As integrations and data become more important for wealthtech vendors and the advisors who rely on them, application program interfaces are taking centerstage at eMoney. The financial planning software provider is overhauling the way it provides data to integration partners with the formal launch of eMoney Access, announced at the firm's annual conference in Austin, Texas, this week. The “developer storefront” is an organized way for enterprises to access eMoney data across five families of application programmimg interfaces at three pricing tiers—and may bring eMoney closer to being a central hub in a financial advisor's workflow.
Using the new storefront, other vendors can pick and choose which eMoney features they would like to integrate into their own platforms, effectively allowing for bespoke integrations with the software provider.
The five families of APIs are plan data, which includes information on a client’s financial plan, such as probability of success, goals, timelines and assets; supporting information, such as advisor notes and tasks; firm administration data, like information on new clients or client spouses; client data, a category of “CRM-like” client information covering things like assets and liabilities; and document management data, related to documents in the digital Vault feature of eMoney.
There are three core data packages available, called Core APIs, Primary Planning APIs and Expanded Planning APIs. Core and Primary Planning APIs are available today, with Expanded Planning APIs slated for early 2020 availability.
Pricing is negotiable, according to a company spokesperson. "There’s not a rack rate listed for APIs...whether you’re an enterprise or a potential integration partner," she noted. "We evaluate each situation on [a] case by case basis, understanding how they’ll be using APIs and how frequently they’ll be adding, editing or pulling data. We’ve never charged our key strategic partners to integrate with us and we do not plan to change that.”
“eMoney Access is our way of allowing the firms, clients, third-party software providers to access data within the eMoney application from us,” said Jess Liberi, head of product at eMoney. “There's read and write access to data elements within eMoney,” meaning that data can both be pulled from eMoney, using the APIs, and added to the firm’s systems.
“Data and data protection, data security, data management are all ongoing topics of conversation all throughout the broader Fidelity organization,” said Abby Johnson, chairman of Fidelity, the corporate parent of eMoney. “It's interesting because unlike most organizations, or businesses, we at Fidelity have about an equal amount of data that gets aggregated towards us from other financial institutions, as well as data that is aggregated away from us.”
Ed O'Brien, CEO of eMoney, emphasized the tightly worded agreements in place with the developers who use the data that comes from eMoney—access won't be sold to anyone with a credit card. “It's a principled approach,” he said, adding it was important to understand "where the data goes and why it's going there."
The first firm to use eMoney Access is United Capital, now owned by Goldman Sachs. United Capital's FinLife CX platform relies on eMoney APIs from both the Core and Primary Planning families. Following the integration, advisors who updated plans in eMoney are able to transfer goals, goal details, account values and funded status of the goal to software outside of eMoney, according to the announcement. FinLife CX is United Capital's "entire client experience" that can be added to an advisor's existing CRM and works with the investing and planning solutions that are already in place, according to Joe Duran, founder and CEO of the company.
"Our advisors love the eMoney integration and the early functionality they've experienced," said Jason Gordo, vice president and head of client experience at United Capital, in a statement. "eMoney Access is a powerful complement to the financial life management tools on the FinLife CX platform."
The new availability of APIs also caught the attention of conference attendee Andrew Rogers, advisor solutions manager at Carson Group. He said Carson Group was "exploring" how they may use eMoney Access.
While Carson weighs its options, Salesforce is pushing ahead. The CRM provider will have a new single sign-on plug-in using APIs available in Access, accessible via the Salesforce App Exchange, according to an announcement made on Monday. The integration will provide “a unified view of client data” between the financial planning and CRM providers and is scheduled for release in 2020.