Co-Founder & President of BankMobile, Luvleen Sidhu joined #BoldBiz to tell us about BankMobile and their goal to make banking easier for consumers.
Posted by BoldTV on Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Luvleen Sidhu is the co-founder and president of BankMobile, a “next-generation digital banking platform designed to make financial life easier.” Sidhu started her company back in January of 2015 with the simple yet elusive question: “How can we make the banking business easier for consumers?” Sidhu also hoped to tackle the question of how to make the banking business model more profitable in general. After all, Sidhu says, “having thousands of branches that nobody walks into is not very profitable.”
Bankmobile’s goal is, in fact, to help their customers reach all of their financial goals. BankMobile provides checking and savings account with a rate that is higher than the top four banks (most banks pay .01% on average whereas BankMobile hovers around 1%.) BankMobile also provides credit, and Sidhu mentions that they will be offering their customers personal loans, credit cards and mortgages as soon as May of this year.
The company was founded on the premise that banking customers are fed up with the industry. They no longer want to be “fee’d to death” as Sidhu puts it (she also mentions that overdraft fees are a $33 billion a year industry, which is more than most Americans pay for vegetables a year.)
How customers receive cash
If a BankMobile customer wants to withdraw cash from their bank account, then they will need to get a money order, and snap a photo of that money in order to deposit their cash. But in a gig-economy, one in which many people have more than one job, and are often freelancing, 40 percent of people are still getting paper checks due to the industries in which they work. A good amount of us still work with the “check economy,” according to Sidhu. Therefore, for a good percentage of BankMobile’s customers, snapping a photo of their checks won’t be a big deal.
Additionally, one of BankMobile’s major benefits is their free ATM services all across the country. As Sidhu notes, those $3 ATM fees have a way of adding up, even if week-to-week they seem fairly insignificant. For BankMobile users, their ATM experience will be fee-free. That means that they get to access their money from ATMs without having to give a monetary sacrifice to the bank gods every time.
The inspiration for Bankmobile
Sidhu came up with the idea for BankMobile, in part, due to her experience as a first-day employee at Lehman Brothers. A recent graduate from Harvard University, Sidhu arrived to her first day on the job and immediately was greeted by chaos. Her first day just so happened to coincide simultaneously with Lehman Brothers bankruptcy crisis. For Sidhu, the bizarre experience highlighted “the fragility of the American financial system” and provided her with the inspiration for BankMobile.
Today, Sidhu and BankMobile can boast more than 1.8 million customers, and she plans to partner with FinTech companies such as Upstart (a company that helps provide personal loans to customers through a seamless process that usually takes less than 2 minutes to complete) to make the banking process even easier for BankMobile clients.
Have something to add to this story? Comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.
Header image: Shutterstock