Plaid Authenticate an Element

You can authenticate with Plaid to create your own instance of the Plaid element through the UI or through APIs. Once authenticated, you can use the element instance to access the different functionality offered by the Plaid platform.

Authenticate Through the UI

Use the UI to authenticate with Plaid and create an element instance as described in Authenticate an Element Instance (UI). In addition to the base authentication parameters, you will need the credentials that you identified in API Provider Setup.

After successfully authenticating, we give you several options for next steps. Make requests using the API docs associated with the instance, map the instance to a virtual data resource, or use it in a formula template.

Authenticate Through API

Authenticating through API is similar to authenticating via the UI. Instead of clicking and typing through a series of buttons, text boxes, and menus, you will instead send a request to our /instances endpoint. The end result is the same, though: an authenticated element instance with a token and id.

To authenticate an element instance:

  1. Construct a JSON body as shown below (see Parameters):

      "element": {
        "key": "plaid"
      "configuration": {
        "public_key": "<Plaid public_key>",
        "secret": "<Plaid secret>",
        "client_id": "<Plaid client_id>",
        "subdomain": "<Plaid API environment>",
        "password": "User's password",
        "username": "User's user name",
        "bank_name": "Supported Plaid Institution Name",
        "products": "<Comma separated list of products>"
      "tags": [
      "name": "<INSTANCE_NAME>"
  2. Call the following, including the JSON body you constructed in the previous step:

    POST /instances
    Note: Make sure that you include the User and Organization keys in the header. For more information, see Authorization Headers, Organization Secret, and User Secret.
  3. Locate the token and id in the response and save them for all future requests using the element instance.

Example cURL

curl -X POST \ \
  -H 'authorization: User <USER_SECRET>, Organization <ORGANIZATION_SECRET>' \
  -H 'content-type: application/json' \
  -d '{
  "element": {
    "key": "plaid"
  "configuration": {
    "public_key": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",
    "secret": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",
    "client_id": "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",
    "subdomain": "sandbox",
    "username": "user_good",
    "password": "pass_good",
    "bank_name": "Tartan Bank",
    "products": "auth, transactions"
  "tags": [
  "name": "API Instance"


API parameters not shown in Cloud Elements are in code formatting.

Note: Event related parameters are described in Events.
  • User's Bank Name. This must match an Institution in Plaid.
  • If you want access to products other than Auth and Transactions, click Show Optional Fields, and then add the products that you want to access to the comma separated list. For example, auth, transactions, identity, income.
ParameterDescriptionData Type
keyThe element key.
The name of the element instance created during authentication.string
Plaid Public Key
The Plaid public_key that you noted in API Provider Setupstring
Plaid Secret
The Plaid secret that you noted in API Provider Setupstring
Plaid Client Id
The Plaid client_id that you noted in API Provider Setupstring
The Plaid API environment (sandbox, production, or development) to integrate with.string
User' Bank Username
The user's bank user name.string
User' Bank Password
The user's bank password.string
User's Bank NameThe name of the user's bank that must match an Institution in Plaidstring
A comma-separated list of Plaid products.string
tagsOptional. User-defined tags to further identify the instance.string

Example Response for an Authenticated Element Instance

In this example, the instance ID is 12345 and the instance token starts with "ABC/D...". The actual values returned to you will be unique: make sure you save them for future requests to this new instance.

  "id": 12345,
  "name": "API Instance",
  "createdDate": "2017-08-07T18:46:38Z",
  "token": "ABC/Dxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx",
  "element": {
    "id": 5865,
    "name": "Plaid",
    "key": "plaid",
    "description": "Plaid enables applications to connect with users’ bank accounts",
    "image": "elements/custom-element-default-logo.png",
    "active": true,
    "deleted": false,
    "typeOauth": false,
    "trialAccount": false,
    "resources": [ ],
    "transformationsEnabled": true,
    "bulkDownloadEnabled": true,
    "bulkUploadEnabled": true,
    "cloneable": true,
    "extendable": true,
    "beta": false,
    "authentication": {
        "type": "custom"
    "extended": false,
    "hub": "finance",
    "protocolType": "http",
    "parameters": [  ],
    "private": false
  "elementId": 5865,
  "tags": [
  "provisionInteractions": [],
  "valid": true,
  "disabled": false,
  "maxCacheSize": 0,
  "cacheTimeToLive": 0,
  "configuration": {    },
  "eventsEnabled": false,
  "eventsNotificationCallbackUrl": "false",
  "traceLoggingEnabled": false,
  "cachingEnabled": false,
  "externalAuthentication": "none",
  "user": {
    "id": 12345