Visa to snap up open banking start-up Tink for €1.8bn

24 Jun 2021

Daniel Kjellén and Fredrik Hedberg. Image: Tink

Months after it was forced to abandon its purchase of Plaid, Visa is acquiring the Swedish open banking start-up.

Visa is having another go at acquiring an open banking start-up, this time purchasing Sweden’s Tink for €1.8bn.

Tink is an open banking start-up that builds APIs for banks and fintech companies to manage and build products with financial data. Tink’s APIs are integrated with more than 3,400 banks and financial institutions.

Several major start-ups providing this type of banking and payments infrastructure have popped up since the EU’s revised Payments Services Directive (PSD2) came into force, which stipulated that banks have to open up their data chests to third-party providers.

“We have built something incredible and at the same time we have only scratched the surface,” Tink chief executive Daniel Kjellén said.

“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 chief executive Al Kelly said the deal will help the payments giant to expand its own open banking capabilities in Europe.

“This acquisition is a sign of our commitment to Europe,” Charlotte Hogg, chief executive of Visa Europe, added. “In Tink, we have found a strong partner with whom we can accelerate innovation in open banking for the benefit of our collective clients and the citizens of the UK and the EU, while investing in high-skill tech jobs on the continent.”

Tink had raised more than $300m from investors with backers including PayPal. Last month it acquired German counterpart FinTecSystems.

The acquisition comes just a few months after the collapse of Visa’s acquisition of Plaid, another open banking start-up. Visa had put $5.3bn on the table to buy the company before the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit to block the deal, claiming it would damage competition. The acquisition eventually fell through earlier this year.

Visa will be hoping for better fortunes with its Tink purchase, which is still subject to regulatory approval.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin