Wells Fargo's efforts to strengthen data access and sharing for customers using third party apps has moved on apace with an API integration agreement with real-time aggregation service Finicity.
The data exchange deal with Finicity allows the popular PFM tools that rely on Finicity’s APIs to access Wells Fargo customer-permissioned data once the proper authorisations are obtained.
It follows a similar agreement with Intuit which enables customers to import account information to financial management tools such as QuickBooks without having to hand over their account credentials.
The API uses a secure, tokenised 'handshake' between the companies’ servers, eliminating the need for customers to share their Wells Fargo usernames and passwords, and the need for Intuit to store them in order to retrieve bank account data.
The issue of customer data sharing has been a sticking point in bank relationships with fintech competitors. Banks have traditionally been reluctant to provide access to data to upstart competitors and say that the practice of customers giving third parties the ability to login to their accounts for this purpose poses a security risk.
“Establishing a data-sharing process with a provider like Finicity creates a much better experience for our customers,” says Brett Pitts, head of digital for Wells Fargo Virtual Channels. “This allows our customers to choose where and how to use their financial data, while also maintaining the privacy of their user credentials.”
Finicity will access Wells Fargo’s data exchange API on Wells Fargo’s Gateway Channel developer portal, which was launched in September of 2016 and houses a suite of APIs that allow commercial and corporate banking customers to integrate Wells Fargo products, services and information into their own digital environments.