FinTechTech News

US FinTech Plaid taps booking.com veteran to lead it’s European expansion

Plaid is a financial service company that builds a data transfer network, power FinTech, and Digital products. It is a technological platform that aids applications to connect with their user’s bank accounts. Plaid has helped in enhancing communication between financial service apps and users’ bank credit card providers, it also serves as an intermediary between their users and their respective banks. The FinTech Company ensures that all login information given by their client is kept private, and also keeps their users in communication bringing to their awareness encryption protocols that protect and safeguard information.

Plaid is connected to a user chime bank or a credit card account in a situation whereby a user needs to get their bank credentials to another financial app. By entering the user chime username and password, and also submitting the form in which any information granted is safe with PLAID alone. The platform enables a two-step verification before accessing users’ information. Over time, PLAID has proven to be a reliable company because it has most companies’ financial information which is quite a big deal as a start-up FinTech Company. They are also said to have one of the best-in-class security systems in handling data. Following a number of various security best practices, they ensure all the information they have is very safe.

Their Trust and Safety page details include.

  • The use of multi-factor authentication known as MFA safeguards its user’s account in a situation where their financial institution doesn’t offer it.
  • They Operate a bug bounty program to monitor their user’s accounts and personal information.
  • They ensure that the security of this information is one of their major focus as a FinTech company.
  • They decide and control which company will have access to their user’s data and what data they choose to share with those companies.

And because of its years of consistency, the FinTech Company has gained the trust of over 4500 companies and also helped these companies in connecting users to other third party financial applications such as Betterment, Venmo, Acorns and Many others. when using the platform with a third party authentication, the users authenticate by using their login credentials directly with their bank. Keeping away the users’ information so that the third party doesn’t see their name or password. Rather the third party only gets a notification that the login was successful and has access to only Information PLAID allows them to see.

This is one of the major reasons why people have trusted the company, simply because they don’t sell their users’ information or rent their users’ information.

PLAID welcomed a veteran from booking.com in the person of Ripsy Bandourian, who was formally the vice president of Booking.com as its head of PLAID Europe to take charge of its operation in the European jurisdictions. Bandourian became part of the PLAID FinTech team, as they are preparing their Dutch office in Amsterdam. She will be in charge of the San Francisco based startups extension in Europe. The former PLAID head of International (Keith Grose) who was leading the PLAID company is now largely running the UK business. The Armenian born businesswoman, having loads of experience in the world of FinTech has added great value to PLAID.

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A graduate of the prestigious Brigham young university in Provo, Utah who studied molecular biology, before becoming an Analyst at Goldman Sachs, working with Apple’s European division, and joined booking.com in 2014. Having worked for more than 8 years on Booking.com online platform and had also operated in different roles, focusing on products and marketing, was also made the vice president of Global Accommodations partnership, Overseeing Booking.com transportation and relationship with hotels partners before her resignation. She further revealed when interviewed that her reason for joining the PLAID FinTech team is personal, just as much as they were professional. She stated “I have lived my life on three different continents and there is absolutely no way for me to take my financial history with me. There are no tools, there are no ways to make it easier, and this is a use case Bandourian said.

PLAID openly stated that it’s planning an aggressive expansion in Europe this year as its services are spreading across seven European countries including Germany, France and the United Kingdom. They are also planning to spread their tentacles to other markets like Poland, Belgium and the Nordics very soon. 

Bandourian said that the investment the FinTech Company is venturing into in the European countries shows that the company sees itself as having great opportunities and reflects how deep and fast they are evolving. Other plans the company has for Europe is to grow its headcount as a company has it currently employs around 80 people in the region but will hire individual country managers for France and Germany.

Some of the company’s clients in the European countries include people who trade in crypto exchange Kraken and dating app Bumbles. The open bank trend has gained quite a tangible traction in the European countries over the years. According to Statista data, the number of open banking users in the continent is about 12.2 million in 2020 and by 2024 this should have gotten to 63.8million as business investors are on the lookout for this. In March, it was recorded that Apple acquired credit Kudos (a London based FinTech Company that uses consumers’ banking data to make more informed credit checks. Visa fell apart after a $5.3 billion deal was taken over by PLAID, making PLAID valued at about $13.4 billion currently.

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