Mastercard announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Aiia, a leading European open banking technology provider offering a direct connection to banks through a single API, allowing its customers to develop and launch new digital solutions that meet the needs of everyday life, work and play.
Open banking is democratizing financial services by putting consumers at the center of where and how their data is used to provide the services they want and need. Fintechs and banks use this consumer permissioned data to provide easier and more inclusive access to credit, personal financial management, digital wallets and payments services. Mastercard plays a central role in this ecosystem as a trusted intermediary and secure data network.
“The value of open banking comes through empowering consumers and businesses to use their own data to obtain financial services solutions simply, securely and quickly. The addition of Aiia anchors our European open banking efforts and allows us to continue to meet our customers where they are,” said Craig Vosburg, Chief Product Officer, Mastercard. “As open banking continues to ignite innovation, we’re committed to providing a unique set of technology platforms, data connectivity and infrastructure combined with data privacy and security principles. This will help fintechs and financial institutions innovate, gather feedback and scale faster and more effectively than ever to power smarter, more meaningful experiences.”
Today, Aiia’s open banking platform and expertise, including strong API connectivity and payment capabilities, has shown significant growth coupled with a relentless focus on quality. Aiia has brought to life a unique model for open banking in Europe, driven by data privacy, security, quality and access. Its customer-centric approach and ambition to create open banking that simply works complements Mastercard’s existing distribution channels, technology and data practices.
“For the past decade, we have worked to build Aiia into a leading and quality-driven open banking platform, which has onboarded hundreds of banks and fintechs onto safe and secure open banking rails. We have worked closely alongside banks, customers and local authorities to ensure that our APIs show the true effect of open banking. We’re excited to become a part of Mastercard and progress our journey of empowering people to bring their financial data and accounts into play – safely and transparently,” said Rune Mai, CEO & Founder, Aiia.
Solidifying a Foundation for Innovation
Mastercard was an early advocate of open banking across the globe. The company has made bold moves to blend its proprietary technology and multi-rail payments expertise with strong partners offering complementary services. In 2019, Mastercard launched its first open banking connectivity offering in the UK and Poland through a partnership with Token.
With the acquisition of Finicity in 2020, Mastercard bolstered a strong commitment to its customers by bringing together top-tier technology platforms, dedicated resources and a global infrastructure to catalyze innovation and continue to deliver localized customer service. This commitment continued earlier in 2021 with Mastercard Payment Services, a broader set of account-to-account payment and open banking capabilities gained in the acquisition of the majority of Nets’ Corporate Services business.
Aiia’s expertise in providing safe and secure data access complements Mastercard’s data responsibility principles, continuing to put the individual at the center of the process. This relationship reinforces work led by Mastercard’s Finicity team to extend data-related best practices across multiple industries. The connectivity of Aiia in Europe will enable Mastercard to deliver the credit decisioning and credit scoring applications of Finicity to European clients. 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.
“We have been very satisfied with our co-ownership and partnership with Aiia, which has helped to create user-friendly open banking solutions for the benefit of our customers. We are pleased that Mastercard sees the potential in Aiia and are convinced that they will be the right future owner to support the development of the company and Aiia’s ambitions for European expansion. We look forward to the continued collaboration with Mastercard/Aiia on solutions that support open banking and that provide real value for Danske Bank’s customers across the Nordic markets,” said Glenn Söderholm, Head of Personal & Business Customers, Danske Bank.
Benjamin K Golding, Group Executive Vice President, Payments & Innovation, DNB also added, “DNB Ventures aims to contribute growth and value in companies that with time can succeed within areas relevant to DNB. We have been investors in Aiia since 2018 and DNB is also an imAiiant customer of the company. We are very pleased with Aiia’s development, while with the company entering a new phase it is natural for us as venture investors to exit, given our focus on early-stage investments and value creation through capital, knowledge and input to strategy and business development. With Mastercard as owners, Aiia will benefit from a strong global platform positioned for continued growth, and we are looking forward to continuing our business relationship with Mastercard/Aiia going forward.”
Aiia is a licensed Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) and Account Information Service Provider (AISP) and operates under the supervision of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA).
The transaction, which is anticipated to close by year’s end, is subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Aiia is a leading open banking platform in Europe, with more than a decade of experience in fintech and with hundreds of clients servicing both businesses and consumers. The mission of Aiia is to empower people to bring their financial data and accounts into play safely and transparently. Aiia’s platform allows businesses and financial institutions to integrate financial data and account-to-account payments into their services for millions of European citizens. Today, Aiia has connections to more than 2,700 banks across Europe, processes more than 10 million bank logins, and more than a million account-to-account payments every month for large banks and e-commerce payment gateways. Aiia provides open banking services to a long list of banks, challenger banks, fintechs, accounting system providers and payment companies. Aiia won the award for Best Mobile Payment Solution at Finovate Awards in 2020 for live open banking payment solutions built with its customers.
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.