TrueLayer, the London startup that’s built a developer API platform for fintechs and other adjacent companies to utilise open banking, has agreed to a strategic and commercial relationship with Visa. The partnership sees Visa also take a minority stake in TrueLayer as part of the company’s $35 million Series C funding announced in June.
The round was led by Tencent and Temasek, with participation from previous investors Northzone and Anthemis, while we now know that Visa was on-board too. TrueLayer has raised $47 million to date.
Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-founder of TrueLayer, tells me the Visa partnership will enable the fintech to work with a “huge network” of businesses and banks to help them develop open banking services and applications that will “provide tangible benefits” to customers.
“We want to scale open banking to a level where it manifestly impacts every aspect of financial services for consumers,” he says. “[This] requires large, established players to come on board and work with startups like us. Visa has been one of the most successful ‘fintech’ companies ever created, [and] we ultimately have a lot to learn from them.”
Furthermore, Simoneschi says the partnership is a key part of TrueLayer’s twin goals of becoming a global platform and growing the open banking economy. The fintech is already open for business in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain, and recently expanded to Australia. It works with companies such as Revolut, Zopa, ClearScore, Plum, Emma, CreditLadder, Canopy and ANNA Money.
“Our view is that any initiative that enables more businesses to embrace open banking is good for everybody involved — from fintechs to consumers,” says the TrueLayer CEO.
Visa’s SVP of Open Banking, Mark Nelsen, says that working with TrueLayer will enable Visa to explore new opportunities for its clients and for the Visa network. “Our partnership with TrueLayer is another example of how we’re investing in companies that offer next generation services, enabling innovation and convenience for clients and consumers alike,” he says.
“I wouldn’t want to speak for Visa, but I believe that TrueLayer has a combination of factors that are appealing,” says Simoneschi. “We were one of the first movers in the U.K. for open banking which enabled us to develop our solution in line with the needs of our clients and subsequently quickly grow our customer base. We now are responsible for about 65% of all open banking traffic in the U.K. This gave us the launchpad to scale across Europe — and most recently to become the first European open banking specialist to launch in Australia. Throughout this process, we’ve developed a reputation for working in partnership with businesses of every size, from banks down to early-stage startups. It really is these partnerships, aligned with our experience, that I think makes us different.”
With that said, Simoneschi stresses that he doesn’t see the industry as a “zero sum game” and that there is a huge opportunity for scores of businesses to do well. “If we can collaborate to get more people to embrace open banking, everyone wins,” he adds. “It is perhaps this mentality that was an important factor for Visa.”