UK antitrust regulator approves Visa-Plaid deal

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found no reason to block the acquisition of the fintech startup Plaid by Visa. Plaid, which works with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and the Abra wallet, is valued at $5,3 billion.

As stated on the information website of the government of the United Kingdom, following the results of the first phase of consideration, the CMA concluded that the transaction would not affect the level of competition in the electronic payments market between consumers and businesses in the UK.

Information about the deal appeared in mid-January this year. Plaid has developed a PIS network that allows users to link different accounts and connect financial accounts to applications. Its users can make direct payments in real time through merchant sites without using credit or debit cards.

The deal will allow Visa to provide users with enhanced payment options and related services for fintech developers.

The CMA concluded that although Plaid could become a serious competitive threat to Visa in the future, there are other fintech companies with stable positions in the country, so the payment giant will not be able to claim a dominant position even after the takeover of the startup.

The regulator did not find a threat in a hypothetical scenario in which Visa could oust Plaid’s competitors from the market using a combined payment system based on cards and PIS. The CMA noted that consumers tend to use multiple providers when paying, and other providers of similar solutions may enter into similar partnerships.

In July 2020, the Wirex processing service became the first native cryptocurrency platform to receive the status of a licensed member of the Mastercard network.


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