Kuhlmann to Head Up Banking as SoFi Transitions to ‘Neobank’

  • Grace Noto
  • February 2, 2017
  • 1

pexels-photo-173374The CEO of mobile-only banking company Zenbanx will be staying on during the company’s merge with SoFi, where he will eventually take charge of the new products offered.

“I’m going to be staying on, heading up the banking products—I’m sort of staying in my existing role,” said Arkadi Kuhlmann, CEO and founder of Zenbanx; the company’s acquisition by student-loan service (and soon to be neobank) SoFi was announced yesterday. “It’s a great merger, because SoFi was creating asset products and we create liability products, so we can solve some really interesting problems.”

According to Kuhlmann, the man responsible for ING Direct, the mobile banking company currently boasts 40,000 users across the United States and Canada. These Zenbanx customers will be transitioned to SoFi after the company is integrated into its acquirer.

SoFi’s acquisition of the company will allow it to become more of a full-fledged bank—the fintech kind of course, sans physical branches—by incorporating Zenbanx’s banking products to offer products like checking accounts, credit cards, and money transfers to its clients (Zenbanx’s services presently support nine currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the Euro, and the Japanese Yen).

A spokesperson for SoFi said in a statement:

Through this acquisition, SoFi will be one step closer to achieving the company’s core mission: to be the center of our members’ financial lives. To be at the center, we have to provide daily utility, and in 2017, we’ll do just that with a deposit offering unlike anything else in the market.

SoFi members will benefit because the Zenbanx mobile banking account will serve as a framework for SoFi bank accounts. We plan to offer both SoFi checking accounts and credit cards in 2017 as a result of this deal, with the exceptional mobile experience that Zenbanx built at the core.

These services will be offered alongside the lending, insurance, and student loan refinancing products that SoFi now offers.

To learn more about neobanks and online lenders, join us in San Jose on March 6-7 for Bank Innovation 2017, where the best conversations in fintech take place. Click here to register.

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