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“VISA acquiring fintech behemoth Plaid shows established financial organisations have recognised the API-driven financial data sharing space has been underserved. In the post-Open Banking era, as banks and fintechs look to shift from transaction to data-led business models, this underlying interoperable infrastructure is mission critical.
By allowing multiple systems around the world to communicate and operate together via a single data platform, Plaid is standardising and bridging the gap between the old transaction-led world, and the new data-led world.
The valuation certainly comes as no surprise – there is a huge market demand for standardisation in the fintech space and Plaid is one of the leaders. However, facilitating the transfer of customer data is a sensitive issue for banks and fintech given the level of access and data governance threat involved. With Visa’s backing and credentials, Plaid is much more likely to get traction with institutions that may have previously seen them as a risk.
From a VISA perspective, this can be seen as defensive play where the company diversifies and strengthens its offering as fintechs move away from cards-led payment networks.“
-- Suresh Vaghjiani, CEO and Co-Founder of Tribe Payments
Addendum on reference to bridging technology:
Usually bridging technology is temporary and is used until systems no longer need the temporary bridge.
If newer systems become universal in which they communicate, the likes of Plaid is temporary.
In time as tech cycles move, Plaid’s role could become less if universal interoperability is addressed.