Visa Agrees to Buy Open-Banking Platform Tink for $2 Billion

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Visa Inc. has agreed to buy Swedish open-banking platform Tink AB as the payment giant looks to expand beyond its card network.

San Francisco-based Visa said it will pay a total of 1.8 billion euros ($2.15 billion) -- including cash and retention incentives -- to acquire the fintech firm, according to a statement Thursday.

Banks and startups use Tink to access consumer financial data. The startup was founded in Stockholm in 2012 and it has about 400 employees, with technology that connects to more than 3,400 banks that reach over 250 million bank customers across Europe.

“This acquisition is a sign of our commitment to Europe,” Charlotte Hogg, chief executive officer of Visa Europe, said in the statement. “In Tink, we have found a strong partner with whom we can accelerate innovation in open banking.”

Open banking services have grown in Europe since a European Union law mandated that third party payment companies could access bank information to improve competition. Tink is one of more than 440 such providers across Europe.

Cash Buy

Visa said it will fund the transaction from cash on hand and the transaction will have no impact on its previously-announced stock buyback program or dividend policy.

The deal comes with fintech startups in Europe attracting multibillion-dollar valuations from investors and potential stock market listings. Digital-payments provider Wise confirmed its plans to go public on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday.

“This is a fantastic outcome for Tink, European fintech and the future of open banking,” said Mina Mutafchieva, co-head of fintech at Dawn Capital, which led a $100 million investment round in Tink in 2019.

Visa’s transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Earlier this year, Visa scrapped its proposed $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid Inc. in the face of a prolonged antitrust fight with the U.S. Justice Department.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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