Run the Quickstart

A guide to get started building with Plaid

Introduction

You’ll be using both your app’s server and client to add Plaid to your app. Here is an overview of how you’ll be using Plaid.

The Plaid flow begins when your user wants to connect their bank account to your app.
1Make a request to create a link_token and pass the temporary token to your app's client.
2Use the link_token to open Link for your user. In the onSuccess callback, send the temporary public_token to your app's server.
3Make a request to exchange the public_token for a permanent access_token and item_id for the new Item.
4Store the access_token and use it to make product requests for your user's Item.

Run the Quickstart app

Let’s test out running Plaid locally by cloning the Quickstart app. You’ll need API keys, which you can receive by signing up in the Dashboard. If you want to get started adding Plaid to an exsiting codebase, you can jump ahead to Adding Transactions to your app.

You’ll be running the web Quickstart which showcases the server and client-side pieces to a Plaid integration.

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git clone https://github.com/plaid/quickstart.git
cd quickstart/node
# Copy the .env.example file to .env, then fill
# out PLAID_CLIENT_ID and PLAID_SECRET in .env
cp .env.example .env
# Install dependencies
npm install
# Start the backend app
./start.sh
2. Visit localhost and log in with Sandbox credentials

Now that you have the Quickstart running, you’ll add your first Item in the Sandbox environment. Once you’ve opened the Quickstart app on localhost, open Link and select any institution. Use the Sandbox credentials to simulate a successful login.

Sandbox credentials
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username: user_good
password: pass_good

Great! Once you’ve successfully added an Item, the Quickstart allows you to simulate product requests. We’ve started the app with transactions, so only the Transactions product requests will work. Try adding other products to the run script with PLAID_PRODUCTS=auth,transactions,balance to test them out.

Congrats! You’re all ready to dive right in to adding Transactions to an existing app.

Next steps