Visa acquires fintech player Plaid for $5.3 billion

Plaid is the technology layer that connects bank accounts to financial apps.

Payments giant Visa announced Monday that it plans to acquire Plaid, makers of a platform that lets people connect their bank accounts to finance apps like Venmo and Betterment, for $5.3 billion. The deal means that Visa will now own a key technology layer in the burgeoning fintech space, where an estimated 75 percent of the world's internet-connected consumers used a fintech app to move money in 2019.

Plaid likely doesn't have the name recognition of some of its client companies, but Visa said roughly one in four people with a US bank account have used Plaid to share data with and connect to a finance app. For instance, when a Venmo user sets up an account, it's Plaid's technology that lets them link their bank account to their Venmo account.

"We are extremely excited about our acquisition of Plaid and how it enhances the growth trajectory of our business," said Visa CEO Al Kelly. "The combination of Visa and Plaid will put us at the epicenter of the fintech world, expanding our total addressable market and accelerating our long-term revenue growth trajectory."

Visa said Plaid's core focus on fintech will open new market opportunities both in the US and internationally. The deal will also give Visa an opportunity to sell enhanced payment capabilities and related value-added services to fintech developers, the company said. 

Plaid will continue to operate as an independent company after the deal closes.

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