It has been announced that Visa and Mastercard have both made strategic investments (of undisclosed values) into financial ecosystem developer Plaid, which additionally provides technical infrastructure APIs and other services.
The partnership, according to Plaid, will see the three companies collaborating on products which “lie at the intersection of commerce and financial services” – however specifics of which have not yet been disclosed.
Plaid has a reputation for serving cryptocurrency based projects, having recently partnered with cryptocurrency wallet provider Abra to enhance compatibility with existing banks.
Additionally, and on a related note: Ripple invested in MoneyGram recently as well as pledging significant grants too; and MoneyGram partnered with Visa recently for a new debit card deposit service – making the three related indirectly.
Founded in 2013, Plaid describes itself as a customer-focused financial services provider and ecosystem (including data insights) which currently employs over 300 team members across three offices; whilst boasting over ten billion analyzed transactions.
Earlier this month, Plaid claimed to have added support for “over 200” institutions to its ‘investments’ coverage; in addition to having enhanced reach for its ‘liabilities’ service, including support for Wells Fargo.
Just like Visa, Mastercard is not a stranger to DLT related projects; having joined forces with enterprise blockchain software firm R3 earlier this month for the development of a blockchain cross-border payments platform. Visa is also working with Apple in the development of its forthcoming ‘Apple Card’ product.
Zach Perret, Chief Executive Officer (Plaid)
“Today, we are excited to announce that Mastercard and Visa have made strategic investments in Plaid. We have long been inspired by the work these networks did to digitize commerce, and hold this as an example for what we hope to accomplish in financial services. We look forward to collaborating on products that lie at the intersection of commerce and financial services.”
“Banking was built for a world that did not envision the internet. Even today, the backend for most consumer financial products is still paper, phone calls, and faxes. We are in the early stages of a digital revolution in financial services, which has thus far been led by many fintech startups and a handful of forward-leaning banks.”
“We’re particularly excited about what this means for our customers and for consumers. We are well on our way to creating a consumer-first financial ecosystem that will significantly improve the way people manage their financial lives. Onward!”