Banking fintech Plaid released its first crypto product – a wallet connector – kicking off a strategy that could take the multibillion-dollar company deep into crypto’s weeds.
Plaid, best known for bridging consumers’ bank accounts with online payments platforms, said its “Wallet Onboard” tool will make it easy for crypto developers to plug into over 300 different Ethereum wallets – and for their customers, too.
It’s also the launchpad for an array of Web3-focused products that Plaid is planning, said Alain Meier, head of the company’s identity division. One of them could see Plaid help DeFi users prove to DEXes that they are who they say they are – without revealing their personal information.
“What our teams are working on are bringing these identity credentials to the web3 experience,” Meier said.
The wallet onboarding tool is non-custodial and won’t store data, Meier said, noting Plaid’s role doesn’t create any security risks.
The company is prevalent across the centralized crypto industry as a connector between popular exchanges and traders’ bank accounts, Meier said. Around 40% of his division’s business comes from crypto.
All those integrations mean opportunities to build customers’ perceived trust in Plaid, he said. Their familiarity with that company linking to their bank account can then spill over into crypto, where DeFi protocols are under increasing pressure to vet their clients.
“A lot of people know Plaid. To be able to go into that experience and see Plaid powering it, it introduces a lot of trust,” he said.