Wesabe, a service that lets users upload anonymized financial data and se automated comparison tools in order to spend better and save money, has launched its API today. This allows programmers to write even better tools for making use of Wesabe — and since Wesabe can slurp in data from banks and credit cards all over the world, the API allows you to manipulate financial data from hundreds of banks.
We already provide a set of tools for automatically uploading your bank and credit card data to the Wesabe site. With the release of this API, we're adding tools to help you automatically download and manipulate that data, too. As a result, we're not just providing an API for our own site, but also for all the bank and credit card sites that Wesabe supports, as well. Since Wesabe supports banks and credit cards in over 30 countries around the world, we're effectively providing developers everywhere a way to unlock data from their financial institutions and put that data to work.
Wesabe is a site that exists in order to change the balance of information – and with information, power – between consumers and the businesses we patronize. As I've written before, we believe that businesses know way too much about consumers (where we live, how much we make, our roommates, our magazine subscriptions, and so on), and consumers know way too little about businesses…
We want to take the idea of a credit bureau (where businesses report their experiences with consumers so that other businesses can benefit) and turn it on its head – building instead a value bureau, where consumers can share their experiences with businesses, so all consumers can benefit.
See also: Wesabe: community money-saving service
(Disclosure: I'm a proud member of Wesabe's advisory board)