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‘A network problem needs a network answer’: Akoya’s Stuart Rubinstein

  • 11 major banks, plus Fidelity and The Clearing House, have invested in Akoya.
  • The new financial data network expects to have half the deposit accounts in the U.S. connected to the platform next year.
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‘A network problem needs a network answer’: Akoya’s Stuart Rubinstein

Stuart Rubinstein, CEO of Akoya, joins us on the Tearsheet Podcast today. A spin out of Fidelity, Akoya is a financial data network that lets the customers of financial institutions grant and revoke third party access to their financial data safely. Akoya facilitates this access and eliminates the need for consumers to share their user IDs and passwords. 

Stuart talks about Akoya’s roots and how he’s been thinking about data aggregation for years. He discusses the need for APIs to move beyond the era of screen scraping. Rubinstein also shares his view of open finance and Akoya’s future. 

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The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

Growing up in financial services

I’ve been thinking about data aggregation going back to the 90s and early 2000s. In the 90s, I worked for an asset manager, which was owned by Mellon Bank. I was actually at the first meeting where Intuit told the banks that they were going to start downloading bank data into Quicken. That was the first attempt to take financial data and bring it into an app.

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Fast forward, and what started as kind of a connection turned into screen scraping. Akoya started as a way to move away from screen scraping. It started at Fidelity Investments as a way for Fidelity to build its own API and provide clients, who want to provide access to their data to third party apps, a way to do that without having to share their credentials.

What we found was every financial institution, every data aggregator, every fintech was facing the same problem. So it really is not a one company problem. It’s actually a network problem. It’s an industry problem. A network problem needs a network answer. And that’s what we’re developing.


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