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FINRA (and now SIFMA) Alert is On Track

Editor’s Note: Following right behind FINRA, SIFMA also released data aggregation principles. They contain a lot of the same advice, but both are worth reading. Read below to find out how Finicity aligns with FINRA and SIFMA.

The digital world has changed our lives dramatically.  We have more information and insights at our fingertips than could have been imagined just a generation ago.  And while that’s a monumental change, one thing hasn’t changed, the ability to make great decisions is based on having great information….or data.  Our ability as individuals or organizations to have a broader view and deeper insights into our own financial situation and to manage our financial wellness is almost limitless in the digital era.  One of the challenges is that our information or data resides in so many different financial accounts.  Having a clear view across our complex financial landscape has been one of the gaps in understanding and managing our financial lives.

Luckily a wide variety of services and applications now bring that information together into simple, digestible experiences.  Often these apps apply the analytics and intelligence needed to generate greater insights we use for better decisioning.

To gather all this information and make it readily accessible requires aggregation of data across our financial accounts.  Such financial data aggregation is a boon to innovation and to our ability to better our finances. But as with all of our data, protecting and securing that data is critical.  As a result, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority – a not-for-profit regulating broker-dealers) issued an investor alert titled, Know Before You Share: Be Mindful of Data Aggregation Risks.  We suggest you take a minute to read this post as it provides some key points for you to consider when sharing your account information with a financial data aggregator – such as Finicity.

We agree with FINRA that you should be aware with whom and how you are sharing your information.  Often you may not know the financial data aggregator behind the service or app you’re utilizing.  But it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Financial data aggregation is our business and it’s critical Finicity not only provides the most accurate and efficient data, but that we also protect and secure the data.

Finicity prioritizes data security and consistently puts our security measures to the test through internal and external audits. We have a SOC 2 Type II certificate and have a PCI DSS 3.2 Report of Compliance.  Furthermore, as we work with banks and financial institutions in certain relationships, such as direct API integrations, they audit our security standards and procedures and do so on a consistent basis to make sure we protect consumer data. On top of that, we screen app and services providers to which we provide data to make sure their security standards are in line with our and consumer expectations.

Here are some of the key considerations suggested by FINRA and Finicity’s positions.  I’ve shortened them to get to the point quicker and easier to address: