Financial Infrastructure Fintech Plaid Announces Updates to Transactions Product

Plaid is pleased to announce several updates to their Transactions product, which enables financial services providers to do even more with transactional data.

These new features and quality enhancements from Plaid are “designed to amplify your ability to provide tailored solutions and services, unlocking improved user outcomes.”

In one of their “biggest” updates to-date, transactions now “offers valuable new data fields (like merchant website and logo), a streamlined implementation of the Personal Finance Category (PFC) taxonomy, and improved data quality.”

Updates are available “for all Transactions customers using our latest API version 2020-09-14.”

Every day, consumers choose “between thousands of digital apps and services in search of tailored financial solutions.”

In fact, a 2023 J.D. Power study found consumers “report higher levels of satisfaction and engagement when they receive personalized financial advice.” That’s why financial services providers, from fintechs to traditional financial institutions, “are focused on delivering customized financial management tools that help consumers gain actionable insight into their spending patterns, receive personalized budgeting advice, and reach their specific financial goals.”

Transactional data is critical “to delivering powerful user experiences.”

It offers deep insight “into where and how consumers are spending their money, forming the foundation of not only budgeting tools, but also new consumer products and services like subscription management, low-balance alerts, and timely offers.”

In addition, transactional data can “help protect consumers from short-term financial challenges, support consumers’ long-term financial health, and enable businesses to identify partnership opportunities.” Fintech providers and financial institutions already “use Transactions including SoFi, Flexport, Betterment, and Varo.”

Transactions already returns “a breadth of transaction details including a cleansed merchant name, category, location information, and payment channel.” Starting now, Plaid will return several additional data fields, “to help paint a clearer picture of how and where consumers are spending.”

  • Counterparties: Insight into all the parties involved in a transaction, besides the merchant, including marketplaces (e.g. DoorDash), payment terminals (e.g. Square), or financial institutions (e.g. Amex). This data can be used to improve rewards payouts, identify partnership opportunities, and provide more granular spending insights.
  • Merchant Logo: The logo associated with the merchant, to aid user transaction recognition and build a more delightful user interface.
  • PFC Icon: An icon associated with the primary PFC which can be used when a merchant logo is not available, or consistently in place of a merchant logo if preferred.
  • Merchant Website: The website associated with the merchant, also useful for user transaction recognition.
  • Entity IDs: A unique ID associated with common merchants and counterparties, making it easier to build custom rules or logic for handling specific merchants. Sometimes called a ‘merchant ID’.
  • Confidence Levels: A description of how confident we are that the provided counterparty is involved in the transaction (e.g. very high, high). We return this for counterparties and PFCs to provide more visibility into prediction confidence.

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