Visa Plans For The Future

Visa is investing in fintech to stay ahead of the competition.

Open banking and real-time payments continue to threaten the cozy world of card-payment companies. Visa, for one, isn’t taking the threat lying down.

First came the announcement that Visa is buying Plaid, a fintech that develops financial services APIs, for $5.3 billion. Then came news that it is making a strategic investment in “banking-as-a-service” fintech Bankable.

According to Visa, Plaid represents both an entry into a new business and a complementary enhancement to Visa’s existing business—opening new market opportunities, enhanced payment capabilities and related value-added services to fintech developers and enabling Visa to work more closely with fintechs through all stages of their development.

The investment is consistent with Visa’s strategy to partner with, and invest in, companies that provide critical infrastructure for emerging segments and capabilities. Plaid’s Open Banking network, for example, makes it easy for people to connect their financial accounts to their preferred financial apps. Bankable, meanwhile, will enable Visa’s US institutional clients to access real-time and modular banking solutions.