Fintech Plaid, Okta to Deliver Secure Access for Open Finance

Plaid, the data network that powers the tools millions of people rely on to live a healthier financial life, and Okta, Inc. (NASDAQ: OKTA), the independent identity provider, announced a partnership and integration “to help thousands of banks and financial institutions adopt OAuth and APIs for exchanging data with third parties.”

The partnership “provides the financial services ecosystem a more secure way to accelerate their open finance initiatives and deliver seamless connectivity for potentially millions of consumers.”

Consumers are “demanding connected experiences — 75% of U.S. consumers agree it’s important to be able to connect bank accounts with digital finance apps and services,” according to a Plaid survey with Harris Poll in 2022.

Enabling this connectivity “means making data exchange as seamless and secure as possible, but many companies are not yet using the most innovative methods that enhance security for consumers.”

Plaid and Okta are “providing the integrations, education, and support to help all companies in the financial services industry transfer data through OAuth and API solutions.” (OAuth is an industry-standard protocol for authorization that gives users more control over how their data is shared.)

These methods “do not require passwords to be exchanged between parties, reducing the reliance on credentials, and creating better and more secure experiences for consumers.”

Customers can integrate Plaid with Okta Customer Identity Cloud (powered by Auth0) “to streamline and secure authentication, authorization, and aggregation of shared-data — all with the consumer’s consent.”

Several organizations are now “leveraging the integration, including Project Finance, which works with banks and credit unions to deliver personalized digital banking experiences to customers using a built-in suite of wellness tools, and Arc, which offers digital banking services for 1,000+ software startups.”

Raven Jiang, Co-founder and CTO at Arc, said:

“We are thrilled to provide to our startup clients this powerhouse innovation from Plaid and Okta, companies that have built a strong reputation for secure data connectivity and customer identity expertise. Arc Treasury aims to provide our tech-forward customers with fast and secure data integrations for their banking needs. The new OAuth support from Plaid and Okta got us there in record time.”

The partnership comes at a time “when the financial services industry as a whole is moving quickly towards OAuth adoption — a requirement for all implementations supported by the industry consortium Financial Data Exchange (FDX) of which Plaid and Okta are members.”

This includes integrations “facilitated by Core Exchange, the API data connectivity solution aligned to FDX specifications that Plaid launched in 2022, and first steps toward open banking announced at Okta’s Oktane22 conference.”

Aly Yarris, Financial Access Partnerships at Plaid, said:

“Plaid is committed to unlocking financial freedom for everyone. We’re excited to partner with Okta to help financial services companies adopt OAuth integrations while advancing API-based data connectivity solutions that enable consumers to have greater transparency, security, and control over their own data. This is a win-win for consumers who expect privacy and choice in the ways they manage their financial accounts for things like payments, budgeting, and investing.”

Maureen Little, Vice President of Technology Partnerships at Okta, said:

“More than 17,000 organizations trust Okta to protect the identities of their customers and workforces. With Okta’s independent and neutral platform, financial services companies can embrace identity best practices regardless of their technology stack, and pass the security and experience benefits onto their consumers. We are thrilled to partner with Plaid to elevate the importance of identity across the financial services ecosystem.”

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