Following Visa’s recent abandonment of its acquisition of Plaid, an American fintech, due to concerns from US regulators, the company has agreed to purchase Swedish fintech startup Tink for 1.8 million euros.
Tink was founded in Stockholm by Swedish entrepreneurs Daniel Kjellén and Fredrik Hedberg in 2012. Banks and financial startups use Tink’s services to create apps to keep track of customers’ finances, all in one place.
Being the largest US card network, Visa strives to get a foothold in Europe’s rapidly growing open banking market. Companies who operate in open banking let third-parties use financial information to develop new apps and services, giving account holders a greater level of financial transparency options, only when consent is given.
The spread of open banking has the ability to create an alternative to the debit and credit card networks in the banking world. Hiroki Takeuchi, the founder of the London start-up company GoCardless, believes that this acquisition of Tink by Visa is the next step in preparation for this. He states that “These open banking initiatives are gaining maturity and momentum very quickly and they are going to become a real alternative to the card infrastructure and the card networks.”
Tink’s services connect more than 3,400 banks and financial institutions in Europe, with a reach of over 250 million customers across the continent, making its acquisition very desirable to Visa. The startup was last privately valued at €680 million but has raised over $300 million following investments from large companies such as PayPal, HMI Capital, and Insight Partners.
“For the past ten years we have worked relentlessly to build Tink into a leading open banking platform in Europe, and we are incredibly proud of what the whole team at Tink has created together. We have built something incredible and at the same time we have only scratched the surface,” CEO Daniel Kjellén says in an interview.
Kjellén believes that this merger with Visa will lead to many more opportunities that they did not have before: “Joining Visa, we will be able to move faster and reach further than ever before. Visa is the perfect partner for the next stage of Tink’s journey, and we are incredibly excited about what this will bring to our employees, customers, and for the future of financial services.”
Visa plans for Tink’s operations will continue as usual following this acquisition, with the Tink headquarters in Stockholm, in addition to keeping their brand and management team.
With open banking on the rise, do you think the world will turn away from the started debit and credit card networks in the near future?
Clark, Simon. “Visa Buys Swedish Fintech Tink for More Than $2 Billion.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 24 June 2021, www.wsj.com/articles/visa-buys-swedish-fintech-tink-for-more-than-2-billion-11624528687.