Does YNAB use the "Plaid" service for transaction import? If so, are our transactions being provided to and monetized by Plaid?

Your Security FAQ indicates that you utilize Plaid as one of your transaction import providers.  Part of Plaid's business model is to collect and monetize the transaction information that travels through their service, which is explained in their Privacy Policy.  I am a paying YNAB customer and would never, ever agree to knowingly provide this information to Plaid.  Are my transactions being harvested by this company?


From their privacy policy:

The information we receive from the financial product and service providers that maintain your financial accounts varies depending on the specific Plaid services developers use to power their applications, as well as the information made available by those providers. But, in general, we collect the following types of identifiers, commercial information, and other personal information from your financial product and service providers:

  • Account information, including financial institution name, account name, account type, account ownership, branch number, IBAN, BIC, and account and routing number;
  • Information about an account balance, including current and available balance;
  • Information about credit accounts, including due dates, balances owed, payment amounts and dates, transaction history, credit limit, repayment status, and interest rate;
  • Information about loan accounts, including due dates, repayment status, balances, payment amounts and dates, interest rate, guarantor, loan type, payment plan, and terms;
  • Information about investment accounts, including transaction information, type of asset, identifying details about the asset, quantity, price, fees, and cost basis;
  • Identifiers and information about the account owner(s), including name, email address, phone number, date of birth, and address information;
  • Information about account transactions, including amount, date, payee, type, quantity, price, location, involved securities, and a description of the transaction.

Thank you.

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  • Plaid was also just purchased by Visa.

  • All of those things make perfect sense to me as things that an aggregator would probably end up having access to in order to import your transactions. Yes, YNAB doesn't use things like credit card limits, but other services do. We have laws that say Plaid has to notify you that they have access to all of that. There is no indication in either YNAB's policies nor this one that they monetize this information; but they do have to notify you that they are going to get it. 

    YNAB is a perfectly functional program without direct import. If you are concerned about the security issues surrounding direct import, and YNAB's privacy policies and those of their aggregators don't mollify those concerns for you, then just don't hook up any accounts to direct import. 

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  • Hi Violet Motherboard !

    That is correct. We partner with FinicityMXQuovo and Plaid as our providers of Direct Import financial data aggregation, the specifics related to their security policies and practices are on their websites.

    Your YNAB account connections are handled by MX

    The particular section you've highlighted of Plaid's policy seems to refer to general information they can pull in on an integration, like the account and transaction data you want to import into YNAB. To be clear, that is my interpretation. The specific service we use from Plaid is their Transactions product, if that helps.

    Further down in their policy they mention: "We (Plaid) do not sell or rent personal information that we collect." At YNAB, we do not sell users' data. (And we never have!) 

    If you are uncomfortable connecting your banks to YNAB, it's completely optional. We have a few other features to help make entering transactions easy and fast—file-based importing, scheduled transactions, and mobile apps.

    Can you let me know a little more about where monetization is mentioned? I'd be happy to have our team look into this for you, if you have additional concerns.

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