Most Consumers Have a Third-Party Financial App

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As more U.S. consumers turn to financial apps in efforts to simplify banking and investment, earning their trust has become an increasingly important factor for banks and FinTechs alike — as well as the handling of consumers’ data.

Eighty percent of consumers have connected a third-party financial app to their bank accounts, according to Sharing Bank Account Credentials With Third Parties: Convenience Versus Security, a PYMNTS and MX collaboration that analyzes findings from a survey of 2,368 U.S. consumers who hold primary checking or savings accounts.

More than half of those consumers say three factors influence how comfortable they are sharing their bank account credentials: trust in their financial institution to protect their financial assets, belief that the connections are secure and trust in the third party facilitating those connections.

Several third-party finance apps have gained that trust. More than half of the consumers said they are “very or extremely comfortable” when connecting bank accounts to their monthly home equity lines of credit, personal accounting software, money management apps and investment facilitators.

But not everyone is comfortable connecting their bank accounts to third-party apps. PYMNTS identified four groups of consumers who have different sentiments.

Those “slightly” or “not at all” comfortable sharing their bank account credentials with third parties had four key concerns: 60% said they were worried about the theft of their money, 57% said they didn’t want to share their information with too many third-party providers, 51% said they didn’t trust in the security of the connection with a financial app provider, and 44% said they didn’t trust the third party at the other end of the connection.

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