The data aggregator Plaid and Wise, a U.K.-based provider of cross-border payments, have forged an agreement through which Wise will work directly with the 6,000 fintechs that are Plaid customers.
This means Wise’s 13 million customers can connect their Wise account directly to fintechs like Venmo, Chime, Truebill, Acorns and Betterment and move money back and forth. They will no longer have to link to a traditional bank account or transfer money to and from a bank account to use fintech apps for things like person-to-person payments, investing or personal finance.
It’s an example of how Plaid is extending its reach throughout the financial industry, how it’s bringing more financial players of different kinds into its fold and how the fintech ecosystem could start to free itself from its dependence on traditional bank accounts and bank payment rails. This kind of push into money movement is the reason Visa tried to acquire Plaid in early 2020. Later that year, the Department of Justice moved to block that merger, citing antitrust issues, and the two companies dropped the idea. It’s also the reason Stripe announced its own open banking initiative through which the payment provider will work directly with fintechs.