Plaid’s payments ecosystem & Affirm’s decoupled debit card reveal embedded finance Trojan Horse

In this analysis, we want to update the discussion of card networks, money movement, and the potential existential threat — or perhaps evolution — to existing infrastructure. It continues the thread on articles like Is Plaid cheap at $5.3 billion for $500 billion Visa? and Marqeta’s $300MM of revenue & Ethereum’s $20B in ann. transaction fees highlight opportunity and industry structure, and Who are the customers of Embedded Finance, and what do they reveal about Stripe, Affirm, DriveWealth, and Green Dot?, and more generally in this research section. We map Plaid’s progress in building out a payments ecosystem, and highlight Affirm’s debit card product powered in a novel manner through open banking. The analysis visualizes a likely evolution of the space with the introduction of Web3, and highlights a couple of early symptoms.