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RBC Inks Deals With Plaid And Yodlee to Help Jumpstart Open Banking In Canada

To speed adoption of open banking in Canada at a time when Canadians are craving digital services, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) late Tuesday announced partnerships with open-banking platform provider Plaid Inc. and data-aggregation and analytics provider Yodlee Inc., a unit of Envestnet Inc. The deals will enable RBC customers to securely share their financial data with third-party application providers through direct application programming interface connections.   

The deal with Plaid will open access to more than 6,000 apps in Plaid’s network and more than 1,500 apps through the Envestnet | Yodlee platform to RBC’s 14 million customers that use its digital services. The use of direct API connections eliminates reliance on credential sharing, which the parties say will increase security and safeguard customer privacy. The credentials of customers who have already shared them will be deleted as part of the transition, according to Mark Sam, head of Canada for Plaid.

Consumers covet such data protections, especially with the increase in fraud during the Covid 19 pandemic. Indeed, 48% of respondents to RBC’s 2022 Fraud Prevention Month Poll, released in February, say fraudsters have targeted them since the start of the pandemic, compared to 22% in 2021. In addition, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has reported that incidents of ID fraud targeting financial credentials nearly doubled between 2019 and 2020, from about 9,000 to more than 17,000, and final numbers for 2021 are expected to double again.

“This data-access agreement is a great example of the industry coming together to build new standards that create safer and more comprehensive financial solutions for Canadians,” Peter Tilton, chief digital officer, personal and commercial banking, for RBC says in a prepared statement. “While our clients want their primary banking relationship with RBC, they also want to be empowered with the ability to access, use, and share their financial data with applications outside of the bank.”

RBC’s digital-security tools include PIN on Mobile, ID Verification, 2-Step Verification, Card Lock, two-way fraud alerts, and fraud monitoring, in addition to the RBC Digital Banking Security Guarantee.

RBC’s data-access agreement with Envestnet | Yodlee will improve consumers’ control and access when sharing their financial data with applications outside the bank, the parties say. Envestnet refers to the family of operating subsidiaries of the public holding company, Envestnet Inc., a Berwyn, Penn.-based financial-technology corporation which develops and distributes wealth-management technology and products to financial advisors and institutions. 

In related news, Plaid announced the opening in Toronto of its first Canadian office. The office will provide support for financial-institution partnerships, policy, sales and account management, software engineering, and product management. 

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