PNC Bank has been inundated with complaints from customers who have been left unable to connect their accounts to the Venmo app after a security update from the bank locked out data aggregator Plaid.
As first reported by the Wall Street Journal
, for weeks PNC customers have been having issues linking their accounts with PayPal's P2P payments app Venmo.
The problem is the result of a "security enhancement" at the bank that prevents Plaid - a firm used by Venmo and other apps to access bank data - from getting the information needed to enable transactions.
Responding to one customer complaint on Twitter, PNC suggested using Zelle, the Venmo rival owned by a group of banks, including PNC.
Venmo has urged customers to pressure PNC to restore access, offering a boilerplate tweet, which has been used hundreds of times since early October.
The dispute is part of a wider battle between banks and fintech upstarts over access to customer data. Plaid has grown into a multi-billion dollar company in just few years by tapping into increasing consumers demand to share their bank data with third party apps.
However, some banks are still reluctant to share information, citing security concerns.
In response to the Venmo issue, Karen Larrimer, head, retail banking, PNC, tells the WSJ: "When aggregators access account numbers, many store them indefinitely, often unbeknownst to customers. This puts customers and their money at risk. We want to make sure we know who is setting up the account."
Customers can still link Venmo by putting in the account information manually, bypassing Plaid.