But by early 2002, the trade publication American Banker was declaring these concerns “almost passé.” Early on, big banks themselves used aggregators because high-net-worth customers wanted to see all their account balances on a single Web dashboard.
The aggregators have never had a breach that we know of. Plaid, in a position paper on these issues, points out that JPMorgan Chase had a breach in 2014 in which thieves stole the contact information of tens of millions of customers.
Now comes Phase 3, in which the aggregators are helping start-ups automate the transfer of money from big banks, using the banks’ own data to do it. Consider Acorns, which rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar, grabs that extra change from your bank and drops it in an Acorns investment account. Nifty, right?
More than 50 Australian financial institutions, including each of the big four banks, are feeding account data into the Xero accounting dashboard, which is used by 262,000 small businesses in Australia. But 20 have gone further, and are now engaged in two-way data sharing. This allows a Xero customer to authorise Xero to feed back to the bank or fintech their enriched data, providing a more comprehensive view of their business than banks typically get from current processes.