- Card giant Mastercard said in a press release today that it has agreed to purchase the European open-banking technology company Aiia and expects to complete the transaction by the end of the year. The companies didn't provide the financial terms of the deal.
- The Danish company Aiia enables businesses and financial institutions to integrate financial data and account-to-account payment into their services for millions of European citizens, the release said. The company has connections to about 2,700 European banks and processes about one million account-to-account payments per month for big banks and e-commerce gateway companies.
- Mastercard said in the statement today that the Aiia acquisition will build on tech services it has added through prior acquisitions, including the purchase last year of Finicity and a majority interest in the Nets' Corporate Services business.
Like other major payments companies, Mastercard has been seeking to add technology operations to expand the breadth of its services and to compete with a swarm of financial technology startups that are creating new digital financial offerings for consumers and businesses. In Europe, that trend has been supercharged by the continent's move toward open-banking in which third parties can gain access to banking data to offer new services.
Aiia provides a direct connection to banks through a single program interface, allowing for the creation of new software services for consumer and business clients of the banks. It is currently owned by the Danish bank Danske Bank and the venture capital firm DNB Ventures.
Marrying Aiia's service to those of Finicity will allow Mastercard to cross-sell services between its European and U.S. markets. "The connectivity of Aiia in Europe will enable Mastercard to deliver the credit decisioning and credit scoring applications of Finicity to European clients," Mastercard said in the release. "Similarly, the connectivity of Finicity in the U.S. will help deliver the account information services and payment applications of Aiia to U.S. clients — giving customers globally easier, faster and safer access to open banking services."
After the combination is complete, Aiia will be part of Mastercard's product and engineering organization, along with other open banking assets, Mastercard Spokesperson Seth Eisen said by email. That unit is led by Chief Product Officer Craig Vosburg, he said.
He declined to comment on the number of Aiia employees or how they will be integrated. "We have a lot of details to work through," Eisen said. "But, we value the technology the company has been able to develop and don’t have any changes planned regarding employees."