Apple has just acquired British fintech startup Credit Kudos for $150 million, according to an anonymous source. Cryptocurrency-focused media The Block clarified the information, citing three sources familiar with the deal. Credit Kudos raised 5 million pounds sterling (6 million euros) in funds in April 2020. Even if the two companies did not communicate on this subject, we note that the link to the privacy policy on the site of Credit Kudos currently redirects to Apple’s.

Credit Kudos operates in the open banking market by providing financial services with credit ratings and scores on borrowers. The company was founded in 2015 by Freddy Kelly and Matt Schofield. The idea came about after the former struggled to get credit when he returned to the UK after working abroad in the US. The company uses machine learning and real-time data to build a more complete picture of a person’s credit score, rather than traditional agencies, like Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, which typically rely on information old ones to build a profile, such as bank statements and utility statements.

The open banking opportunity

The company has also benefited from the recent wave of open banking regulations around the world, which aim to open consumer financial data through a set of secure application programming interfaces (APIs). Credit Kudos provides this data to its clients for services such as affordability and risk assessment. In the United States, where Open Banking regulations have not yet been formally implemented, banks do not have a consistent set of APIs to work from, which makes companies that can provide access to this data.

As a result, open banking startups have caught the eye with numerous mergers and acquisitions over the past few years. In January 2021, Visa called off its acquisition of San Francisco-based financial data specialist Plaid, before moving to Swedish company Tink later that year. Separately, Mastercard announced it was expanding its fintech capabilities by acquiring Danish startup Aiia in September 2021. It’s not yet clear what Apple plans to do with Credit Kudos, but the company has invested significantly in its fintech capabilities in recent years, particularly in its Apple Pay mobile wallet and Apple Card credit card, which is currently only available in the US and was built in partnership with Goldman Sachs.