In July, Plaid launched its Liabilities product that gives developers access to real time information about what consumers owe. Expanding beyond student loan data, the company has added support for credit card information, so firms can build better debt management solutions.
The product: There are a variety of upstart technology firms that help with managing, refinancing, and reducing this debt -- Plaid has always provided details about credit card transactions so that people can better manage their cashflow. The new Liabilities product will return more details about terms and due dates.
Here are some of the details developers can get access to:
- Terms: APR type, APR percentage, interest charge amount, and balance subject to APR
- Payment details: last payment date and amount, next payment due date, minimum payment amount, and more
- Balances: last statement balance and issue date and credit limit.
Tearsheet asked Kate Adamson, head of financial identity at Plaid, a few questions about the new feature.
For Liabilities, why was credit cards the next stop product-wise after student loans?
Student loans are a huge burden, but they’re just the tip of people’s financial obligations. Forty-one percent of households have credit card debt. Together, it amounts to one trillion dollars. That’s a huge swath of the people in need of help tackling a large amount of debt. Liabilities will empower fintechs to build new tools and services that help consumers understand and tackle their debt by considering all options-- potentially by consolidating it into something more simple and manageable or paying down their balances faster.
Do you have any clients you can mention using this data yet?
Yes, Charlie Finance, an early beta tester of Liabilities’ credit card details. They use artificial intelligence to send timely and actionable alerts to help consumers save and better manage their money. With Liabilities’ credit card data, Charlie helps users stay on top of their credit card payments with alerts and reminders for pending payments and interest rate changes. (Ed note: You can read Tearsheet's coverage of Charlie Finance here)
Was there a particular challenge creating this product?
Traditionally, developers have had a lot of difficulty getting access to and working with disparate debt-related data -- it’s a major reason why we haven’t seen many fintech companies tackle it until recently. In the past, developers faced a lot of unevenness in the data retrieved from credit cards, such as incomplete or missing data fields. Our biggest technical challenge was figuring out how to solve for this and ensure consistent access to accurate and real-time credit card data.