Overview

Plaid is a third-party provider of open banking services that supports over 11,500 institutions across North America and Europe.

You can use Railz with Plaid to securely connect to, retrieve, and view your business' banking data. Our initial integration allows you to get access to a business':

  • Bank Accounts Balance - Account type, masked account number (if available), current balance and limits.
  • Bank Transactions - Current and historical account transactions, for example, payments, cheques or cash.

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Railz Data Types and Plaid Product Mapping

Setup Plaid in Sandbox

Before you can access banking data from Plaid, you need to set up a Plaid integration in the Railz Dashboard™.. You'll need to:

  • Retrieve your Plaid API keys.
  • Add your API keys to Railz and enable integration.
  • Customize your Plaid Link flow (optional).
  • Enable your test Plaid integration.

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Using Live Banking Data for Testing

We recommend that you start by using Plaid's sandbox API keys to test your integration in our sandbox. Plaid's sandbox gives you access to sample banking data to test your flow through Railz Connect™.

Once you are ready to go production, you can use Plaid's development environment for testing in our sandbox, which allows you to connect to your own live bank accounts and transactions. See Plaid environments below for more details.

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Plaid Account

You will need a Plaid account before proceeding with the steps below. If you already have a Plaid account, have your account details at hand. If you don't, create an account before you start your setup.

Retrieve your Plaid API Keys

  1. Go to https://plaid.com and log in.
  2. Once logged in, from the top menu bar, select Team Settings > Keys. The Keys page is displayed showing the API keys you need for setup:
  • client_id
  • Sandbox secret
  • Development secret
Plaid - API Keys. Click to Expand.Plaid - API Keys. Click to Expand.

Plaid - API Keys. Click to Expand.

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Production Keys

If you have access to Plaid's production environment, the Keys page will show you the Production secret as well.

Add your Secure Keys to Railz and Enable Integration

  1. Open the Railz Dashboard™ and log in.
  2. In the left pane, select Integrations > Banking.
  3. Scroll down to the Plaid integration and select Manage.
Railz Banking Integrations. Click to Expand.Railz Banking Integrations. Click to Expand.

Railz Banking Integrations. Click to Expand.

  1. Find the API keys you retrieved in the previous step above and paste in your Client ID and Client Secret.
  2. From Application Key Type you have the option of choosing between Sandbox and Development. Select Sandbox, then select Save Changes
Railz Manage Banking Integration. Click to Expand.Railz Manage Banking Integration. Click to Expand.

Railz Manage Banking Integration. Click to Expand.

  1. Enable your integration. Go back to Integrations > Banking, and use the toggle to update the Plaid integration from Disabled to Enabled.

Customize Plaid Link (Optional)

Plaid allows you to customize the look, feel and content of Plaid Link that your business customers see when they authorize you to access their banking data. This is the customer journey you'll follow during testing.

  1. Go to https://plaid.com and log in. From the top menu, select Customize.
  2. The Plaid Customize page will load with a left pane to customize Plaid link and a right live preview pane. See Plaid Link customization for more details.
  3. Once you are done customizing your Plaid link, select Publish and your new changes will go into effect.

Testing Plaid in Railz Connect

Once you've setup and enabled Plaid in Sandbox, you can test your integration with Plaid's sandbox by following the same process used to authorize a connection through Railz Connect™.

  1. Select Banking Services in Railz Connect™.
  2. Select Connect your Bank.
  3. A modal will open showing a list of available bank accounts that have sample data for testing. This is Plaid's Link widget.

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You will see a message at the bottom of the screen that confirms that you're in sandbox mode.

Railz Connect - Bank Connection Flow. Click to Expand.Railz Connect - Bank Connection Flow. Click to Expand.

Railz Connect - Bank Connection Flow. Click to Expand.

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We Do Note Store Banking Credentials

Railz does not store your business customers' banking credentials.

Reauthorising a Business

Like all connections, a banking connections maybe become inactive. This means that your connection to a business' banking data is no longer valid and you can no longer synchronize banking data.

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To reauthorize a connection you need to ask your business customers to go through the authorization flow again through Railz Connect. You can do so by loading Railz Connect with the businessName populated.

Setup Plaid in Production

Repeat the steps in Set up Plaid in Sandbox. Make sure that you:

  • You're not using the Railz sandbox.
  • Use the API keys for the Plaid production environment

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Setup Differences in Production

  • When setting up Plaid in production, the manage integration page will not prompt you to choose an Application Key Type.
  • You will need to select the countries you operate in and wish to allow your business customers to connect. This will filter the list of banks shown in the authorization flow of Plaid Link to those countries. Railz currently supports Canada and United States only. On Sandbox, Plaid Link uses both countries by default.
Railz Manage Banking Integration. Click to Expand.Railz Manage Banking Integration. Click to Expand.

Railz Manage Banking Integration. Click to Expand.

Plaid Environments

Plaid has three different Plaid environments: Sandbox, Development and Production

Plaid Sandbox

Plaid Sandbox is a free test environment in which no real data can be used. Plaid's Sandbox environment also offers a number of special Sandbox-only capabilities to make testing easier. For more information, see Plaid Sandbox. Available in Railz Sandbox only.

Plaid Development

The Plaid Development environment uses real-world data, but like Sandbox, API calls in Development are not billed. Available in Railz Sandbox only.

Plaid Production

While Plaid Sandbox and Development are intended as test environments, Plaid Production is intended for production code. It uses real-world data, and API calls are billed. Available in Railz production environment only.

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To avoid data inconsistencies, we recommend that you create new businesses when changing Plaid environments. Connections originally created in another environment will become invalid and will require reauthorization.


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