USAA is opening up, striking deals with Intuit and Finicity that will see members able to more easily share their data with third-party apps - without having to hand over their login credentials.
The companies will use an API that will eventually eliminate the need for members to share their credentials through third-party apps. Instead, members will be redirected to USAA to provide consent and confirm what data they want to share. A dashboard will allow them to manage third-party app access whenever they choose.
The move means that USAA members will be able to easily share their information with the popular PFM tools that rely on Finicity's data platform without having to share their bank usernames and passwords..
Similarly, the agreement with Intuit means USAA members will be able to integrate their accounts with products such as Mint, Turbo, TurboTax and QuickBooks.
"Our members increasingly require access to their data and wish to share that information with a host of third parties," says Melissa Ehresman, VP, enterprise digital experiences, USAA. "USAA wants to give our members control over what information is shared and how it is done while maintaining the security of their login credentials."
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.
USAA is following the likes of Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase - which both have API deals with Finicity and Intuit - in finding a way around the problem.
However, the issue is far from settled, with some fintech firms resisting being forced to use APIs. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Plaid Technology - which connects banks and third party apps such as Venmo and Robinhood, but not through an API - has been unable to access data for some Capital One customers.
“We welcome any third party that wants to provide services to our customers to work with us to access data through our publicly available customer transactions API,” Capital One told Bloomberg.
Plaid has countered: "Everyone should be able to use the fintech applications and tools that enable them to live a healthy financial life - and this shouldn’t be limited to the services provided by your bank.”