Plaid, a provider of APIs for financial infrastructure, announced its expansion into the U.K. this week. The move makes a lot of sense– an open banking fintech is launching in the motherland of open banking.
“We’re building a financial network that will deliver on the promise of open banking with the best in both local expertise and global opportunity,” Keith Grose, International Lead at Plaid said in a blog post.
The U.K. is Plaid’s second international market after launching in Canada last year. The expansion overseas initiates the San Francisco-based company’s more comprehensive launch into Europe as a whole.
Plaid elected to launch in the U.K. because, as some have argued, the region is the fintech capital of the globe. More than 1,600 fintech companies have come out of the U.K. and that number is projected to double in the next ten years.
Today’s news is as much about Plaid launching in the U.K. as it is about opening up the possibility for its client applications to do business in the region, as well. Venmo, Robinhood, Coinbase and Acorns all use Plaid to connect to their customers’ U.S. bank accounts, and can now more easily expand into Europe using existing integrations.
Plaid, which was granted its AISP license from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority last October, currently offers five of its products in the U.K.:
Auth, an account authentication tool
Balance, which pulls account balance information in real-time
Identity, which leverages bank data to verify consumer identity
Transactions, which pulls bank statement data across banks
Assets, a verification of assets tool
Missing from this list is Plaid’s Income product, a tool that validates a consumer’s income and verifies direct deposit data.
At FinDEVr San Fransisco 2014, the company’s founder, Zach Perret gave a presentation about leveraging the Plaid API for financial infrastructure. Plaid has raised $310 million since it was founded in 2013. After the company’s most recent investment last year, TechCrunch estimated Plaid to be valued at $2.65 billion.
Plaid began 2019 by acquiring its competitor Quovo in a $200 million deal. At FinovateSpring earlier this month bill payment platform doxoannounced it is leveraging Plaid to bring customers overdraft protection when paying their bills online. And last week, Plaid unveiled Plaid Direct, a lightweight integration that makes banks and fintechs a data source in the Plaid network, allowing end customers to enjoy open banking connectivity across financial service providers.
Online and mobile billpay innovator doxo has announced a new integration with financial services data and insights network – and fellow Finovate alum – Plaid – that will help consumers avoid overdraft charges when paying bills via doxo’s service.
“doxo’s mission is to massively simplify bill payment and reduce anxiety of failed payments and overdraft fees,” doxo CEO and co-founder and Steve Shivers said. “Through this new integration with Plaid, we’re now providing real-time bank balance, at the time of every payment, to help our users avoid those fees. Now users can better time their payments to align with their bank balance, or switch to alternative payment accounts like credit cards when needed.”
In addition to providing transparency, better organization, and less stress for consumers, doxo believes billers will benefit from the improved confidence they will have for each incoming payment. Billers who join doxo’s payment network will be able to add the overdraft protection feature as a user benefit easily, without complexity or expense.
doxo will make the new solution available initially as a beta offering for a limited group. The company anticipates expanding access to all of its customers beginning in June.
“Account overdraft is a huge problem in the U.S. that could be solved in part with more tools that provide real-time insight into consumers’ own bank accounts,” Plaid Head of Sales Paul Williamson said. “Solutions that give people transparency into their financial life are a real win for consumers and can make a serious impact on their ability to understand and manage money.”
doxo made its first Finovate appearance in 2011, demonstrating the web-based Control Panel interface of its technology, and returned to the Finovate stage this week as part of FinovateSpring. Plaid is an alum of our developers conference, presentingPlaid: API for Financial Infrastructure at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2014.
San Francisco, California-based Plaid was founded in 2013. The company began 2019 with a major acquisition, purchasing rival and fellow Finovate/FinDEVr alum Quovo for $200 million. Named to the Forbes Fintech 50 in February, Plaid has raised more than $309 million in funding from investors including New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures, Spark Capital, and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, doxo launched itsdoxoINSIGHTS report last month. DoxoINSIGHTS is an anonymized, crowdsourced report on household expense data from the largest 25 metropolitan areas of the U.S.
In March, doxo added Apple Pay as a billpay option for its customers – the same month the company announced a partnership with R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company to provide the firm’s clients with access to doxo’s electronic billpay solutions. Winner of a Gold Stevie award from the American Business Awards last year, doxo serves more than 2.5 million users who make payments to more than 45,000 local and national businesses.
doxo has raised $18.8 million in funding, and includes Sigma Partners, Bezos Expeditions, and Mohr Davidow Ventures among its investors.