Visa to purchase Swedish fintech start-up Tink

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Visa Inc. credit and debit cards will be arranged for a photo in Washington, DC, United States on Monday, April 22, 2019.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON – Visa agreed on Thursday to acquire Swedish financial technology startup Tink for € 1.8 billion (US $ 2.1 billion) to bolster the payments giant’s digital ambitions.

The deal comes after Visa’s offer to buy Plaid, an American rival of Tink, was torpedoed by US regulators. Plaid has since chosen to act on its own as an independent company and was most recently privately valued by investors at $ 13.4 billion.

Both Plaid and Tink work in an emerging field known as open banking, which calls on lenders to give third-party companies access to coveted consumer banking information, provided they have their consent. Open banking has developed in the UK and the EU thanks to new regulations.

“Visa is committed to doing everything in our power to drive innovation and empower consumers to support Europe’s open banking goals,” said Al Kelly, Visa CEO, in a statement.

Think of the co-founders Daniel Kjellén and Fredrik Hedberg.

Tink

“By bringing together Visa’s network and Tink’s open banking capabilities, we will deliver value to European consumers and businesses with tools that make their financial lives easier, more reliable and safer.”

Founded in 2012 by Swedish entrepreneurs Daniel Kjellén and Fredrik Hedberg, Tink started out as a financial management app, but later focused on making its technology available to other companies instead.

Tink’s technology enables banks and fintech companies to access bank data in order to develop new financial products. The Stockholm-based company was last privately valued at 680 million euros. It has raised more than $ 300 million from investors like PayPal, SEB, and ABN AMRO.

“When we first met Visa, it became clear that we had a common mission – to connect the financial world and accelerate the growth and adoption of digital financial services,” said the founders of Tink on Thursday in a blog post.

“Working with Visa means we can now move faster and reach further than ever, and we know Visa is the perfect partner for the next leg of our journey.”

Visa’s acquisition of Tink is the latest in a wave of consolidation efforts in the massive payments industry. The company tried to buy Plaid last year but eventually abandoned the acquisition after the US Department of Justice sued an antitrust freeze.

The deal with Tink is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, Visa said, adding that it will be entirely cash-funded and will not affect the company’s share buyback program or dividend policy.

Tink will keep its branding and management team after the deal, Visa said, while the company’s headquarters will also remain in Stockholm.