Deposit Switch: The basics

How does Plaid Deposit Switch work?

Deposit Switch makes it easy for users to change the destination of their direct deposits, in whole or in part. We offer three methods so that users can successfully switch their direct deposit, regardless of their situation:

  • Instant Deposit Switch: This allows a user to quickly switch their direct deposit, usually by logging into their employer or payroll-provider account. Plaid sends a confirmation to the consumer and developer once the switch is complete.

  • Deposit Switch by mail: Here, Plaid contacts the user’s employer on their behalf to switch their direct deposit. Consumers and developers receive a confirmation when the switch is complete.

  • Deposit Switch by email: This method is generally used when other Deposit Switch methods are unavailable. The user submits their personal information in a form provided by Plaid; from there, they generate either a PDF or an email to send to their employer.

How does employer search work?

We’ve learned from user focus groups that many people don’t know which payroll provider their employer uses. We built employer search so that users who don’t know their payroll provider can identify their employer instead. Our employer database features nearly 250,000 employers mapped to their associated payroll providers.

If you already collect employer name(s) from your users, you can leverage our /employers/search endpoint and enable users to skip the employer search pane. Their payroll provider will automatically be selected, so they can quickly proceed to authenticate and switch their direct deposit.

How do I implement the employer search endpoint?

Pass the employer_id from the /employer/search endpoint when creating a /link/token/create endpoint in the deposit_switch.employer_id field. This will drop the user directly into the employer pane.

Which credentials do users need to provide to switch their direct deposit?

The user needs to enter the credentials (username, password) associated with their payroll provider account in order to manage their direct deposit settings. For many users, this may be their:

  • Payroll provider portal (e.g. Gusto)

  • Employer’s payroll site (e.g. Walmart)

  • Gig economy or freelancing platform (e.g. Lyft)

Improving the user experience

How does Plaid improve the user experience with Deposit Switch?

We’re solving direct deposit switch by focusing on three key areas:

  • Active customer feedback and testing: We regularly collect customer feedback, and conduct user testing and experiments to continually improve the switch experience.

  • Scale quickly to ensure coverage: We’re increasing our financial institution coverage every day so that every user has an opportunity to switch their direct deposit easily. 

  • Enhance discoverability: We’ve taken Deposit Switch one step further by building a growing database of employers mapped to payroll providers. 

How does Deposit Switch help users find their payroll provider?

Many people either don’t know or can’t remember their payroll provider. Deposit Switch lets users search and select their employer—mapped to their respective payroll providers—in Plaid Link. To date, we’ve mapped nearly 250,000 employers to their associated payroll providers. 

If you already collect employer name(s) from your users, you can leverage our /employers/search endpoint to enable users to skip the employer search pane. Their payroll provider will be selected automatically; from there, they’ll proceed to authenticate and switch their direct deposit.


What is Plaid’s conversion rate?

In our years building financial products, we’ve found that conversion rates depend heavily on the customer’s situation, user experience, goals, user base, and use cases. We work closely with our Deposit Switch customers to define what a successful conversion rate looks like and to set the right goals for their unique situations. 

At what point should I prompt users to switch?

We recommend prompting users to switch their direct deposits once they’re familiar with your app and services. Users who are onboarding are still getting acquainted with the app’s core services; often, they’re not yet ready to make a switch. 

How do I get my users to switch? What’s in it for them?

From our user testing, we’ve learned that switching direct deposits can be a highly emotional experience, particularly if someone has been regularly sending deposits to a particular institution. For that reason, benefits and incentives can be an effective way to get users to switch. One-time rewards and discounts are a good place to start, and we’re happy to discuss other ideas with you. The more motivated a user is, the more likely they are to switch their direct deposits. 

How do user benefits and incentives affect conversion?

With our existing customers, we’ve seen that offering strong benefits and incentives can greatly increase conversion. 

Popular benefits include: 

  • Early wage access

  • Earned wage access

  • Overdraft avoidance features

  • High Annual Percentage Yield 

  • Improved savings account experiences, such as accounts that categorize spending and personalized recommendations to help customer save more

Popular incentives include:

  • A dollar amount offered for direct deposits

  • A discount when users shop at select stores

  • Cash back when users spend a certain amount at partner stores

How should I let my users know about Deposit Switch?

Automatically switching their direct deposit is a new process for many users. For that reason, including education in your onboarding and other marketing materials can improve the success of your direct deposit campaign. These channels can help you make the most of Deposit Switch:

  • Email: Send periodic emails with information about Deposit Switch. Provide clear action steps (including images of the switch flow) to help users feel comfortable getting started.

  • Dedicated landing page: Create a landing page to outline the ways in which Deposit Switch can help to improve the user’s financial health. Share any related benefits and incentives your service offers.

  • In-app and push notification: Users may have forgotten that the Deposit Switch feature exists so an in-app or push notification can serve as a timely reminder.


How fast can Plaid add coverage for my users?

Over the years, we’ve developed a reputation for building best-in-class products, fast, with integrations built-in to over 11,000 financial institutions. Because of our commitment to quality, our products have helped trusted companies across the financial services ecosystem scale and reach their goals more quickly. 

We apply all of this experience, knowledge, and infrastructure to payroll provider and employer coverage. We will work closely with you to understand your coverage needs and create a plan that covers as many of your users as possible within your timeline.

How much coverage does Plaid have?

We’ve developed three Deposit Switch methods to provide coverage for the full spectrum of workers (gig-economy, freelancers, full-time, part-time, and unemployed workers). As a result Plaid currently covers over 70% of U.S. workers.

Does Plaid cover gig-economy platforms?

Yes. In addition to supporting top gig-economy platforms like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, we also support freelancing platforms (e.g. Upwork) and other non-traditional work platforms (e.g. Etsy). Speak with your account manager to discuss coverage options for your users.

How are you covering edge cases? 

If you have a use case that is not addressed in this FAQ, please contact your account manager to discuss your situation. Don’t have an account manager? Sign up here.

Integrating Plaid Deposit Switch

How do I integrate Deposit Switch?

Integrating with Deposit Switch is simple and straightforward:

  • Create your free Plaid account.

  • Sign up for Deposit Switch.

  • We’ll send an email to set up an introductory call. 

  • During the call, we’ll cover any legal documents required to get started.

  • Start playing around with Deposit Switch immediately in Sandbox mode, using dummy data.

  • Use our API docs to integrate. We’ll work closely with you to ensure a smooth integration.

  • When you’re ready, go live. The development can be completed in 1 -2 sprints.

If you have an account manager, reach out to them to guide you through the process. If you don’t, please sign up and we’ll reach out.

Do I need Plaid Exchange in order to use Deposit Switch?

Plaid Exchange (our tokenized API integration) is preferred but not required. If you don’t yet have Plaid Exchange, you can use Plaid Deposit Switch by simply implementing the beta. If you’re already using Plaid Exchange, integrating with Deposit Switch can be accomplished in one sprint.

How long does it take to integrate Plaid Deposit Switch?

It depends on your development resources. Typically, we’ve seen implementation take 1 to 2 sprints with 1 to 2 backend engineers. If you’re also implementing our Android or iOS SDK, that will require additional frontend engineers. 

Where does Deposit Switch fit into my app?

Deposit Switch was built with flexibility in mind. We’ve seen customers successfully add Switch to the landing page, settings page, and a dedicated feature page. 

Our early user testing suggests that the onboarding flow is not the best place to add Deposit Switch. During onboarding, new users are familiarizing themselves with your core services and building trust with your brand. We recommend letting users get comfortable with your app before prompting them to switch their direct deposit.

Will Plaid inform me about the type of allocation the user selected?

Plaid will notify you via the Deposit Switch API about the type of allocation the user selected. Three types of allocation are available: 

  • Full paycheck

  • Percentage of paycheck

  • Specific dollar amount

Will Plaid inform me of the amount the user decided to switch?

If a user decides to switch only part of their paycheck, Deposit Switch will share the allocation the user requested (either the dollar amount or percentage). If the user chooses to switch their entire paycheck, we’ll inform you of that, as well. 

Does Plaid send success and failure events?

Yes, Deposit Switch notifies you (the customer) via the Deposit Switch API if a switch has been successful or has failed. The exception occurs when a user completes a deposit switch by PDF or mail. Because the switch occurs offline, you won’t receive a confirmation.

Does Plaid return pay frequency and pay amount?

Currently, we do not return this information. We may consider adding pay frequency and pay amount depending on customer interest in the future.

Privacy and security

How does Plaid ensure user privacy and security?

Learn about Plaid’s policies and practices, and the terms and conditions that apply when using Plaid products, in our End User Privacy Policy.

Does Plaid share Plaid Deposit Switch data or sell it to third parties? 

We don’t share users' personal information without their permission, and we don’t sell or rent data to outside companies. Learn more about our data handling practices here.

What if a user suspects fraudulent activity?

Users can reach out to their employer to confirm their direct deposit settings reflect their preferences and can speak directly to their HR person to get help. Users can also update their payroll credentials to prevent further harm.

Plaid’s consumer-permissioned model

Do users remember their payroll or employer passwords?

Yes, many users remember their passwords and can successfully connect their employer and/or payroll-provider accounts. Generally speaking, the more a user logs in to their payroll or employer accounts, the easier it is for them to recall their credentials. For example, we’ve found that gig economy workers are more likely to remember their passwords because they log in often for work; by contrast, full-time workers tend to interact less with their payroll accounts.

Are users willing to switch their direct deposit using their payroll credentials?

Yes, we’ve found that users are generally willing to switch their direct deposit by providing their payroll credentials.

Why is Plaid starting with employers? Will it stay this way?

We’ve found that users are more familiar with their employers than they are with their payroll providers. Allowing users to search for their employer is more likely to result in a successful switch than orienting them to their payroll provider. 

Can Deposit Switch help me differentiate high-intent users from low-intent ones?

Yes. Generally speaking, high-intent users are those who attempt to connect their payroll or employer account. Low-intent users exit the flow long before they reach the credential pane.


What happens when a user is unable to find their employer or payroll provider?

If a user is unable to find their employer or payroll provider, they can use one of our other Deposit Switch methods (Deposit Switch via mail, email, or PDF). These methods prompt users to provide their employer name and address. Finally, users can contact their employer to ask about their payroll provider, then attempt the Instant Switch option again.

How long before a user’s direct deposit starts going to my app

Typically, it takes 1-2 pay cycles after a Deposit Switch is confirmed before a user’s direct deposit starts going to the new account. It depends on when the switch was requested: the earlier in a given pay cycle, the likelier that the switch will be accomplished before the next pay cycle.

My user received a paper check; what should they do?

In the event that a user receives a paper check, they should contact their employer or payroll provider to make sure their account details were entered correctly. 

Can my users use Deposit Switch to change their pay allocation?

Yes, users can change their pay allocation at any time by restarting the Deposit Switch flow.

How do I empower my support team to answer Deposit Switch questions?

As a first step, please leverage this FAQ to help your support team answer questions about Deposit Switch. From there, we encourage you to build your own FAQs customized to your brand, product, and users. 

If your team encounters questions not covered here, please share them with your account manager. 

How can I report issues and get help?? 

You can report issues by logging into your Plaid dashboard. Simply open a new support case and select “product functionality.”