The best-known banking data aggregation APIs
There are companies that collect and store bank data: information on accounts, transactions, credit-card operations, loans, investments... These companies' APIs give entities access to new markets and new customers.
The aggregation of financial data has become a great business for some companies in the fintech market. The idea is simple: all the personal and banking data of a customer is available in a single space, which makes it much easier to consult information and operations of all kinds. These great volumes of data, grouped together into a kind of single portfolio, can serve as a launch pad for companies and banks to generate income.
There are many practical reasons why the aggregation of financial data is a formula for generating benefits, largely because it is useful for customers (whether individuals or companies) that have a diversified investment portfolio:
● It provides a general overview: when you have an extensive investment portfolio it can become difficult to get a comprehensive idea of your own financial situation, unless the whole picture is available in a single space. This gives a comprehensive vision and has advantages for management.
● It provides real knowledge of investment and consumption habits: the aggregation of financial data brings gives customers a more accurate knowledge of how they invest and manage their money. It includes all the movements of their accounts and the final destination of their money. In allows them to manage their expenses better.
● Control of cash assets: some entities facilitate financial products for their customers dedicated exclusively to savings. Aggregation of banking data increases the control people have over the portfolio dedicated to saving this cash.
● Process automation: when fintech data aggregation companies act as suppliers, they supply data in real time that are as up to date as possible. They do mechanical work and facilitate the analysis.
Banking data aggregators: APIs
There are three key elements that any bank data aggregation product or service must provide: information must be updated as precise as possible, operating in real time is key when we talk of monitoring financial data and managing investment portfolios; second, data aggregation makes sense if each provider brings together a broad list of entities; and third, a correct management of customer credentials.
As of today there are various banking data aggregators with application programming interfaces that are very well known by banks and by their development teams and operations: Eurobits Technologies, Yodlee, Plaid and Kontomatik are four particularly interesting examples in this sector.
● Eurobits Technologies: has a RESTful API that works under request-response model (it also has a SOAP API) in a robust and scalable way that it uses JSON Web Tokens (RFC 7519). Additionally, it has the following characteristics:
Through the Eurobits aggregation platform it is possible to access all the content available in electronic banking, such as account information, deposits, investment funds, pension plans, etc. Not only for banking consumption, but also business banking. In turn, this platform offers access to information from the portals of users of companies of light, water or telecommunications, such as invoices, user data, consumptions, etc.
● Yodlee: has a RESTful API and a SOAP API, which gives access to the financial data of thousands of financial institutions or international sources of banking data (a total of 14,500) in the JSON and XML format. The development teams may program products in a number of languages: Java, C#, Ruby, PHP and also Python. The API offers authentication features; user registration (start of the session as customer); receipt of information related to the provider's platform; management and elimination of accounts; transfers and access to information; invoices; cards; investments; loans...
The security of the Yodlee API is based on standard processes such as HTTPS. All the information and customer data can always be encrypted with account credentials and in a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) in the higher part to shield the credentials. The API offers token-based access to prevent possible infringement and thus avoid problems with other customers.
They themselves highlight that "The intuitive API architecture, reduced code requirements, and simplified data model make it easy to integrate with our platform and speed your innovation to market." Yodlee's aim is to facilitate an application programming interface that allows the development of products and services for the management of financial information, planning of portfolios, advice, development of applications that give customers savings plans and costs...
● Plaid: it is a platform that offers fundamentally two services, aggregation of bank transactions and management of financial movements. Plaid collects and stores large volumes of high quality real-time bank and financial data. This is a complex job because there are hundreds of entities and millions of customers who carry out transactions every day. In addition, it has a simple integration platform for creating products and services thanks to its API.
The quickest way of beginning to work with Plaid is Plaid Link, a module with which customers can start the process of delivering credentials, authentication, award of the access token to develop the API and solution of possible errors. The API is an API REST based on HTTP calls whose responses are sent in JSON format. Security is based on the standard HTTPS protocol. Customers open an account in Plaid, and immediately receive a customer ID, a public key and a secret key to begin to operate with the interface.
● Kontomatik: this platform allows banks to create products and services for their customers with a more elegant and practical result. Services related to bank data aggregation, transaction information, data treatment and data analysis. Basically, what Kontomatik offers banks is access to data on activity and consumption of financial products by third-party customers, who operate with other organizations. Possible attraction of customers. Largely because the Kontomatik API is read-only for banks.
The platform allows the integration of a widget in HTML5 in any website, where bank users can access and operate with their entities. They select the country and entity and then login. This widget functions with all types of authentication processes: codes sent via text messages, CAPTCHAs, tokens or masked passwords. It also supports any form of invalid credentials, among them blocked accounts or session timeouts.
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