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Have to say I'm not a fan of Plaid at all.

Dark patterns galore. Absolutely no indication when you go through a Plaid flow that you're likely giving away much more than just the bare minimum account numbers to push money in/out of your bank account. Often, you're also giving away transaction data, identity, real-time balance, etc. There's no way to know prior to linking your account.

I had high hopes that would have made things more transparent given the new CCPA laws that went into effect on the 1st but have not seen anything change.

Edit: I think the 4D chess move here by Visa is the amount of data Plaid has. Bank transaction data from all types of transactions, not just Visa ones, is massively valuable.

If people were concerned about Google acquiring Fitbit data I would be incredibly concerned about Visa basically buying all financial transaction data...the FTC should really investigate the acquisition.






I have been interested in the idea of and open API for banking (one which supports Canadian banks would be preferable, as I am Canadian), and I have had a few ideas for application's to implement with Plaid. I keep reading feedback about Plaid on HN similar to yours though that make me less confident in the product.

Keep in mind every pull for transactions will cost money so you need to charge enough per month to cover those costs. It’s closer to $1 than a penny like most APIs.

Yikes, $1 per transaction pull? Wonder if there's a way to only pull transactions when a charge for a specific vendor comes across.

I’m personally a bit surprised that banks haven’t embraced U2F / WebAuthn as a way to disable Plaid.

On the contrary - Banks are falling over themselves to embrace Plaid, Finicity, Decisionlogic, Yodlee and all their ilk because failure to do so will result in the departure of their customers to a bank that supports all the new fintech apps that rely on these API providers.

No, if anything banks have been catching on to Plaid and many have decided to stop supporting it e.g. Capital One has been on/off it for years.

Banks aren't exactly happy that their API is basically scraping their website, for very valid reasons, including the customer's own security.

If enough of the big banks decided they had enough of Plaid then it would present a massive existential threat to the business. If anything, I think that threat is a reason why they wanted an exit sooner rather than later.


Capital One removed common banking functions on my account about a year or so ago. I can no longer bill pay vendors and exported statements don't even match the UI. So I wouldn't use them as a model. Their online Spark account is terrible.

I guess this is part of why they would welcome an acquisition by VISA. They instantly have a generous benefactor to open all the doors to the various banks.

Or PSD2 will make their tech outdated. Europe’s push for open banking may not be fast but it is relentless.

Big Banks want to block all this stuff. It’s both a security risk and also reduces the friction to migrate banks. Alternative to plaids ach verification is micro deposits which takes at least 1 days to verify the account. Banks have negative NPS score and people don’t move because it’s a lot of effort including moving all your bill pay info etc.

I agree with you. When I used their cc statement 'API' about a year ago there were less than 5% of my transactions showing up -- why? because Chase added a promotion to their statement and Plaid's scraper wasn't expecting it

Have to imagine my statements hold more value than their scraping algo


2D chess is actually quite complicated.

Buying a company to get its most valuable assets is less complicated than that.


As long as banks have no incentive or are forced to provide API's, I doubt this will change...



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