Visa is interested in moving further into the fintech space with its announcement that it plans to acquire the financial technology company Plaid for $5.3bn.
Plaid's platform allows users to connect their bank accounts to finance apps such as Venmo and Betterment to help facilitate online payments and investments.
If the deal goes through, it will mean Visa now owns a key technology layer in the growing fintech space. Last year alone, an estimated 75 percent of internet-connected consumers around the world used a fintech app to move money.
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While Plaid may not be as well known as some of its clients, roughly one in four people with a US bank account have used the company's platform to share data with and connect to a finance app according to Visa. Venmo is a great example of this because when a user sets up an account with the service, Plaid's technology is what allows them to link their bank account.
In a press release announcing its plans to acquire Plaid, VISA CEO and chairman AL Kelly explained how the deal will allow the company to deliver even more value to its customers and financial institutions, saying:
“We are extremely excited about our acquisition of Plaid and how it enhances the growth trajectory of our business. Plaid is a leader in the fast growing fintech world with best-in-class capabilities and talent. The acquisition, combined with our many fintech efforts already underway, will position Visa to deliver even more value for developers, financial institutions and consumers.”
According to Visa, Plaid's core focus on fintech will also open new market opportunities both within the US and internationally. Once the deal closes, Plaid will continue to operate as an independent company.
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