In this guide

  • Review
  • Frequently asked questions
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Flinks: How does it work and is it safe to use?

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Flinks
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Summary

Flinks offers financial data connectivity services to help lenders streamline their loan underwriting processes.

If you've applied for a loan from an online lender, you may have already come across Flinks. Flinks is an open banking provider that specializes in a wide range of financial data connectivity services. In the lending space, Flinks allows lenders to access your transaction data so they can verify your bank account and income, check your transaction history and NSF fees, and assess your creditworthiness.

This helps lenders automate the loan underwriting process, which means faster loan approvals for borrowers. Keep in mind that Flinks is not a direct lender, and you'll need to decide whether you're happy to provide your banking details to Flinks before applying.

Pros

  • Helps lenders check your financial data when you apply for a loan
  • Easy to connect your bank account
  • Speeds up the loan application and approval process
  • Used by plenty of well-known brands

Cons

  • Some people may not feel comfortable providing their bank account details to a third party provider

In this guide

  • Review
  • Frequently asked questions

What is Flinks?

Flinks is an open banking provider that specializes in financial data exchange. It offers a range of products that help businesses access their customers’ financial data.

Flinks is commonly used in the consumer lending space, where lenders are looking for a quick and convenient way to assess the creditworthiness of people who apply for loans. To do this, Flinks makes it easy to connect your bank account via instant banking verification, allowing the lender to verify your income.

Flinks can then provide the lender with a cash flow analysis of your financial situation so they can offer fast online pre-approval. It also provides financial data snapshots to help the lender identify fraudulent activity or NSF transactions on your account, helping them assess your credit risk.

These services are designed to make it quicker and easier for consumers to apply for loans, and to allow for a streamlined loan underwriting process for lenders.

Is Flinks legit?

Flinks was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. The National Bank of Canada, one of the nation’s Big Six banks, acquired Flinks in 2021.

Flinks is also a member of the Payments Innovation Alliance and its services are used by several well-known financial providers.

Is Flinks safe?

Flinks says it implements a number of protective measures to ensure the safety of sensitive financial data. Flinks has a SOC 2 Type I report which attests that it has essential controls and processes in place to protect its clients’ financial information. SOC 2 is a security compliance certification developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

Flinks also has a 24/7 response team to deal with any security threats, and uses AES-256 hardware encryption for the storage of sensitive data.

For details on how Flinks uses your data and the steps it takes to protect your data, check out the company’s privacy policy on its website.

How does Flinks work?

Flinks offers its products and services across two main categories:

  • Data connectivity. Flinks covers an OAuth (open authorization) network of over 15,000 financial institutions in the US and Canada. This allows those financial institutions to offer customers the ability to connect their bank accounts when signing up, providing for automated account and income verification. This results in a faster and online onboarding process.
  • Data enrichment. Flinks also provides analysis of customers’ banking transaction data. This helps financial institutions assess your income and debt payments, identify your main source of income and assess your credit risk. In the lending space, this allows for faster loan underwriting.

What we like about Flinks

  • Instant banking verification. With instant banking verification from Flinks, you don’t have to upload bank statements when applying for a loan. This speeds up the approval process.
  • Automated loan underwriting. Flinks makes it easier for lenders to assess the credit risk of a borrower, allowing them to minimize the manual processing required when assessing a loan application.
  • Faster loan approvals. Flinks helps lenders assess the income and debt of loan applicants quickly, which means loans can be approved within minutes.
  • Owned by National Bank. Flinks is owned by National Bank, the sixth largest bank in Canada, so it’s backed by a well established and trusted financial institution.
  • Security standards. Flinks has SOC 2 Type I certification, so it has comprehensive security measures and processes in place to help safeguard clients’ sensitive financial data.

What to watch out for

  • Not a lender. Flinks is not actually a lender, but it plays an important part in the loan application and approval process. You’ll repay your loan to the credit provider, not Flinks.
  • Supply your banking details. Using Flinks when applying for a loan or signing up for some other financial product means using Flinks to provide bank account details and other personal information. Some people may not be comfortable with this, so you’ll need to make sure you’re satisfied with the security processes Flinks has in place.
  • Prices not listed. No pricing information is listed on the Flinks website.
Dive deeper What is open banking?

Who uses Flinks?

Several well known banks, lenders and fintechs use Flinks products and services to offer their financial products to Canadians. Some of the providers that use Flinks include:

  • Alterna Savings
  • Curo
  • EQ Bank
  • Equifax
  • GoEasy
  • iA Financement Auto
  • Merchant Growth
  • Money Mart
  • National Bank
  • Paybright
  • Peoples Group
  • Spring Financial
  • Stripe
  • Wealthsimple
  • Wise

Compare personal loans that use bank verification such as Flinks

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Ratings APR Range Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements
Spring Financial Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
10.80% - 46.99%
$500 - $35,000
6 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $1,800/month, 3+ months employed, min. credit score 500
Mogo Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
9.90% - 46.96%
$500 - $35,000
6 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $13,000/year, min. credit score 500
SkyCap Financial Personal Loan
Finder Score:
★★★★★
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
12.99% - 39.99%
$500 - $10,000
9 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $1,666.67/month, full time employment/pension, min. credit score 575, no bankruptcy
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Flinks vs Plaid

Plaid is one of Flinks’ main competitors. With its Plaid Link product, Plaid aims to make it easy for users to connect their financial accounts to fintech apps. This allows providers to verify your income and employment, confirm your ID and offer a faster and easier signup process.

Plaid can also be used to set up bank payments, categorize transactions for budgeting and money management purposes, and for businesses wanting to manage bookkeeping and payroll. Plaid is partnered with over 8,000 fintechs, including providers such as Venmo, Acorns and Chime.

Bottom line

Instant banking verification and income verification services provided by providers like Flinks help streamline the loan application process. This means faster loan approvals and funding, and means you can apply for a loan without having to upload a whole lot of paperwork.

Frequently asked questions

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