Visa has made a new strategic investment in a fintech company – Very Good Security (VGS). This comes days after it has become known about the acquisition of Plaid for $5.3 billion.
It looks like Visa is on an investing spree. One of the world’s leading payment processors is heavily investing in fintech companies, which could indicate, that Visa is on the verge of some kind of change. Or that they simply want to support the expansion of fintech. Just recently Visa invested around $5.3 million in a fintech company Plaid. Now it’s turn for VGS.
While the investment in Plaid was revealed, this investment in VGS (Very Good Security) currently is undisclosed.
However, this is not the first time Visa has changed routes with VGS. In 2019, Visa and VGS partnered for the Fintech Fast Track program. It supports digital payment innovation by making it simple to collaborate with Visa and launch new fintech products.
Currently, VGS is working with new startups to hide their sensitive data and swap it for an alias of sorts. Some of these startups are Brex and Petal. As the head engineer at Brex, Cosmin Nicolaescu explains, VGS acts as a proxy between Brex and Mastercard. VGS also helps other companies with compliance and they’re protecting identities by safely handling credit card numbers and other things.
Mainly this investment is for VGS to expand access to its infrastructure-as-a-service. That way Visa is joining a handful of investors like Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, Vertex Ventures US, and others.
“As a global leader in payments, we continue to invest in and partner with companies that provide valuable capabilities for our clients and for the network,” commented Kevin Jacques, Vice President & Head of Visa Ventures.
He thinks that the VGS’ Zero Data platform is an excellent example. Companies can reduce the scope of their data security and compliance requirements by eliminating sensitive data in their systems. That enables them to develop innovative ways to pay without compromising security or functionality, he says.
VGS Helps Customers to Handle Their Sensitive Data
Customers of VGS can issue credit cards without even ever having to see the card number. Also, they can run background checks without needing to hold Social Security Numbers.
“This investment from Visa further signals a shift around how companies think about protecting sensitive data,” said Mahmoud Abdelkader, CEO and co-founder of Very Good Security.
He believes that by de-scoping customers’ applications from sensitive data will give them the ability to go to a market faster. Also, it will make it easier for customers to partner with large financial institutions.
Additionally, it is worth mentioning that Visa over time has invested in more than 46 companies. Among those companies, there are a few crypto-friendly ones as well. For example, Anchorage in which Visa invested during mid-2019. Anchorage was the second crypto company that Visa had invested in. The first one was Chain back in 2015. Nasdaq and Citi also invested in that company. Later in 2018, it was acquired by Lightyear which is a Stellar-focused firm.