The Data Connections Public Alpha

Data Connections is ready for its first showing! We're moving into the public alpha phase, meaning you can play with Data Connections in a sandboxed environment.

[Update: The Data Connections Public Alpha phase is closed. As of September 2021, Data Connections is now live and all new feeds are automatically added via the Data Connections platform — you do not need to get in touch for testing. For information on open banking in Australia, please check out our Basiq blog post.]

You’ll be able to try out migrating your feeds, setting up new ones, and provide feedback on your experience - without affecting your real data. Want to read up on the background? Check out the blog post Path to PocketSmith Data Connections.

We expect issues and bugs at the alpha stage, so you’ll be using Data Connections on an isolated copy of your PocketSmith data. You’ll log in with your regular PocketSmith username and password, but changes made in this environment won’t affect your account in the main web application. All data will be removed at the end of the alpha test period.

How the public alpha works

We’re releasing into public alpha to gather early feedback and get you involved early. Building PocketSmith Data Connections has been a significant piece of work, and we’re interested to hear what you think.

For the initial alpha release, only Yodlee bank feeds will be available. When you log in, a banner at the top of the Account Summary will offer you the option to migrate your bank feeds. Clicking this will set up your new bank feed connections, ready for you to re-authorize and connect to your existing accounts. If you currently have multiple credentials with different nicknames at the same bank, you’ll have a connection prepared for each.

Once your feeds have been migrated, you should see transactions start to flow for your accounts as per usual. You can then add new connections to banks that might have lost support on the current version of bank feeds (like Wells Fargo in the US).

Those who use Salt Edge feeds in the UK and EU can test connections later on in our alpha program. Some good news is that we don’t expect that you’ll need to re-authorize your Salt Edge connection when we move to production. More details on Salt Edge in Data Connections will be forthcoming.

Things to look out for

We’d love to hear your feedback — comment on a relevant thread in the subreddit There is a post that outlines all the active bugs and planned enhancements, and we will update this as we progress.

Some things that we’re particularly keen to hear about are:

  1. How you felt about the overall experience, in terms of flow and navigation
  2. Whether all your feeds are working as expected, having synced and reconnected your accounts
  3. That transactions are importing correctly and categorized as you’d expect (allowing for auto-categorization settings, category rules, filters, etc).

We welcome any other comments that you have!

What Data Connections looks like

Following are screenshots of the alpha version of Data Connections as it stands.

The current Account Summary with migration banner

When you log in, the Account Summary will show a migration banner

Connections page with "Ready to authorize"

Once you've migrated, you'll be on the Manage Bank Feeds page to authorize your connections

Connection authorize page

The new connection authorization page is end-to-end encrypted when possible

Connection page with accounts ready to be linked

After authorization, your accounts will be ready to be linked

Connection accounts page

Each connection has a dedicated page for managing feed accounts

Our plan from here

The public alpha will be a very active phase of development for Data Connections. As well as responding to your feedback, we’ll continually improve things as we work towards public beta. We will release improvements into alpha as we progress and will note these on the subreddit.

We’re a fair way down the very long road of releasing Data Connections. It’s exhilarating to finally be able to show you what we’ve been working on. We look forward to hearing what you think!

James Wigglesworth profile image

James is the CTO and co-founder at PocketSmith. He loves tech from software to hardware to music, and is passionate about technology being a net-positive in people’s lives. He lives off-grid with two humans, two axolotls, two rabbits, one dog, and too many possums.

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