In that sense, our ways of thinking are very aligned."

Ahmed Siddiqui, Head of Product at Branch

One step ahead 

Branch knows that for today’s consumers, the lines between the real world and fintech continue to merge as more people look for easier ways to complete everyday financial tasks. So by building new products and features, they can stay focused on helping consumers navigate simple, everyday financial challenges. 

To stay one step ahead, however, Branch needs to understand and meet their customers' unique needs better than any other platform. In that mission, they consider Plaid a partner.