US financial giant Visa is making a play in the fintech market with the acquisition of data network firm Plaid for a whopping US$5.3 billion.

On Monday (January 13), Visa revealed that the deal with the California tech company is a part of its long-term revenue growth trajectory and will bolster its investments into fintech.

Plaid offers a technology that allows consumers to securely link their bank accounts to over 2,600 fintech developers across more than 11,000 financial institutions, including Acorns, Betterment, Chime, Transferwise and the popular mobile payment app Venmo.

The transaction should bring a wide reach to the financial juggernaut. According to Visa, currently one in four people with a US bank account has used Plaid software to connect to its list of financial clients.

“The acquisition, combined with our many fintech efforts already underway, will position Visa to deliver even more value for developers, financial institutions and consumers,” said Visa CEO Al Kelly.

In Plaid’s most recent round of funding in late 2018, the company raised US$250 million on a US$2.4 billion valuation — about half the amount of Visa’s offer, according to Crunchbase.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and closing conditions, is set to be completed in the next three to six months.

Visa enjoyed an increase of 3.3 percent in its share price from the start of the trading session on Monday, when it originally announced the acquisition, to market open on Thursday (January 16).

It just broke the US$200 mark at US$200.94 at the start of the trading day on Thursday.

Kelly said the deal secures Visa’s spot at the center of the fintech space, a market expected to reach US$309.9 billion by 2022, according to a report from The Business Research Company.

The firm attributes the growth of the sector to the massive size of the digital commerce market paired with the pervasiveness of mobile tech.

Fintech has quickly become a lucrative investing space. According to a report from EY, 75 percent of consumers with access to the internet used a fintech application to transfer money in 2019, a significant jump from the 18 percent recorded in 2015.

Last year, Plaid itself purchased Quovo, a startup that collected and aggregated investment data, for just under US$200 million, Forbes reported.

Visa’s Plaid deal was quickly followed by another fintech investment of an undisclosed amount into Very Good Security on Wednesday (January 15). With this funding, Very Good Security hopes to expand access to its “infrastructure-as-a-service” platform for fellow fintech companies and other large firms.