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October 21, 2021

Building a Partner Ecosystem for the Future of Payments

Paul Williamson

How people pay is undergoing a massive transformation. We’re entering a new world where people hold bigger balances in fintech apps and paying by digital wallets is the norm. In 2020, global use of mobile wallets exceeded cash for the first time for in-store payments. By 2025, the number of people using digital wallets is expected to reach 4.4 billion, up from 2.6 billion in 2020. As more funds flow online and people adopt more digital finance apps and services, account-based payments are at the center of this transition. 

Plaid wants to help any company, no matter their size, industry, or technological capability, harness the account-to-account payment opportunity, while decreasing risk for the ecosystem. To do this, Plaid is launching an ecosystem of payments partners to help bring smoother, more secure account-to-account payment experiences to every digital financial interaction.

Our partners

Account-based payments can help businesses improve customer experiences and conversion, increase loyalty, and cut costs but account-based payment needs vary depending on businesses’ location and industry. Plaid’s ecosystem incorporates nearly 50 partner companies across North America and Europe including payment and tech providers and BaaS platforms, serving a spectrum of verticals from ecommerce to gaming—all offering the tools and services needed to build the best digital financial experiences. 

With the launch of our ecosystem, we’re also announcing new partnerships with Checkout.com and Marqeta to bolster our global ecosystem. By partnering together we can create connected payments experiences for the many fintech companies using Plaid and these payment service providers.

“Many of the fastest-growing fintechs globally are powered by Plaid and Checkout.com’s best-in-class APIs. Our partnership will connect Plaid’s account verification and Checkout.com’s payment services to make account funding accessible, seamless, and secure for fintechs and merchants alike. This is just the beginning of our shared journey to unlock the future of embedded finance.” Tracy Meng, VP of Partnerships at Checkout.com.

How ecosystem partnerships work

In the US, we partner with providers, including Dwolla, Galileo, Silicon Valley Bank, and Square, to integrate Plaid’s connectivity technology—Auth, Balance, and Identity—into their processing technology for faster, easier bank payments. Leveraging the power of Plaid and our partners’ payment providers can save businesses significant money and time. 

We’re proud to partner with Plaid to make it seamless for our joint customers to implement digital payments experiences and benefit from Marqeta and Plaid’s developer-friendly APIs,”  Darren Mowry, Chief Revenue Officer at Marqeta.

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In the UK and Europe, partners such as Railsbank and Currencycloud embed Plaid’s Payment Initiation Services (PIS) within their existing product to help companies offer and accept open banking payments. 

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For example, combining Plaid’s Payment Initiation Services with Currencycloud’s all-inclusive platform for foreign exchange enables their customers to fund their accounts to convert and operate in any currency, without ever leaving the platform. Accepting, settling, and converting payments is complicated, expensive, and can take time. However, our partnership results in a smooth, simplified international payment experience that obscures all of the complications with online global money movement.

"We are always looking for ways to improve our customers’ experience and the integration of Plaid's solution will do just that, removing friction in their experience by keeping them on our platform from the start to finish of each transaction.” Stuart Bailey, Chief Product Officer at Currencycloud. 

The ecosystem benefits

With an ecosystem of partners focused on simplifying account-based payments, Plaid can provide flexible options for any company to make bank payments an option in their checkout flows, and streamline digital account onboarding, top ups, and payouts, all at lower costs. 

With Plaid’s position in the center of the ecosystem and deep relationships to partner companies, we can help companies find the right partner for their unique needs. To make it even easier, we’re already integrated into our partner companies’ solutions for easy setup so you can start accepting bank account payments faster.  

Integrating Plaid’s technology within payment providers’ platforms improves the often clunky and outdated bank account payment user experiences, eliminating the need for typing in account numbers. For consumers on the end of these payment journeys, that means bank payments are an easier, faster, and a more secure option than ever before. 

In addition, our ecosystem helps to reduce risk and fight against online payment fraud. In the US, Plaid uses secure token exchange flows to share sensitive data to our ecosystem partners for ACH payments. With our Identity and Balance integrated into payments providers’ platforms, businesses can verify customers’ identities before accepting payments from their accounts. In the UK and Europe, customers authenticate accounts for payment directly with their bank via secure Open Banking integrations. As a result, PIS eliminates the need for account numbers and sort codes, and card and direct debit chargebacks. 

The road ahead 

Account-based payments aren’t new, but the industry is far from realizing their full potential. Plaid is building an account-based payments ecosystem as flexible and fluid as this burgeoning opportunity: as the technology and consumer adoption evolve, so will Plaid and our partner ecosystem. 

We want to enable any company to offer tomorrow’s payment experiences, today. Whether firms have existing payment provider relationships, want to leverage their own technology, or need to build a payment stack from the ground up, Plaid can help. If you're looking to leverage account-to-account payments or if you’re building tools to help usher in account-based payments, reach out to our team.