Who’s Who In Alternative Banking Solutions Page 5

  • Grace Noto
  • May 1, 2017
  • 0


From launching its new BankMobile Bold platform, to becoming part of Florida community bank Flagship, BankMobile has had a busy year.

“Close to 50% of people [in the U.S] aren’t able to pay for a $400 expense–and how are banks responding? They are charging $33 billion just in overdraft fees a year,” Luvleen Sidhu, cofounder and head of strategy at Bank Mobile, told Bank Innovation. The bank is now focused on providing services “that help our customers create their best financial lives in the most affordable way.”

The approach appears to be reaping rewards–BankMobile is opening approximately 10,000 new accounts per week, according to Sidhu. The lender will also continue its drive for financial literacy this year with initiatives like it’s “passport program,” which rewards users for displaying good financial behavior.

Bank Mobile is in the process of incorporating enhanced fraud security this year, including biometrics, in order to give customers the best possible value–which is the trick when drawing customers to an alternative form of banking, according to Sidhu. It’s not “a given” that consumers are more drawn to alternative banking over traditional forms, she added.

“It’s hard to convince them to do that, actually–we need to keep distributing the value,” Sidhu said. “We need to truly focus on what our customer needs so we can create really personalized experiences.”


Millennials may not own a laptop, a car, or a credit card, but they definitely own a smartphone. That’s the underlying principle behind Juvo’s strategy.

This alternative lender provider wants to establish financial identities for the billions of people worldwide who are creditworthy, yet financially excluded. To do that, the company partnered up with global mobile network operators, and is utilizing machine learning and game mechanics to create an “financial identities” with anonymous prepaid mobile users. The company then offers those customers microloans for things like month-long phone service, or headsets, through its app.

“This is a great way to open access to mobile financial services to customers that otherwise don’t have access to those,” Jason Robinson, VP of product management at Juvo, told Bank Innovation. “We obviously see this as a user acquisition channel; through those small loans, we are meeting a very immediate need, but we also want to offer customers more credit over time.”

The company now looks into introducing more financial products, including insurance and payments services, to its more than 3 million monthly active user base.

For that, Juvo is actively seeking partners from the banking world, in addition to mobile operators. Several partnerships are already in the pipeline, Robinson added: “This is where Juvo’s story will start getting even more interesting.”

The San Francisco-based startup operates globally, with a particular focus on the Latin American region, where consumers still actively use prepaid mobile services.

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