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U.S. fintech Plaid hires exec as head of Europe


Ripsy Bandourian is the head of Europe at Plaid.


LONDON — Financial technology firm Plaid has hired Ripsy Bandourian, a long-time Booking.comexecutive to lead its European operations.

Bandourian has joined Plaid and works out of Plaid’s Dutch offices in Amsterdam. Her task will be to lead the expansion of Plaid’s San Francisco-based company in Europe. Keith Grose is now the head of Plaid’s international. He focuses exclusively on managing Plaid UK.

This Armenian-born businesswoman has a variety of experiences to offer the fintech world. After completing her molecular biology degree at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah in the early 1980s, she moved to New York to become a quant analyst. Goldman Sachs. She moved to London after a stint as a consultant with McKinsey to join Apple’s European Division.

Bandourian began her career at in 2014. Bandourian has worked for for eight years, in various roles that focus on marketing and product development. Most recently, she was vice president for global accommodation partnerships and managed’s relationship with its hotel partners.

CNBC heard Bandourian tell CNBC that her motivations for joining Plaid were both personal and professional.

Bandourian declared, “I’ve lived on three continents.” Bandourian said, “And there’s absolutely no way that I can take my financial history with myself. You don’t have the tools or ways to make this easier. It is possible to use this case.

Plaid’s technology allows Fintech Companies like Robinhood and Venmo to connect with customers’ bank accounts, so users can login and securely share financial information. Open banking is a rapidly growing trend.

It also provides payment options in certain markets. The company says that it plans to expand in Europe in the next year. Its services can be found in seven European countries including France, Germany, the U.K. and France. Plaid will soon expand to new markets such as Poland, Belgium, and the Nordics.

Bandourian explained that “the plans are quite aggressive.” Plaid’s European investment speaks to the potential that Plaid sees in itself. It also shows how deep and fast Plaid is evolving.

Among Plaid’s plans for Europe is growing its headcount — the firm currently employs around 80 people in the region — and hiring individual country managers for France and Germany. Plaid has clients throughout Europe, including crypto exchange Kraken as well as dating app Bumble.

Open banking is gaining significant popularity in Europe. Fintech-friendly regulations, which require banks to share data at consumers’ request with third parties in 2018, are partly responsible for this.

Statista data shows that the continent had 12.2million open bank users in 2020. That number will rise to 63.8m by 2024, according Statista.

Investors and big businesses are paying attention. Apple last month acquired Credit KudosA fintech based in London that makes use of consumer banking data to conduct more accurate credit checks, is. Meanwhile, VisaTink is a European competitor of Plaid. over $2 billion.

Plaid was last privately valued at $13.4 billionVisa’s $5.3 Billion acquisition of Visa was canceled.