Yodlee Finds Itself in a Technology ‘Accident’

  • JJ Hornblass
  • October 27, 2016
  • 0

canstockphoto38790229Even large technology companies can’t get a simple email right.

That’s what happened Tuesday when Envestnet Yodlee errantly blasted out a test email message to an unknown number of recipients. The email was a raw template from the address FISuccess@yodlee.com. It had gibberish as text, image specs for where images should go, and the subject line read “Test.” It was signed by Jennifer Reif, an Envestnet Yodlee marketing manager. Oh, and the email address she signed it with didn’t work.

About an hour later, Envestnet Yodlee, a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of nearly $1.5 billion, sent out an “apology.”

We experienced an accident during our deployment of a scheduled email earlier today. We first wanted to assure you this was a simple mistake, and there is no malicious activity associated with the test email you received earlier today. Our apologies for any inconvenience or concern this may have caused.

Bank Innovation asked Yodlee, what we would call one of the “oldest” fintech companies around, for clarification. Specifically, we asked how this mistake happened; who was responsible for the mistake; what are Yodlee’s internal protocols that would allow for such a mistake; how often Yodlee’s internal procedures break down so that errors appear on a basis of errors per thousand, as in production efficiency metrics; and what steps Yodlee has implemented to insure that such a mistake will not make occur again.

A spokesman from Yodlee’s PR agency replied late yesterday that Yodlee was “preparing to send an email to business customers, partners and prospects about a new offering,” but that Yodlee “inadvertently sent a test email to some of them.” Yodlee did not elaborate beyond that.

So much for FISuccess@yodlee.com.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at hornblass@gmail.com or 212-564-8972.

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