Update on Direct Import in the UK and EU

Hey everyone—but especially our customers over in Europe. I want to give you an update on UK and EU Direct Import. 

To put it as plainly as possible, the process is underway. Our initial focus is on the UK, but we are optimistic that at least a few EU countries will not be far behind. In order to turn on Direct Import in the UK with Plaid, one of our transaction aggregation partners, we are required to set up a legal entity in Europe, and that’s what we’re working on currently. There are contracts and lawyers and regulators involved, and things are moving as fast as they can when contracts and lawyers and regulators are involved. It's hard to say when the legal portion of the implementation will be completed so any date target I give you today would be a guess. However, once we’re in the clear there, we’ll make the required changes to add UK institutions to YNAB. 

I also wanted to address some of the questions about TrueLayer. For anyone not yet aware, this is the transaction aggregation partner Sync for YNAB uses to import transactions. Implementing TrueLayer would mean going through the same legal process we are currently working through with Plaid, so there’s no way for us to shortcut or expedite this. We’re also not looking to add another transaction aggregation partner to our mix at this time. 

Last year the team that works on connections, accounts, and transactions (all seven of us!) completed several large projects, alongside the usual bug fixes and smaller improvements. Since Todd’s last update on Direct Import we’ve reduced the number of transaction aggregation providers from four to two, released pending transactions, and added support for OAuth institutions. Our work on OAuth was a prerequisite for supporting Direct Import in either the UK or the EU, and we had a few other stray ducks we needed to line up before expanding into new regions. 

If there’s one thing you take away from this message it should be this: Direct Import for the UK is happening. It’s no longer a dream and it’s more than an intention. It’s in motion and we’re working on it right now. We hope that the EU will not be far behind. We are unbelievably excited to bring Direct Import to many more customers this year—we know it’s been a long wait. I’m around if you have any questions. 

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  • Thank you for this update. So if I understand correctly, Truelayer will be used for the EU banks? If yes this means, I can immediately put a red cross on Swiss banks as they do not support any as of yet. Correct me if I am wrong.

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      • Tomato Colt
      • Tomato_Colt.1
      • 8 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Cartridge Hi, I think Hannah is saying they will not be using Truelayer as they have been consolidating partners and don't want to start adding them again.  Looking at PlaidI believe 

      Like 1
    • Tomato Colt Thanks for correcting me ! 

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    • Slate Blue Cartridge good question. As of now, the plan is to use Plaid for both EU and UK banks. Unfortunately, at the moment Plaid does not support Swiss banks either, but we're hopeful that will change soon. 

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    • Hannah M-M OK :(

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  • Thank you Hannah.  A comprehensive update and a positive one😄 Please keep us up to speed with progress in this forum.  

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    • Tomato Colt absolutely! Will do. 

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  • Hi Hannah, thank you for the update and for the details!

    I recently tried a different budgeting provider who could no longer sync with EU banks because their provider was UK based and Brexit threw a wrench in that cog.

    Is there reason to believe Plaid will not run into similar problems when working towards integration with EU banks?

    Thank you kindly. Keep rocking!

    Like 1
    • Sea Green Griffin that's a great question. Brexit is definitely throwing wrenches into many fintechs' cogs and we're keeping a close eye on it. Plaid has a base in both the UK and the EU so we are optimistic that we will be able to move forward with both. If that changes we will let you know! 

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  • Excellent news. Thanks for the update and glad those of us on this side of the pond will soon get some sort of feature parity without having to pay for additional services. 
    :)

    Like 1
  • Thanks for the update which is good to hear. Any rough timeline for this?

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    • Orange Python the lawyers would probably advise me against it, but I think it's safe to say that we are looking at months. Not weeks, not years, but still months. We are doing our best to keep the number of months low, but the regulatory review timeline is largely out of our control.  As soon as I can confidently share anything firmer, I will. 

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  • I am a former user from Europe Sweden, that skipped YNAB due to no bank sync - even though there are providers such as SaltEdge and budgetbaker etc that do provide connection to a lot of European banks, And also to banks in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some banks in Americas outside of US.

    And apps like MoneyWiz placed in US? using them

    Will start with YNAB again as soon as bank sync works.

     

    Checked Plaid and they have very few setups in Europe

    https://plaid.com/global/

    - if you would use SaltEdge you would have a much bigger direct coverage in both EU and in UK, as well as mentioned Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some banks in Americas outside of US.

    They also seem to be located with offices in several parts of the world - maybe faster onboarding?

    I can log in to them also as a private user and see my account and from there let my apps that use SaltEdge get access (or go via the budget app e.g. YNAB ...)

    https://www.saltedge.com/pages/about

    https://www.saltedge.com/products/spectre/countries

    5205 banks in 52 countries

     

    No I am not associated with SaltEdge in any way - just still hoping to use YNAB in the future :-)

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    • EuropeBankSyncSaltEdgePlease I hear you, and thanks for the info! As you can well imagine, there are a lot of different factors that we have to consider when evaluating potential new transaction transaction aggregation partners. In the spirit of transparency, we're not looking to add any new partners at the moment. That being said, things change. We'll learn a lot from these expansion initiatives and will be better situated to chart our next moves from there. 

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    • Hannah M-M EuropeBankSyncSaltEdgePlease I just had a look into the Plaid list... I am sorry to say this but unless Plaid is dramatically accelerating their adoption with more countries this is a big strategy mistake... and I second the post here. We were all expecting to get our transactions synced within Europe with the latest announcements but now 1/ we understand that it will take months  2/ Europe is summarized as France, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands (3 of them being in beta btw). It’s a double disappointment. I understand that you can’t please everybody but Plaid don’t have to fill a gap here, it’s a Grand Canyon.... 

      Like 1
    • Slate Blue Cartridge your point is well taken and I've edited my original post slightly to better set expectations regarding the EU. I too wish the list of countries Plaid supported today was longer. We do expect that list to grow, but perhaps more importantly I want to emphasize that we're taking any and all expansion efforts one step at a time. As I alluded to above in my response to EuropeBankSyncSaltEdgePlease , the process of integrating with any new transaction aggregation partner is complex and takes time. Our existing partnership with Plaid gives us a big leg up in terms of the time it will take us to go live with Direct Import in the UK and parts of the EU. That being said, moving ahead with Plaid to support Direct Import in the UK and parts of the EU today doesn't preclude us from adding another partner in the future. 

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    • Hannah M-M  

      Slate Blue Cartridge

      It is actually so that at present after brexit, Saltedge is waiting for their approval in EU since june, they are based in UK.

       

      but to fix for their customers they go via budgetbakers until they get fca? Approval in EU.

      so their customers still have access to all banks .

       

      maybe plaid can do the same until they fix their own connections?

       

      I understand that this will take time, so I will use something else for next 6 months and then come back and check status :-)

      Like 1
      • Tomato Colt
      • Tomato_Colt.1
      • 7 days ago
      • 1
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      Hannah M-M  Hi Hannah, can you tell me which UK banks are currently supported by Plaid?

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    • Tomato Colt I think the easiest way to see the list is using Plaid's demo tool (make sure the "Transactions" product is selected). 

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      • Tomato Colt
      • Tomato_Colt.1
      • 6 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Hannah M-M Thank you.  Actually if you use the search function in the demo tool Plaid supports far more UK Banks than appears at first glance

      Like 1
  • Brilliant news! Thank you for the update. 

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  • Australias open banking rollout should make direct import easy. still waiting

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    • SgtBatten absolutely, open banking initiatives definitely make the process easier. We'll learn a lot from our expansion efforts in the UK and EU and will be better able to chart our next moves from there. 

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  • Good news. It’s sheer coincidence I found this so soon after it was announced. How will we know when it’s available if you don’t visit these forums often?

    Like 1
  • Yay!!!

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