Visa is to shell out $5.3 billion to acquire bank data sharing startup Plaid.
The transaction highlights how traditional financial firms are willing to pay top dollar to acquire businesses which have established strong positions servicing the digital and cashless economy.
Visa and Mastercard themselves invested in Plaid during its $250 mln funding round before the acquisition, which might explain such an enormous premium.
Plaid's products enable consumers to conveniently share their financial information with thousands of apps and services such as Acorns, Betterment, Chime, Transferwise and Venmo.
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Plaid likely doesn't have the name recognition of some of its client companies, but Visa said roughly one in four people with a United States bank account have used Plaid to share data with and connect to a finance app.
"Plaid is a leader in the fast growing fintech world with best-in-class capabilities and talent".
Visa expects the acquisition, which will close in three to six months pending regulatory approval, to increase the company's revenue and profits starting next fiscal year.
Visa said it will fund the deal using cash on hand as well as debt that will be issued at a later date. Today, one in four people with a USA bank account have used Plaid to connect to more than 2,600 fintech developers across more than 11,000 financial institutions. The acquisition would not impact upon Visa's previously announced stock buyback or dividend plans. (NYSE: MA), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.