Mastercard buying Danish open-banking tech firm

Mastercard has agreed to purchase Aiia, a startup that delivers direct connections to 2,700 European banks, as part of the card network’s global open-banking strategy.

The deal would expand the geographic reach of the open-banking ecosystem Mastercard has been building over the last two years, anchored by last year’s $825 million acquisition of the data-aggregation firm Finicity and the card network’s $3.19 billion purchase of the digital payment tech firm Nets in 2019.

Aiia’s own open-banking platform, developed over the last decade, enables account-to-account payments by creating secure connections from consumers, fintechs and corporations to hundreds of banks across Europe through a single API, Mastercard said in a press release Tuesday. Mastercard did not disclose financial terms of the acquisition, which it said would close by the end of this year.

Bringing Aiia into Mastercard’s fold would make Finicity’s consumer income verification and credit-scoring tools available to European banks, while Aiia’s payment applications could be accessed by U.S. clients, the release said.

Aiia, which is based in Denmark, supports banks in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands, among other regions, according to the release.

“We have worked closely alongside banks, customers and local authorities to ensure that our APIs show the true effect of open banking,” said Rune Mai, Aiia’s CEO and founder, in the release.

“Aiia will be instrumental to our global open banking network and will enhance our best-in-class connectivity to help fuel financial services innovation,” Craig Vosberg, Mastercard’s chief product officer, said in an emailed statement.

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