A senior executive at Reckon, the Australian distributor of popular accounting software QuickBooks, has expressed reservations about US financial data aggregator Yodlee and its method for collecting transaction information from bank accounts.
Reckon used Yodlee to gather bank feeds from Australian, New Zealand and international bank accounts for its financial data repository, Reckon Bank Data, which passed on the bank feeds to QuickBooks. However, Reckon had also formed a team to connect directly to local banks, Gavin Dixon, CEO of Reckon’s business division, said.
“Yodlee has a problem in a way – you have to give them your internet banking credentials,” Dixon said. “I wouldn’t do it. I trust Yodlee but all you need is one disaffected employee.”
Dixon compared Yodlee to a recent breach at an IT security company where an unhappy IT technician released the details of an encryption key that was considered highly secure. “The guy walked away with the root file and published it. All the military, all the banks used that and it’s been compromised everywhere because of one employee who wasn’t happy,” Dixon said.
Yodlee used automated software tools to log into users’ online bank accounts and “scrape” transaction records from online statements, and then compile the data into a daily feed. Cloud accounting software programs such as Xero and Saasu also relied on Yodlee to collect feeds from users’ bank accounts.
Dixon said he had met with Yodlee and told them of his concerns. “They have their statements about security and walls and I said, ‘Mate, you’re talking about people’,” Dixon said.
Reckon had added a permission notice to bank feeds signed up through Yodlee which asked users to confirm that their bank had agreed that users could share login credentials with Yodlee. Once Reckon had created a direct connection to a bank, fund or society it was removing its QuickBooks users from the equivalent Yodlee feed. Other Yodlee feeds would be unaffected.
“I’m happy to give Yodlee as a service because it gives you 8,000 banks and we’re never going to have 8,000 bank feeds,” Dixon.
Read on for the full interview on Reckon’s cloud plans for QuickBooks.