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Introduction to Balance

Learn about real-time balance data

Balance is Plaid's product for receiving real-time Balance information. When you call any product endpoint, balance data is one of the pieces of information returned as part of the account object. However, this data is typically updated about once a day, and is not suitable for situations where you need real-time balance information. In order to receive up-to-the-minute balance data, you will need to call /accounts/balance/get. This real-time Balance data can be helpful when checking to see if an account has sufficient funds before using it as a funding source for a money transfer, such as one made via Auth.

Balance data

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"balances": {
"available": 100,
"current": 110,
"iso_currency_code": "USD",
"limit": null,
"unofficial_currency_code": null
}

Current and available balance

Balance typically returns both current and available balance information. For fraud detection and insufficient funds (NSF) prevention use cases, available balance should be used, as it represents predicted balance net of any pending transactions, while current balance does not take pending transactions into account.

Available balance indicates balance that is available to spend, which is not the same as the overall value of the account. For example, for credit accounts, it indicates the amount that can be spent without hitting the credit limit (net of any pending transactions), while in investment accounts, it indicates the total available cash.

In some cases, a financial institution may not return available balance information. If that happens, you can calculate available balance by starting with the current balance, then using the Transactions product to detect any pending transactions and adjusting the balance accordingly.