The parent company of Fidelity Investments has announced the spin-off of Akoya as an independent company that will be jointly owned by Fidelity, The Clearing House Payments Co. and 11 of its member banks. Akoya operates a secure application programming interface-based (API) network that creates a safe and transparent way for consumers to grant access to their personal financial data to third-party financial apps. The network acts as a bridge between financial institutions and data recipients, such as fintechs and data aggregators. It is available to the entire financial services industry.

Currently, consumers often provide their account login credentials to third-party data recipients, such as financial apps or data aggregators, in order to share their financial data to help them manage their finances. The new network, while also increasing the safety and security of the financial system, will accelerate the adoption of APIs to offer secure access to data, an effort already initiated by some financial institutions.

Akoya provides a network-based option for sharing financial data between financial institutions and data recipients in a way that can improve transparency and reduce cybersecurity, privacy and financial risks compared to data-sharing methods that rely on consumer-provided online credentials. This network-based approach will provide consumers greater control and enable informed consent when they choose to share their data with data recipients.

“Consumers’ personal financial data should only be accessed with their explicit consent and they should have the ability to monitor and revoke that access,” Abigail P. Johnson, chairman and CEO of Fidelity Investments, said in a statement. “For this reason, we created Akoya and are now joining with several financial institutions to accelerate the availability of a secure, transparent and more reliable network for the entire financial services industry.”

Bank of America, Capital One, Citi, Huntington Bank, JPMorgan Chase, KeyBank, PNC Bank, The Clearing House Payments Co., TD Bank, Truist, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo & Company and FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, are the new owners of Akoya.

“This is a major step forward in giving consumers control of their data and allowing them to share that data securely with third-party applications they want to use,” Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup and chairman of The Clearing House, said in the statement. “Data security is a top priority for the industry, and bringing Akoya together with The Clearing House and its members will meaningfully advance the availability of a secure data sharing ecosystem while preserving customer choice.”

Unveiled by Fidelity in 2019, Akoya will operate separately from its owners and establish new protocols and connections. Financial institutions and data recipients can connect to Akoya’s network-based solution so consumers can control and safely share only the data that financial apps require.

“Every consumer has the right to share their financial data in order to receive valuable services and information, but it must be done in a safe and transparent manner,” Stuart Rubinstein, CEO of Akoya, said in the statement. “Financial institutions and data recipients will have access to an efficient, effective and secure option without the need to build and maintain multiple connections between each other.”

Akoya’s API is aligned with the Financial Data Exchange (FDX) standard. FDX is a non-profit comprised of financial institutions and data recipients that is dedicated to advancing API standards for more secure and convenient consumer and business access to their financial data.