Introducing the Provider Sandbox: Your Testing Ground for HR & Payroll Integrations
December 5, 2023
0 min read
Software sandboxes offer a controlled environment where developers can play, explore, and learn about a product without real-world consequences. While Finch has always had a sandbox for our API, we’re excited to share a brand new sandbox experience that will help developers test our integrations with specific HR and payroll providers. We call it the Provider Sandbox.
What is the Provider Sandbox?
The Provider Sandbox is the easiest way to test our integrations with HR and payroll providers. It provides a realistic environment where developers can initiate an external connection with live providers like Gusto and Deel — and receive data from demo and trial accounts.
The beauty of the Provider Sandbox is the ability to test live, external connections with specific providers. It’s as realistic as you can get outside of a live customer scenario. That means you can test everything our API offers – like request forwarding and data syncs – just as you would a production account.
The Value of Dummy Data from Providers
Each HR and payroll provider is unique. They offer different features, specialize in different industries and customer sizes, and even if the data they store is similar – the way that they manage the data is different. Without actually connecting to providers’ systems during the testing phase, it’s difficult to know what data you’ll actually have access to. And that makes it tricky to test your unique use case.
With the Provider Sandbox, you can test for specific field support and understand specific nuances of a provider - for example how contractors are handled in the system. Most importantly, you’ll be able to update your demo company within the provider’s dashboard, resync with Finch, and see those changes reflected in the Finch API response. This is the simplest way to realize the power of Finch without having to worry about using a live customer – or worse, your own payroll account – to test.
How to Connect To Your First Demo or Trial Account
In order to use the Provider Sandbox, you’ll need to first set up a demo or trial account with a supported provider. Then, you can modify the data in your account, sync with Finch, and understand how those changes are reflected in the Finch API. Getting comfortable with this back and forth can help you feel more confident that this provider can support your use case.
In the demo below, you can see the process of setting up a demo account and testing your first connection with Gusto.
Experiment with Finch’s API and Dashboard
Connecting to an external provider is only the first step. With the Provider Sandbox, you can use this connection to test many of Finch’s API and Dashboard features.
For example, say you’re building a financial forecasting product, and require weekly working hours from Personio. While this isn’t supported in our standardized data model, it is possible to access it with Finch Request Forwarding. Simply use our /Forward API to request data from Personio in their native API data model. Once the raw data is returned, you can understand exactly how this data can be utilized in your production application. To see how this works, watch our Request Forwarding demo.
This is just one example of how you might use the Finch API to experiment with provider data. Please note that Request Forwarding is only available for active customers on our scale plan.
Together, we hope both our Provider Sandbox and Finch Sandbox can help developers test exciting new applications of Finch without having to worry about the sensitivity of live customer data and PII.
Our Provider Sandbox is free for developers. If you’re already a Finch customer, get started by visiting your Sandbox Application in the Finch Dashboard. If not, sign up for free.
Introducing Real-time Status Updates with Finch Webhooks
November 20, 2023
0 min read
We're excited to share that Finch now supports real-time webhooks for all customers on our scale plan. Finch Webhooks help you monitor connections and sync jobs, and notify you when data has changed. This helps you keep your applications up to date with the freshest employment data available.
What webhooks does Finch offer?
Finch offers 3 types of webhooks, account update events, job completion events, and data change events.
Account update events contain information about account connections, such as when a connection has been established or needs to be refreshed. Use these webhooks to determine when a new connection is fully set up and ready to begin syncing data.
Job completion events fire when a data sync job finishes running, whether the final state is a success or an error. Use these webhooks to trigger workflows or notify customers when a sync has completed.
Data change events fire when data from a connection has been created, updated, or deleted — after the initial data sync has been completed. You can subscribe for updates on all data, or just for specific endpoints. You can find a demo of data change event webhooks here.
Set up secure, scalable webhooks in our Dashboard
We designed Finch Webhooks to empower our developers to build seamless and secure applications. With webhooks, there’s no need to make repeat data requests to find out what data has changed. Easily configure webhooks in the Dashboard, and start receiving notifications in real time.
Check out the demo below to learn how to set up your first webhook.
Easy setup To set up a new webhook, simply register an endpoint in the Dashboard, and use our documentation to understand the structure of each event type.
Real-time notifications Webhooks make it easier to get notified of updates instantly. Once you’ve set up your webhooks, you’re ready to receive updates in real time.
Scalable and secure As your business grows, so do your needs. Fortunately, Finch webhooks are built to scale—so whether you're handling ten employer connections or ten thousand, performance will remain consistent and reliable. Our webhooks are also signed by Finch so you can verify that the data you're receiving is coming from us.
Unveiling Finch’s New Backend Software Development Kits (SDKs)
August 29, 2023
0 min read
Building with Finch just got easier.
Today, Finch announces the release of a set of new backend SDKs that will help developers support integrations faster than ever. We expect this new functionality to help our customers focus more on their application logic and less on boilerplate code.
What’s a Software Development Kit?
A software development kit (SDK) is a set of platform-specific building tools for developers. SDKs put everything you might need to develop and run software in one place. They can also contain helpful resources like documentation, APIs, and frameworks that enable faster application development.
While the actual contents of each software development kit will vary, most will include:
Libraries and Frameworks: These are collections of pre-written code that developers can leverage to perform common tasks without having to build from scratch. Libraries simplify the development process by providing reusable, modular components.
Documentation: Comprehensive guides and references that detail the functionalities, classes, methods, and best practices for using the SDK. Good documentation is crucial for developers to understand and effectively utilize the tools provided.
Sample Code: Examples of how to use the SDK's features. Sample code can serve as a starting point for developers, helping them get up to speed quickly and see practical implementations of the SDK's capabilities.
All of these resources help developers control costs, shorten development cycles, and ultimately ship great products faster.
Backend SDKs for Authentication and Data Retrieval
Finch’s SDKs give developers the building blocks and tools needed to build robust, scalable, and efficient applications. Our SDKs are designed to streamline the development process, reducing the time and effort required to integrate with Finch — and by extension, hundreds of payroll and HRIS systems.
With this newest set of SDKs, developers can expect a comprehensive set of built-in functions and methods that allow them to interact with Finch's APIs directly in their language of choice. These backend SDKs include authentication and data retrieval operations, making it easier for developers to perform common tasks.
Let’s walk through an example using our Python SDK: After an employer authorizes through Finch Connect, developers can use the get_access_token function to exchange the authorization code for an access token. Once they have this access token, they can call any of the retrieval functions to retrieve data for that company.
For example, client.hris.company.retrieve() will retrieve data from the /employer/company endpoint of the Finch API.
Developers can use this pattern to pull the same data models available in our API. This includes all data available via the company, directory, employment, individual, payment, pay statement, and benefits endpoints.
Get started with Finch SDKs
Looking to get started? Check out our SDK repositories, which provide extensive documentation and sample code. Start with selecting your preferred coding language:
Curious what other SDKs Finch supports? Check out our frontend SDKs, which can help you embed Finch Connect in your application.
We're excited to see what you build with Finch. Visit our docs for more information on installation and usage. If you have any questions or need help getting started, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Available Now: View Data Syncs in a Brand New Interface
April 11, 2023
0 min read
Monitor Data Syncs Job History in the Finch Dashboard
Just a few weeks ago, we announced a new set of Jobs Management endpoints, which make it easy for developers to programmatically view the status of data sync jobs for any employer connection. Now, we’re excited to share a new user interface (UI) in the dashboard that empowers any user to do the same. We call it the Data Syncs UI.
The Data Syncs UI enables any Finch user to view the status of scheduled and requested data syncs through a user-friendly dashboard. This gives developers, support teams, and product managers alike an accessible source of truth for the status of data syncs across all connected customers.
Real-time visibility for your entire team
The Data Syncs UI is designed to make it easy for anyone in your organization, regardless of their technical expertise, to view and manage data sync job activity.
For example, product managers can now monitor the health of connections across their applications without the need for engineering support. The intuitive interface gives them visibility into every active and past connection, so they can proactively address syncing issues and provide timely information to customers (or our support team) as needed.
Meanwhile, the Data Syncs UI empowers support representatives to quickly assess the status of customers’ connections and efficiently field questions and requests. This helps them provide a best-in-class experience for your customers.
Get started with the Data Syncs UI
To access the Data Syncs UI, simply log in to your Finch dashboard and click on any of your individual customers under the 'Employers' tab to see a full list of syncs and their status. If you aren’t already using Finch today, but want to learn how employment data can help power your next product innovation, sign up for a free account, or talk to a member of our team today.
Connect Receives Two Major Upgrades: Authentication Fallback and Configurability
March 27, 2023
0 min read
Today, we’re excited to announce two major upgrades to Connect: authentication fallback and improved configurability. These enhancements give you more flexibility and control over how employers authenticate through Connect.
Increasing Connect conversion with auth fallback
Fallback is an alternative path to authenticate when your customers are having difficulty connecting with the primary authentication method. This enables employers to connect through Finch without the need to contact support.
How it works
If an employer attempts to authenticate through Connect and cannot complete the primary authentication method, Connect will display instructions for the employer to connect manually as a fallback option. Once Finch sets up the account, the data for this connection will flow through the Finch API as usual. Check out our docs for a complete list of providers and more implementation details.
Improved configurability of Connect
Finch may display various authentication methods to employers depending on different providers. Several common examples of authentication include credential auth, OAuth, and API keys. Each authentication method has its pros and cons, some of which include friction to connect, cost to employers, and data refresh frequency.
The new and improved authorization configurability allows you to decide what configurations to enable in Connect across providers, including:
Which methods to show as the primary method in Connect
Which methods to disable in Connect
Which providers to hide in Connect
To learn more, read the configuration docs for more details.
Both Connect updates are immediately available. Please reach out to Sales or your Account Manager to enable authentication fallback and config. If you don’t have API keys yet, you can sign up for a free account today!
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Data Refresh endpoint, allowing you to request new data whenever you need it.
The Finch API syncs data with providers on a set cadence. This enables Finch to provide developers a reliable, low-latency API. But, we know sometimes you need to refresh your data sooner than Finch's retrieval schedule.
Kick off a new sync any time with Data Refresh
Data Refresh is a new endpoint which lets you enqueue a new job on demand without waiting for the next scheduled sync.
We are excited about enabling use cases where near-real-time data is critical. For example:
A health insurance provider that needs to check for qualifying life events on employee payroll data to ensure accurate coverage
A retirement company that needs to knows when its customers run payroll, and check for new pay runs in a time-sensitive use-case (e.g. confirming deductions)
A compensation application services a customer undergoing a tender offer and needs to see updated employee directory information in short order
A financial planning application services a customer making changes to their payroll system while doing financial modeling, and wants to see the changes in near-real-time.
How it works
First, you’ll need a way to trigger a refresh in your application. This is typically triggered by a refresh button built into the product or through some backend workflow. Then you can use this workflow to send a request to our POST /jobs/automated endpoint and we’ll kick off a new job to fetch any new updates. While the job is running, you can use our GET /jobs/automated endpoint to check on the status of the job. After the data is updated, you can call each individual data endpoint to retrieve the latest data. Check out our docs to learn more.
Improved Data Syncs management for better visibility
But that’s not all—we’ve also released new Jobs Management endpoints to give you more visibility and control into jobs run by Finch. With these endpoints, you’ll also be able to view the status of a data sync job, as well as timestamps related to key lifecycle events by sending a request to GET /jobs/automated. Use this endpoint to understand and communicate with your customers the last updated time, status of the current sync, and more.
The /jobs endpoint is available to everyone today. Anyone with API keys, please reach out to Sales or your Account Manager to enable the feature in production. If you don’t have API keys, sign up for a free account!
December Product Updates: Ethnicity and Custom Fields
December 22, 2022
0 min read
This month’s updates include support for custom fields, which unlocks a multitude of use cases, and ethnicity, which employers can use to track progress on initiatives such as DEIB.
Custom fields unlocks edge cases
Custom fields has consistently been one of our most requested features with a multitude of use cases, ranging from capturing employee t-shirt sizes, to recording eligibility for fringe benefits, to storing data such as variable compensation targets. Finch defines custom fields as fields created by employers which do not yet exist in the system, and we’re happy to announce that custom field support is now available for the following systems with expanded availability across more platforms later next year:
ADP Workforce Now
Paylocity (support for both credential & API auth)
Zenefits (support for both credential & API auth)
While the range of data in these fields can vary, we already see multiple use cases leveraging common fields to drive a better employer experience.
Compensation management platforms gather variable compensation and OTE to build more comprehensive compensation benchmarks for roles that are commission based.
Learning management systems use education and certification data to recommend various training modules that better fit the skill levels of each individual employee.
Benefits administrators review benefits selection data to better understand utilization across an organization.
Expense managers track travel and expense (T&E) allowances and build approval flows when spend exceeds those amounts with minimal manual input.
Performance management systems match project data with goals and internal objectives to identify key stakeholders across the team.
Ethnicity data provides insight into organizational diversity
Ethnicity is a valuable datapoint that organizations aim to track to provide leadership and HR teams insights into workplace metrics such as diversity, hiring (recruitment, applications, interviews, and job offers), compensation, performance, and employee engagement. And now, it is also a field that is supported by Finch in the following HRIS systems:
ADP Workforce Now
Similar to custom fields, developers use ethnicity data to deliver deeper insights into an organization. Here are a few use cases that benefit from the additional granularity Finch provides:
Compensation management platforms layer on ethnicity data to equity of compensation across an organization and identify potential biases.
DEIB solutions track ethnicity across the entire organization, departments, and individual teams to hold hiring managers accountable to targets.
Performance management systems monitor ethnicity and compare it against career development to gain insight into equitable career growth paths and potential biases within teams.
Now, employers who want to connect their HiBob account to a third-party can authenticate directly through Finch Connect to generate a long-lasting API token that queries the HiBob API without the user exiting our front-end modal. Alternatively, employers using SSO will be able to walk through a quick set of instructions that lets them directly generate the API token from within the HiBob dashboard. This will then be shared with Finch, completing the authentication process.
Authenticating via Paylocity API
The more than 33,000 U.S. employers who use Paylocity to run their payroll and HR functions are the new beneficiaries of an exciting product feature: alternative auth via API token.
In other words, employers looking to link their Paylocity account to another application will have the option to do so directly with API credentials, for an ultra secure and reliable connection.
The new option is presented to employers who select Paylocity as their provider in our front-end modal as an alternative to the default Finch Connect flow. Once they follow the process outlined by Paylocity, employers will receive a set of API keys which can then be securely shared via Finch Connect.
Expanded field support
Employees’ legal names are not always how they refer to themselves, and, in some cases, can even be in conflict with their identity. New support for preferred_name in our Paychex API integration allows applications using Finch to distinguish the two.
In other news, our Justworks integration now covers gender, an essential datapoint for workplace equity and compensation strategy use cases, to name a few.
Added support for department and employment.location for our assisted Paytime integration.
That's a wrap for November! If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for free access to put our latest features to work for you.
Employers can now authenticate with Paylocity API keys
November 29, 2022
0 min read
Since inception, Finch has been a major proponent of employer choice, giving them the ability to securely and compliantly share their data with trusted third parties. Not only should employers be able to choose who they share data with and what data they share, but also how they do so.
Today, we are extending employer choice to the authentication process for Paylocity customers. Paylocity has over 33,300 employers using their platform across the US leveraging a full suite of HR products from payroll to benefits management. Similar to the TriNet integration update included in our September product post, Paylocity users will now be able to choose to authenticate access via API credentials for a secure, reliable syncing experience. Check out our compatibility docs to confirm which datapoints are accessible via this new authentication method.
How to Connect
Employers who select Paylocity as their provider will see a new authentication option offered as an alternative to default Finch Connect flow. Once they follow the process outlined by Paylocity, employers will receive a set of API keys from Paylocity, which can then be securely shared via Finch Connect.
Want to get your hands on this new feature? Click here to sign up for free and test out Finch's expanded Paylocity auth flow in your application.
This month’s updates include the beta launch of our new ATS API, an updated authorization workflow for our latest HRIS partner, and additional data field coverage for some of our most popular supported systems.
Announcing our first ATS integration
In response to growing customer demand, we’ve officially launched the Finch applicant tracking system (ATS) API, and our first ATS integration, Lever, is live!
Because applicant tracking systems house crucial insights into an organization’s recruiting pipeline, seamless ATS data connectivity is essential to B2B applications that service the candidate lifecycle. To unlock a range of high-value use cases in product categories like candidate sourcing, compensation management, and DEI, our ATS API supports four data models: candidate, applications, jobs, and offers.
OpenID Connect is a reliable authorization method that acts as a simple identity layer on top of the OAuth 2.0 protocol. By working through BambooHR’s OpenID Connect flow, we’re making it even more seamless and intuitive for your users to permission a data sync between your application and BambooHR.
Expanded field support
Building on the headway we made in August, Finch now proudly supports Section 125 medical, dental, and vision deduction typing for ADP Run, PrismHR, and UKG Pro. This level of granularity fuels innovative customer use cases related to deduction management, tax credit calculations, and more. You can find them displayed in the employee_deductions.type field on our /pay-statements endpoint.
Employer Benefits Contributions
For Trinet and Zenefits, you can now view employers’ benefit contributions—like 401(k) matches—in the pay-statements field, which provides essential visibility for retirement benefits providers.
The gender field is now supported in Rippling, ensuring that developers building products that analyze pay disparities and DEI issues have crucial data access for a significant segment of their customer base.
In continued support of workers’ compensation insurance use cases, the class_code field is now available through the employment endpoint in Trinet—adding to the list of systems we previously rolled out support for in September.
This field identifies the type of work an employee performs, enabling insurance companies to more accurately assess risk and calculate premiums for employers. Please note that 14 states operate with a class code system independent of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) standard. Cross-referencing each employee’s work location with the class_code field is important to properly interpret this datapoint for insurance products.
That's all for October! Stay on the lookout for our next monthly product update. If you want to get your hands on the latest and greatest Finch features sign up for free access here.
This month's updates include further expansion of coverage with two additional API integrations, greater availability of a key field for insurance providers, and a new way to connect with TriNet customers. Check out what’s new!
Broader North American coverage with two new integrations
Wave offers payroll as part of an all-in-one suite of financial products that serve over 2 million SMBs across the US and Canada. Acquired by H&R Block in 2019, the company offers a set of free services including invoicing, accounting, and banking, and adds additional paid services such as payroll, payments, and bookkeeping. We're excited to support Wave and allow developers to connect with hundreds of thousands of their payroll clients.
While we have compatibility with Quickbooks Payroll in the US we've now added support for Quickbooks Payroll as part of our broader international expansion efforts. Now developers can connect directly all 1.4 million Quickbooks Payroll customers across North America.
Expanded support for worker's compensation fields
We continue to roll out new fields for essential use cases and have made the worker's comp class_code field available in both Quickbooks and Paylocity alongside Gusto, ADP RUN, and others.
This field within the employment endpoint exposes the specific 3-4 digit code that identifies the types of work an employee performs so that insurance companies can estimate risk and calculate accurate premiums for employers.
While many of them will follow the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) code system, 14 states operate with independent class code systems. Cross-referencing the work location state for each employee with the class_code field is important to properly interpret this datapoint for your insurance product.
Alternative auth option with Trinet API token
With over 23,000 employers supported in the US, TriNet is one of our longest-standing and most popular integrations, and we’ve given it a fresh new update! Our TriNet integration now supports the option to connect via TriNet’s API directly. This new integration option is both a smoother and more secure experience, providing significant latency and reliability improvements to the connection.
How to Connect
Employers who select TriNet as their provider will see a new authentication page displayed by default in Finch Connect. Once they follow the process outlined by TriNet, employers will receive a set of API keys from TriNet, which can then be securely shared via Finch Connect.
That's all for this monthly update! Stay on the lookout for our next monthly product update. If you want to get your hands on the latest and greatest Finch features sign up for free access here.
Finch expands coverage with support for Quickbooks Canada!
September 29, 2022
0 min read
Today we’re announcing support for connecting Canadian versions of Quickbooks Online via Finch Connect. This integration expands our Canadian 🇨🇦 coverage alongside Wave! Quickbooks joins Personio and Humaans integrations - both recently launched European-focused HRIS - that represent our continued efforts to support international systems.
How do I get access to the Quickbooks Canada integration?
Access to Quickbooks Canada is available today via Finch Connect. Canadian accounts connect seamlessly; employers can connect using the existing Quickbooks integration page in Finch Connect. Finch will automatically detect whether the account being connected is Canadian and handle any integration differences.
If you’re not yet a customer and are interested in gaining access to Finch, sign up for a free sandbox account, and get your API keys today.
With our universal API, you’ll gain access to 180+ HRIS and payroll integrations and counting, from ADP RUN to Zenefits. Our team also handles all ongoing maintenance and updates so you can spend your time focusing on building out your platform, creating exceptional user experiences, and fostering stickier customer relationships.
As developers ourselves, we know that while APIs are a great first step to increasing business efficiency, when it comes to implementation, SDKs create a superior experience.
We recognized this early on at Finch, which is why we focused on developing our React SDK for Finch Connect. This SDK offers an easier alternative for embedding Connect into applications versus using the Finch API directly. However, it also constrained developers to using React if they wanted to embed our product.
Finch now syncs data with providers on a 24 hour cadence, and Finch API requests now return data from the most recent sync. This will result in major improvements to response latency, as well as a more smooth and consistent experience using Finch — any provider-specific issues related to their own infrastructure will be smoothed over by our most recent sync data. In the future, we’ll be adding even more rich functionality to our data syncs, including faster refresh times and the ability to force a data sync on-demand.
More granular deduction types for 3 more providers
From calculating tax credits to identifying when deductions have been applied, many customer use cases rely on being able to consistently discern benefit deduction types in employee pay statements. We have now added support for Section 125 Medical deduction typing in Paychex Flex, ADP Workforce Now, and Rippling. You can see these s125_medical types showing in the form employee_deductions.type field on Finch’s /pay-statements endpoint. More providers to follow soon!
That's all for this monthly update! Stay on the lookout for our next monthly product update. If you want to get your hands on the latest and greatest Finch features sign up for free access here.
Alex is originally from New Jersey but moved to California to study computer science at U.C. Berkeley. Now based in San Francisco, he’s happy to be back doing what he loves at a small but (rapidly!) growing company while still having time and opportunity in his personal life to take advantage of the best the West Coast has to offer. Learn more about Alex—and his advice for engineers just starting their careers—in our conversation below.
What brought you to Finch?
After spending several years working at enterprise and midsize organizations, I wanted to go back to my roots and join an early stage startup. It was important for me to find an opportunity to get in at the ground floor, because I wanted a lot of ownership, and I wanted to be able to take on a lot of different responsibilities and grow with the organization. There is good opportunity to do that here. I was also really impressed with how much traction the product was getting. Finch only had one or two engineers at the time, and they were already working with big companies. That was motivating—to be at the cusp of powering all of these other businesses.
Where were you before Finch?
When I was still in school, a couple of my friends and I created a startup and ended up taking some time off to keep pursuing it. I loved the camaraderie of the team and the feeling that I had a lot of impact on the end product. It was really fulfilling for me. When I finished school, I went in the complete opposite direction. I went to a gigantic company—Apple—where I started in mobile development before switching to machine learning. Then I went to a neobank called Digit, where I worked on the money management system. After that, I really wanted to go back to something small.
Tell us about your role.
My official title is founding software engineer. My responsibilities are varied, but it's mostly engineering work. I started out building our integrations with different payroll systems. Recently, I moved more into building new products. The project I’m working on now has been a little bit different than the rest of our endpoints, because we’re able to not just read from the system but also write back into it. And this week I'm doing product marketing, which I've never done before. So, I get to dabble. That's been cool.
What drives you to do the work that you’re doing here?
It’s evident that we’re building critical infrastructure for employment-oriented companies, so they can streamline manual processes. Knowing that we’re solving a real pain point, and that my role directly ties to clients’ needs, is really motivating for me.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
The work is very open-ended; there's not really one right answer. And so, a lot of it requires creative solutions. But that's also what makes it fascinating to me—the fact that it's not always a straightforward task. I have to dig and take different angles. For example, there's not really a roadmap for the product I’m working on. The challenge is how you scope it down and identify the needs of the customer and then figuring out how that all fits together. It’s the hard part but also the fun part.
What makes you a good fit for your role and for Finch?
I really care about the bottom line. I wouldn't work on something just because I thought it was interesting if it has no actual impact on the business. I‘m kind of existential in that way. I like to ask myself, “Why am I even doing this?” I need to know that what I'm working on is important and that it's going to make a difference in the outcome of the company.
What do you like most about working at Finch?
What I like most is that the people are really authentic. I think that's kind of rare, and it's definitely something that I value. I feel like everyone can be themselves here, and there's no weird power dynamics or hierarchies. Everyone is at Finch for the same reasons.
How would you describe Finch in one word?
We have this part of our values that basically means not getting too high off of the highs or too low off the lows—just making sure to keep looking toward the next opportunity. So, I think levelheaded is the right word for that.
When you’re not plugging away at work, what do you do for fun?
My main thing is hiking and backpacking with friends. I try to do both as often as I can, usually every weekend. Most recently, I spent time in Sequoia National Park, Colorado, and Yosemite. That's one of the reasons that I like living in the western part of the U.S. I’m always trying to get outside and into the mountains as much as I can.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career?
Try to get a breadth of exposure to problems as early as possible—startups are the best for this! You’ll feel like you’re floundering a bit, but it will give you a general framework of what you like and don’t like, and it will help you think about new problems from different angles throughout your career.
Interested in joining the Finch team? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions here.
Introducing Benefits— one API for end-to-end deduction and contribution management
November 9, 2021
0 min read
Today, we are excited to announce the launch of Benefits, a product that enables developers, benefits administrators, and employment providers to enable holistic benefits management—including benefits creation, employee enrollment, and deduction and contribution updates—across employment providers via a single API.
At Finch, we are on a mission to power the future of employment, and a huge piece of employment involves benefits. As the employee benefits landscape becomes increasingly digital and competitive, existing benefits providers need to be able to scale rapidly. In addition, benefits expectations have changed drastically over the past 18 months. From small businesses to large enterprises, there is more demand than ever from employees for quality benefits, and new solutions are popping up to fill those needs. We're excited for this new product to provide seamless control over benefits data so you can deliver these much-needed services to employers.
The current situation— multiple systems, complicated processes
Today, benefit providers sell to employers across a whole range of different employment systems, from Gusto™ to Zenefits to Insperity® and more. These benefits providers not only need the ability to retrieve employee records when a new member joins, but also process deductions and benefits enrollment to move money from payroll compliantly. The requirement to process deductions and enrollment is further complicated given money movement and employment regulations.
Existing solutions are error-prone and time-intensive
Today, there are generally three options for benefits providers—
SFTP—Most of the health insurance, health benefits, and retirement sector currently upload files to be consumed via SFTP. This is the standard in the industry but it is not real-time and is prone to errors.
Partnerships—Partnering directly with payroll providers can require several months of partnerships and business development effort on top of technical integration work.
Product Operations— Building out an in-house product operations team to pull reports and manually make changes to the system.
Many times, this benefits infrastructure is cobbled together with millions of dollars in development cost and is extremely difficult to maintain. Benefits changes the game. We have rebuilt this infrastructure from the ground up using modern API connectivity. Gone are the days of depending on painful CSV uploads, antiquated SFTP transfers, or error-prone internal product operations teams. With Benefits, Finch's platform can support the growth and expansion of our partners for today's increasingly digital and fragmented employment landscape.
Easy to set up, robust functionality
Benefits is comprised of a few simple endpoints under /employer/benefits/ to set up company benefits as well as enroll individuals—
Provide individual enrollment information including individual deductions, contribution limits, and other configuration information relevant to the specific benefit
Individuals can be enrolled in and unenrolled from company benefits via the API
You can enable the benefits product for supported providers today by simply configuring your application to request permission for the new benefits scope on Finch Connect.
Trusted data integrity and security
As with all of our products, Finch takes data integrity and security very seriously, and our Benefits product is no different. None of this sensitive data is stored by Finch, but rather it is passed through from the application to the underlying provider. Since we are a pass-through layer, we build on top of all of the existing fail-safes for communicating issues and tracking deductions and contribution limits, just as the underlying payroll systems do.
Already improving acquisition and retention
Benefits is already being used by customers from sectors including HSA, FSA, 401(k), payroll-backed lending, and more. Hear directly from some of our customers—
Operational efficiency and employer coverage was a bottleneck to our sales efforts. Finch Benefits allowed us to drive real-time management around deductions and enrollment and therefore increase our customer acquisition and retention. Our sales and operations teams are extremely happy!
CPO of a large enterprise powering a new workplace savings program
Finch has allowed us to streamline our required integrations with our client's payroll administrators, freeing our clients and Lane Health from having to expend time and resources to perform these payroll system integrations and file exchanges. By providing Lane Health with access to 95 payroll systems, we can deliver a superior client experience very effectively and efficiently. Finch has and will continue to be a valued partner for enabling our growth and achieving our business goals.
Crystal Peel, VP of Client Solutions @ Lane Health
The Finch team have been valuable partners to us as we navigate the various complex aspects of 401(k) administration and compliance, and how payroll and contribution data factor into that equation. We couldn't be more pleased with our partnership with Finch so far and are equally excited for the future as Finch continues to evolve their service platform to include more valuable features and benefits.
Justin Young, Senior Manager of Product Development @ Slavic401k
We would like to extend a big thank you to all of our early users who provided invaluable feedback during the build!
Getting started with Benefits
If you’re an existing Finch customer, you can enable the Benefits product today by reaching out to your account manager to get started. Developers new to Finch can reach out to email@example.com.
Stay tuned as we continue to update the endpoint with additional benefits categories. We look forward to supporting you in what you build next to create innovations for employers and employees.