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Plaid FinTech Expands Into Three More European Countries

The FinTech unicorn Plaid has rolled out in three more European countries – Ireland, France and Spain – as part of an expansion initiative, CNBC reported on Thursday (Nov. 21).

The Silicon-based startup, launched in 2013, uses a unified application programming interface (API) to link FinTech apps with people’s bank accounts. Plaid says it has integrated with 15,000 banks in the U.S. and Canada.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to be on the wave of FinTech, starting in the U.S.,” Zach Perret, co-founder and CEO of Plaid, told CNBC. “It’s had a lot of early success in the U.K., despite only being there six months.”

Since launching in the U.K. earlier this year, Plaid has landed FinTech clients, like the budget app Cleo and the accounting app Pandle. With the new expansion, Plaid will support integrations with banks in Ireland including AIB, Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland. In Spain, it will support BBVA, Caixa and Santander. In France, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and La Banque Postale will integrate with Plaid.

“Ireland is going to continue to grow and generate really fantastic companies,” Plaid’s chief told CNBC. “Looking at Spain and France, FinTech is earlier, particularly in France.”

Plaid earned its unicorn status after securing a $250 million funding round in December. Investors like Goldman Sachs, Google parent company Alphabet, Visa and Mastercard gave the firm a $2.65 billion valuation.

Open banking rules in the U.K. and the European Union require account transparency to regulated third parties, as long as customers agree.

Perret said open banking was a “fantastic set of regulations,” as consumers “should be able to own use their financial data to get better financial products.”

Plaid announced in September the release of new developer tools to combat credit card debt. In addition to student loan data, developers can retrieve real-time information about credit card accounts to help borrowers understand their financial obligations, consolidate debt across accounts for more favorable terms and pay down balances faster.

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