Understanding bank connections

Automatic bank transaction imports are part of Wave’s Pro Plan. Learn more about Wave’s plans or how to subscribe.

Wave works with Plaid, a specialist provider of secure bank data connections, to offer the ability to automatically import your bank transaction data.

Bank connections are available to businesses in the US and Canada. If your business is located in another region, learn how to upload bank or credit card statements

How does Wave get my bank data?

Why won’t my bank connect?

How do I fix a connection that’s not working?

Can Wave fix issues with my bank connection?

How do I get my transactions into Wave if my bank won't connect?

How does Wave get my bank data?

Wave does not access your bank directly to import transactions. Instead, Wave uses a secure third-party bank data integration partner called Plaid. Plaid is one of the largest companies providing this service, used by hundreds of innovative fintech companies around the world.

When you connect your bank account to import transactions into Wave, Plaid makes the connection to your bank. This connection is read-only and is only for importing transaction data. Wave and Plaid cannot make payments or move money in your accounts through this connection.

Why won’t my bank connect?

Through Plaid, Wave is able to connect with over 15,000 banks and financial institutions across the US and Canada, and that number continues to grow. However, with 15,000+ connections, at any given time some institutions will experience connection problems.

Because all connections are managed by Plaid, bank connection issues are outside of Wave’s immediate control.

Connection issues can happen for a variety of reasons:

  • Your bank's “anti-bot” security might be blocking the connection.
  • Your bank may have changed some features of its API, preventing Plaid from connecting.
  • Your bank may have changed the layout or flow of screens in its online banking portal, disrupting the automated system Plaid uses to pull information.
  • Your bank is not listed as available to connect because the institution or account type is not supported by Plaid.

Even if nothing noticeable has changed about your bank's online portal or software, something as simple as an advertisement or announcement that appears when you log in could be preventing Plaid from connecting successfully.

In addition to bank-wide issues, other common causes of connection problems include:

  • When first attempting to connect, the username or password you entered is incorrect.
  • After a successful first connection, you changed your online banking username or password and your connection information in Wave needs to be updated.
  • Your bank asks for “memorable data,” like a security question, in addition to a password, when you log in. In this case, you might need to connect multiple times via Wave before Plaid's systems know all your “memorable data” and are able to continue connecting successfully.

How do I fix a connection that’s not working?

Bank connection functionality is a challenge for companies across the FinTech industry. In practice, there's not much you can do individually to influence how your bank works with Plaid when there's a general issue. Plaid’s team constantly monitors all connections and knows which of its bank integrations are generating errors at any particular time. They work to fix these as fast as possible, so if your connection isn’t working right now, the best fix is often to wait a few days for Plaid to restore the connection.

You can also follow these troubleshooting steps to make sure your connection credentials are up to date. Often, reconnecting your bank account by entering your credentials again on the Banking > Connected Accounts page may resolve the issue.

Can Wave fix issues with my bank connection?

If you need help troubleshooting your connection status, open Mave, Wave’s automated chatbot, and type troubleshoot bank connection. Mave will help collect any relevant details and direct you to the appropriate support. Learn how to open Mave in Get support with Wave. However, depending on the root cause of the issue, it may not be possible to immediately reconnect.

When this happens, the best option is to wait for the connection issue to be resolved by Plaid. In the meantime, you can turn off automatic imports and get your transactions into Wave by using Wave Connect or uploading bank statements.

Wave can’t fix or investigate individual connection issues because these connections are managed and maintained by Plaid, and connection issues are often triggered by software changes made by an individual bank.

Wave cannot:

  • Predict when connection issues with a particular bank will be resolved
  • Investigate issues with an individual bank account

Wave regularly updates Plaid about the success rate of connections with each bank across our user base to ensure as many connections as possible function correctly.

How do I get my transactions into Wave if my bank won't connect?

An automated bank connection is often the most convenient way to get your data into Wave, but Wave has built alternative tools to support you when bank connections become unreliable, and for users who prefer not to connect to their bank. In these instances, you can add transactions to Wave in bulk by using Wave Connect or uploading electronic bank statements.

Wave Connect is a Google Sheets add-on that allows you to connect to Wave and download and upload data. Wave Connect is our recommended tool for uploading transactions when automatic bank imports aren’t working or aren’t available. Learn more about how to set up Wave Connect and get started.

You can also add transactions to Wave using the statement upload tool. Wave supports bank statement uploads in Microsoft Money, Quickbooks, Quicken, Simply Accounting, and CSV format. Read the step-by-step guide to uploading transactions to get started.