Right after Plaid launched its payments partner ecosystem, some industry observers said this could completely transform how certain transactions are carried out. Does this mean account-to-account transactions will become commonplace at our favorite stores' brick-and-mortar POSs and online checkout pages? Will a tiny Plaid logo be displayed along with the big players—Visa, MC, PayPal and others? Since A2A transactions bypass the traditional payment card rails, won't the major card companies seek to limit awareness and implementation of Plaid's ecosystem.
Jeffrey Lamb, Merchant Level Salesperson
Thank you for your inquiry. Plaid's technology makes it easier for people to grant permission for banks and fintechs to access their financial information. Plaid is not a payment processor. It's unlikely Plaid's logo would mean much to shoppers. People will be looking for Plaid's partners at checkout, including familiar names like Square, Stripe and SoFi. Merchants want to offer a good selection of payment options to their customers. Secure A2A transfers look like an excellent addition that some shoppers are bound to favor.
Visa did intend to acquire Plaid, but the U.S. Department of Justice nixed that deal on antitrust grounds. The DOJ, in its complaint, alleged that Visa is a “monopolist” in online debit, and that Plaid is developing a competitive payments platform. According to the DOJ, the acquisition "would have enabled Visa to eliminate this competitive threat to its online debit business before Plaid had a chance to succeed, thereby enhancing or maintaining is monopoly.” Visa and Plaid denied this claim but said to fight it in court would have been too costly. In any event, Visa and Plaid will likely thrive as competitors that continue to evolve. Plus, credit card payments aren't going anywhere; numerous cardholders will stick with them, enjoying the protections and rewards they offer.
Are your merchant customers asking for additional payment-acceptance options like A2A transfers? If so, what new types of payments are most in demand? Please send your thoughts on this and other compelling developments in payments to email@example.com.
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