Breaking: GoCardless to acquire Latvian open banking provider Nordigen

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Digital Banking

The latest move by GoCardless to establish itself as a key player in the open banking space.

Breaking: GoCardless to acquire Latvian open banking provider Nordigen

Image source: GoCardless/Nordigen.

London-based payments provider GoCardless is planning to acquire freemium open banking provider Nordigen, it was revealed in a surprise announcement this morning.

The acquisition means that GoCardless will now provide Nordigen’s free open banking suite of services at scale, as well as layering on its own suite of premium data products and payment services.

Financial terms of the acquisition—which was only signed by both parties yesterday and is expected to close later this summer—were not disclosed.

It is the latest move by GoCardless to dramatically accelerate its push into the open banking space, a transition that began only a year ago with Instant Bank Pay in the UK and has continued with launches across multiple markets and the addition of recurring payments.

“We’ve been launching our open banking products for the last 18 months or so, but as we’ve gotten deeper into this, we’ve concluded that having full control over the end-to-end experience is something that allows us to make better products for our customers, and really propel ourselves forward,” Duncan Barrigan, chief product and growth officer at GoCardless, told AltFi.

Barrigan, who led the deal to acquire Nordigen said the synergies were obvious from the minute he started talking with Nordigen CEO Rolands Mesters.

“One of the things that Rolands and I really found early on is that all of Rolands’ data customers were asking about payments, and we had a bunch of payments customers asking about data.”

However, Barrigan the decision to acquire was only taken after GoCardless had “looked at all the possibilities”, including building up its own open banking data infrastructure in-house.

“The things that we really loved about Nordigen were, number one, they’ve done an incredible job of figuring out how to productise the machine of building these [data] integrations, they’ve got more integrations than anyone else, and they’ve done that extraordinarily quickly… this is an incredible machine that we think is going to be an absolutely huge asset to the combined GoCardless going forward.”

On the flip side, Mesters told AltFi that the story on Nordigen’s side had been similar, with clients asking for more support on the payments front, which the GoCardless acquisition solves immediately, “that was really what sold us on to the idea” he said.

Mesters said the acquisition won’t change Nordigen’s fundamental belief that the barriers to open banking data should be as low as possible, and that his vision was shared with GoCardless that a freemium model would remain as “this technology needs to be brought into as many hands as possible”.

In terms of Nordigen continuing as a standalone brand and how the two companies would be integrated, neither exec had details to share today. Barrigan said more details on the integration would be announced later in the Summer.

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