Visa Buys Swedish Fintech Tink for More Than $2 Billion

Visa Inc.

V -0.53%

agreed to pay more than $2 billion for Tink, a Swedish startup whose digital services connect more than 3,400 banks and financial institutions in Europe.

The largest U.S. card network is buying the financial-technology company to establish itself in Europe’s fast-growing open banking market. Open banking regulation in the European Union and U.K. enables financial companies to access customers and their data at competing institutions, if the customers have granted consent.

Banks and consumer-facing financial startups use Tink’s services to create apps and other tools that let customers manage accounts at different institutions in one place.

The banks and financial institutions that Tink connects have more than 250 million customers in Europe. Through Tink, banks can access aggregated financial data, initiate payments, verify account ownership and build personal-finance management tools. Tink, founded in 2012, has 400 employees.

Visa’s takeover of Tink for €1.8 billion, the equivalent of $2.15 billion, comes amid a flurry of deal activity in the fast-growing world of financial technology. Last week,

JPMorgan Chase

& Co. agreed to buy digital wealth manager Nutmeg Saving and Investment Ltd. for about $1 billion as it pushes to establish a digital retail banking presence in the U.K.

Tink’s investors include venture capital units of

PayPal Holdings Inc.,

ABN Amro Bank NV and

BNP Paribas SA

.

Visa earlier this year abandoned its $5.3 billion planned acquisition of U.S. financial-technology firm Plaid Inc. amid a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit that challenged the deal.

The department sued to block the deal in November, alleging the acquisition would allow Visa to unlawfully maintain a monopoly in the online debit-card market. Plaid, the government argued, was a nascent but important competitive threat to Visa, and eliminating that threat would lead to higher prices, less innovation and higher entry barriers for online debit services.

Write to Simon Clark at [email protected]

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