Plaid launches in U.K. to boost open banking on both sides of the Atlantic

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Plaid, the disruptive data aggregator that’s quickly gained market share in the U.S., is bringing its products and services to the U.K.

The idea is to help fintechs in Great Britain take advantage of open banking rules while also assisting fintechs on either side of the Atlantic expand into the U.S., the U.K. and Canada.

Plaid says it can help U.K. fintechs grow the same way it assisted U.S. firms like Venmo, Acorns and Coinbase achieve scale. Plaid is offering to help firms with account funding, authentication, and transaction categorization.

Earlier this year, Plaid bought Quovo, another data aggregator that was one of the first companies to obtain an Account Information Service Provider license from U.K. regulators, meaning it can participate as a data aggregator in the open banking ecosystem that is developing in that country. The AISP approval is clearly an advantage to Plaid in this launch, though the company says the main reason Plaid acquired Quovo was for its support for wealth and investment data, where Plaid's work has been in gathering data from checking and savings accounts.

The move also comes just a week after Plaid launched Plaid Direct, an integration specification that lets its fintech clients circumnavigate banks to share data directly with one another. For instance, Acorns, the investing and savings fintech, might share data with the financial management app Qapital.

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