Visa eyeing acquisition of European open banking platform Tink

In a statement Visa Inc said, it had agreed to a $2.2 billion (1.8 billion euro) takeover of European open banking platform Tink.

Founded in 2012, Sweden-based Tink is an open banking platform that enables banks and other financial institutions to share and access consumer financial data more easily. It is used by more than 3,400 banks and other institutions, as well as over 250 million customers in Europe.

Earlier this year, Visa terminated a planned $5.3 billion deal with Plaid, a U.S. data-sharing platform, after the U.S. government filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the deal citing antitrust concerns.

European Union rules on open banking require banks to allow access to customer data by registered third party providers to boost competition. The rollout of the rules has provided fertile ground for fintechs, such as Tink, which provide technology to help third parties and banks to access customer data.

According to financial technology experts, Visa’s acquisition of Tink could face antitrust concerns similar to the failed Plaid deal.

“Europe is a very different open banking market to the USA,” said Simon Taylor, head of ventures and co-founder at fintech consultancy 11:FS. “But Tink is one of the largest players, and many of the concerns that led to the investigation into the Plaid-Visa deal may apply here.”

The potential deal is part of Visa’s push to diversify revenues beyond credit card payments, where is is facing increasing pressure from regulators on fees, especially in Europe.

If the deal goes through, it would mark another success for Sweden’s financial technology startup sector which has created several large companies over the past few years.

“With Tink and iZettle, Sweden has now produced two of Europe’s largest ever fintech M&A exits,” said Josh Bell, general partner at Dawn Capital, a venture capital firm who backed both firms.

Categories: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Strategy

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