Mastercard acquires open banking fintech Aiia
Mastercard has announced today that it has acquired the Danish open banking fintech Aiia that provides a direct connection to banks via API and this connection can be used by companies and financial services firms to launch new digital solutions for their customers.
Open banking as a concept has been gaining prominence over the last few months as European countries have started taking baby steps towards achieving this goal. Open banking gives control of financial data to the users who can then choose to give access to their financial data to specific financial services companies who can then analyze this data and customize and design loans and other products for such users. Mastercard would act as the trusted intermediary and also provide a secure data network for transmission of such information either way.
“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,” said Mastercard Chief Product Officer Craig Vosburg. “This will help FinTechs and financial institutions innovate, gather feedback, and scale faster and more effectively than ever to power smarter, more meaningful experiences.”
Aiia has helped to bridge the gap between banks and financial services firms by providing an API through which such firms would be able to access the banking data. But at the same time, the most important person in the loop is the customer himself who owns his banking data and so this ensures that ultimate privacy is maintained as far as the user data is concerned. The user would be able to determine what kind of financial data can be accessed by these firms and has to permit the same. This permission needs to be given by the user to specific firms which ensures strict control over the data.
“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,” said Aiia Co-Founder and CEO Rune Mai. “We have worked closely alongside banks, customers, and local authorities to ensure that our APIs show the true effect of open banking.”
Mastercard would hope that this acquisition would give it greater reach as it realizes that Open Banking would be the way ahead for the banking industry in the future not only in Europe but around the world as well.