Plaid, which was launched in 2013, is attractive to Visa because it has the technology to get access to a customer’s bank account data, collect it and aggregate it for financial services providers to use. Plaid uses a unified application programming interface (API) to link FinTech apps with people’s bank accounts. The company has integrated with about 15,000 banks in Canada and the United States.
In a 2018 funding round, Plaid had a valuation of about $2.65 billion.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to be on the wave of FinTech, starting in the U.S.,” Zach Perret, co-founder and CEO of Plaid, said in November. “It’s had a lot of early success in the U.K., despite only being there six months.”
The potential for the acquisition is promising, as it could see the creation of a platform that would let people’s money travel between bank accounts using Visa in much the same way that competing services like Venmo and Zelle operate.
Visa has the possibility to tap into trillions in wire transfers around the world, and it would also help the card company to assist firms with receiving and sending money through bank accounts themselves.
Last year, Visa purchased control of Earthport, a cross-border service to businesses and banks that provides payment services.
Plaid previously received investments from Visa as well as its competitor, Mastercard, in a funding round two years ago.
In November, Plaid expanded to Ireland, France and Spain.