Visa Inc

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Part l: A History of Visa

Visa is one of the biggest companies in the world.  Cards bearing the Visa logo are used more than 340 million times every day. And the Visa brand is one of the most-recognized on the planet. Yet unlike other companies of similar size and ubiquity, few people know what Visa does, how they make money, or why they even exist.
To understand, it helps to look at the company’s history.

Part 1:
Part 2:
Visa to pay $5.3 billion to buy fintech startup Plaid

Reporting by David French and Krystal Hu in New York and Saumya Sibi Joseph and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru;
JANUARY 14, 2020 / 4:11 AM

(Reuters) - Visa Inc said on Monday it agreed to buy privately held software startup Plaid Inc in a $5.3 billion deal that will boost the payments giant’s access to the booming financial technology space.

The transaction highlights how traditional financial firms are willing to pay top dollar to acquire businesses which have established strong positions servicing the digital and cashless economy.

Plaid’s technology lets people link their bank accounts to mobile apps such as Venmo, Acorns and Chime, with the San Francisco-based firm saying its systems have been used by one in four people with a U.S. bank account.

The $5.3 billion price given in Monday’s statement is double what Plaid was reportedly valued at during its last fundraising, when it took a $250 million Series C round that was announced in December 2018.

It was later revealed by Plaid that both Visa and rival Mastercard Inc were investors in that round.

“Plaid is a leader in the fast growing fintech world,” Visa Chairman and CEO Al Kelly said in Monday’s statement.

“The acquisition, combined with our many fintech efforts already underway, will position Visa to deliver even more value for developers, financial institutions and consumers.”

Founded in 2013 and currently connecting with over 11,000 financial institutions across the United States, Canada and Europe, Plaid will be able to use the acquisition to leverage Visa’s global brand in expanding its own business, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Visa expects the deal to close in the next three to six months and benefit its adjusted earnings per share at the end of the third year.

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Specuvestor: Asset - Business - Structure.
In the BT article published 8 Feb 2020 "Have multi-currency account, will travel?: How far will new multi-currency players go in the payments game?", I noticed that the new payment tech disruptors still needed Mastercard / Visa.

Hence, it seems like these players affect banks more than the likes of Mastercard, Visa, Amex, UnionPay, JCB. The latter group of payments technology companies seem like a "semi-monoply" and wld probably make excellent investments at the right price. I have always regretted my lack of knowledge in this field which led to my missing out on Visa IPO previously. Sad

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