The FINANCIAL -- In an effort to continue to simplify the financial lives of its customers, Wells Fargo & Company announced agreements with Expensify and PointServe as part of its industry-leading efforts to reshape the data-exchange models it uses when sharing customer information with third-party services.
San Francisco-based Expensify provides automated solutions for business expense reporting and receipt management. PointServ, based in Burlingame, Calif., offers solutions that enable mortgage lenders, bankers, and financial institutions to process loan applications more efficiently by gathering directly from the source the documents applicants need for loan decisioning, according to Wells Fargo.
“We’re extremely pleased to announce these agreements, which broaden the use of secure data exchange methods into our customers’ financial lives,” said Brett Pitts, Head of Digital for Wells Fargo Virtual Channels. “In the last two years, we’ve made tremendous progress in identifying more secure and efficient ways of sharing data, and these agreements with Expensify and PointServ demonstrate why API-driven solutions continue to grow. We look forward to implementing these agreements in the coming months.”
The Expensify agreement will make it easier for Wells Fargo credit-card holders who use Expensify to document and report monthly business expenses. When collecting data for monthly reporting, Wells Fargo and Expensify will use an application programming interface (API) to share the data securely.
“With the new Wells Fargo API, our customers can securely sync their Wells Fargo transactions to their Expensify accounts to track expenses and create expense reports," said Robert Chen, Head of Bank Integrations at Expensify. "This connection upgrades a cumbersome, manual process to a stable, reliable process, which saves time and improves the experience for our customers.”
Under the PointServ agreement, when a Wells Fargo customer applies for a real estate loan with a mortgage company that uses PointServ solutions to gather the financial documents it needs to make a loan decision, a Wells Fargo API will deliver customer statements and bank account activity to PointServ.
“PointServ is excited to make this direct connection to Wells Fargo’s data exchange solution. Wells Fargo is providing their customers with a cutting edge method of sharing their financial information while applying for credit. This aligns closely with PointServ’s mission as a source data provider to lenders,” said Jeremy Kelly, CEO of PointServ.
How Wells Fargo’s API-driven data-sharing model works
The technology at the heart of these agreements is driven by an innovative API, which gives customers greater control over what bank information they share with third-party services. It also provides enhanced security and improved reliability of the data-sharing process.
Frequently, when an individual or a small business enrolls in a digital financial management tool, accounting software or an aggregation service, they enroll in that service by identifying each of the financial institutions they use, and supply the provider with the confidential online login information for each of those institutions. When that customer then logs into that service in the future, the third-party service uses the customer’s confidential username and password to log into each financial institution’s online banking site and accesses the customer’s information.
This process – commonly referred to as “screen scraping” – can be unreliable and cause frustration for the customer, given the frequency with which financial institutions make aesthetic or security-related changes to their websites. When a service connects to a bank server and encounters a new or unexpected element or change on a financial institution’s site, it can cause the data collection to fail. By using APIs, the data sharing process becomes less brittle and more reliable, resulting in less frustration for customers.