- Visa plans to buy the Brazilian company Pismo for $1 billion in cash, according to a press release it issued Wednesday, saying the acquisition would help extend its digital payments and banking services internationally.
- Sao Paulo-based Pismo, which operates in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Europe, is a cloud-native company that assists fintechs and financial institutions in providing digital card-issuing and banking services to their customers, the release said. Pismo also has offices in the U.S., according to its website.
- As a startup, Pismo has attracted high-profile investors, including retail juggernaut Amazon, the Japanese investment company SoftBank and the U.S. venture capital firm Accel.
The acquisition demonstrates Visa’s interest in global expansion under the new leadership of CEO Ryan McInerney, who was installed earlier this year after his time as president exploring the card giant’s worldwide operations.
“Through the acquisition of Pismo, Visa can better serve our financial institution and fintech clients with more differentiated core banking and issuer solutions they can offer their customers,” said Visa Chief Product and Strategy Officer Jack Forestell in the release. McInerney elevated Forestell to the chief strategy post this year.
Visa has engaged in both cooperation and competition with fintechs worldwide in recent years as a wave of startups have entered the payments arena seeking to sell digital alternatives that improve on decades-old technology.
Visa, the largest U.S. card network, has previously acquired other startups, including the Swedish open banking business Tink, and invested in others, including the Seattle-based cross-border payments operation Remitly. Visa can benefit directly by absorbing those businesses and also from incorporating some of their ideas and approaches into the ways in which it operates.
Visa will retain Pismo’s management team after the acquisition, including CEO and cofounder Ricardo Josua, according to the release. The companies expect to close the transaction by the end of this year.
“At Pismo, we aim to enable our clients to launch cutting-edge payments and banking products within a single cloud-native platform – regardless of rails, geography or currency,” Josua said in the release. “Visa provides us unrivaled support to expand our footprint globally and help shape a new era for banking and payments.”