BankMobile to Seek Fintech Partnerships After ‘Merge’ with Flagship Bank

EXCLUSIVE—Mobile-first U.S. bank BankMobile will look to add new features to its platform through partnerships with fintechs after its merge with Flagship Bank is finished, the company told Bank Innovation.

“We want to be able to partner with the best in breed, partner with other fintech companies,” Luvleen Sidhu, co-founder and president of BankMobile, told Bank Innovation. “Right now, we’re really focused on building out our product set.”

The bank, which is in the middle of a “spinoff” from Customers Bank—tax free, Sidhu said—is expected to merge with Florida-based Flagship Bank this year once the spin-off is completed.

Rather than a sale, as was reported earlier this year, the companies will be conducting a cash play, Sidhu said, where Customers Bank shareholders will receive Flagship stock in exchange for BankMobile shares.

Flagship will then purchase deposits from BankMobile separately, directly from Customers Bank, for cash, according to the company.

BankMobile will continue to expand its platform following its merge into Flagship, Sidhu said, which could include additional banking partnerships. The bank just signed its first agreement to white-label its technology into a “top consumer company,” Sidhu said.

The bank is not disclosing the company’s name at this time, but the white-labeled service is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2018, Sidhu said.

In addition to new partnerships, the bank is also expanding its mobile platform with new features. As mobile-first bank with 1.8 million customers currently, the majority of whom are millennials, the bank is looking to launch a credit card in the next year, as well as personal and student loan refinancing features, Sidhu said.

“It will be a physical card, with different tiers. There will be rewards,” Sidhu said, adding that the average BankMobile customer has a FICO score around 620, and the credit card “will be able to serve those customers.”

BankMobile’s physical card will also be released within the first quarter of 2018, Sidhu said. The student loan refinancing feature will follow in the second quarter of that year.

“Basically all of our customers have student loans,” Sidhu said of the feature. “It would be open market, not just [for] augmenting our existing customer claim.”