Silicon Valley start-up, Plaid is venturing into the payments business, a few months after a deal to be bought by payments giant Visa fell apart.
Plaid has launched a new program that leverages its technological capabilities to enable consumers and businesses to pay directly through their bank accounts.
Plaid, which connects nearly a quarter of US bank accounts through an app of one of its clients, counts high-profile customers like Betterment, Venmo, Robinhood and also the top US cryptocurrency exchanges, including Coinbase and Gemini. These big names are among the more than 6,000 providers that rely on Plaid’s infrastructure to connect with 200 million bank accounts across 11,000 US financial institutions.
To do this, Plaid is launching an ecosystem of payments partners to help bring smoother account-to-account payment experiences to digital financial interaction. To kick start its payment initiative, the fintech unicorn announced new partnerships with Checkout.com and Marqeta to bolster their nascent ecosystem.
In the US, the company collaborates with Dwolla, Galileo, Silicon Valley Bank, and Square to integrate Plaid’s connectivity technology into their processing technology. In the UK and Europe, partners such as Railsbank and Currencycloud embed Plaid’s payment initiation services within their existing product to help companies offer and accept open banking payments.
“Many of the fastest-growing fintechs globally are powered by Plaid and Checkout.com’s best-in-class APIs. Our partnership will connect Plaid’s account verification and Checkout.com’s payment services to make account funding accessible, seamless, and secure for fintechs and merchants alike. This is just the beginning of our shared journey to unlock the future of embedded finance.” Tracy Meng, VP of Partnerships at Checkout.com.
Plaid’s software allows banks and financial technology firms to plug into their customers’ financial accounts and access their financial data to look up balances or authenticate personal details.
Early last year, Visa proposed to acquire Plaid for $5.3 billion, but the Department of Justice moved to block the deal over antitrust concerns. To confirm its point of view, the department quoted Visa’s CEO, Alfred Kelly as saying the acquisition is an “insurance policy to protect their important US debit business.” He was also concerned that unless acquired, Plaid could cut out up to 500 million from Visa’s debit business by 2024.
The DoJ added that Visa leveraged its monopolist position in online debit services to extract billions of dollars from Americans.
Earlier in April, Plaid raised $425 million in a Series D funding round that valued the company at $13.4 billion, which at the time was double the valuation of Visa’s scuttled deal.