Private open banking update: TD signs with Plaid, Xero signs with Flinks

Flinks, Xero aim to help businesses tap into bank feeds as TD, Plaid aim to ease app access.

Montréal-based, National Bank-owned FinTech firm Flinks has teamed up with New Zealand accounting software company Xero to give small businesses in Canada and the United States (US) access to direct, secure bank feeds.

Both deals come as Canadians continue to wait for open banking, which the feds promised for Budget 2024.

By partnering with Flinks, Xero hopes to reduce the time its clients spend on manual data entry and reconciliation by giving them better access to North American financial institutions. In a statement, Xero Canada country manager Faye Pang noted that “manually entering transaction data takes precious time away from running the business and introduces room for error.” 

Meanwhile, Toronto’s TD Bank—which competes with National Bank—has entered into a North American data-access agreement with US-based Flinks rival Plaid. Through this arrangement, TD aims to help its customers in Canada and the US connect to and share financial data with Plaid’s network of more than 8,000 apps and services more easily and securely.

These private open banking deals come as Canadians continue to wait for open banking, which the federal government recently promised to introduce in legislation next year via Budget 2024.

Flinks was initially launched in 2017 as a solution for FinTech firms to connect their apps with customers’ bank accounts, verify balances, and access transaction histories. Over time, the company expanded beyond these capabilities to help businesses do more with customer data and use it to deliver better products, including through its open banking environment.

RELATED: Federal Fall Economic Statement promises to expand Payments Canada eligibility, introduce open banking legislation in 2024

National Bank of Canada purchased a majority stake in Flinks in 2021. These days, Flinks works with businesses in lending, FinTech, digital banking, asset management, and insurance, catering to a list of customers that includes Wealthsimple, and Stripe, and its network of partners with live direct bank application programming interface (API) connections in North America includes National Bank, EQ Bank, and US-based banks.

TD’s new agreement with Plaid comes roughly two years after the two companies patched things up following a trademark counterfeiting and infringement lawsuit filed by TD’s US subsidiary during the early days of the pandemic. TD and Plaid settled in late 2021.

Going forward, via APIs, TD customers will be able to access apps and services on Plaid’s network. According to TD, these APIs will give its clients “greater data security and privacy by eliminating the need to share TD login credentials with third parties.”

TD vice president of external ecosystems Franklin Garrigues called the Plaid agreement “another pivotal step in developing a more secure, reliable and innovative digital experience for our customers.”

Feature image courtesy TD.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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