You don't need a bank charter to offer banking products. Through APIs, banking as a service providers supply firms like Walmart, Uber, Amazon, and Apple with debit cards, payments, and money movement. Tearsheet's Buyers Guide for Banking as a Service details the growth of the industry and the technology players making it happen.
For Outlier subscribers, we've compiled a first-of-its-kind list of BaaS companies powering top companies and apps around the world. Challenger banks, payment apps, and companies outside the financial industry turn to BaaS providers for their banking technology.
Who powers whom in banking as a service
BBVA Compass Open Platform
Open Platform came out of BBVA’s acquisition of Simple, a digital-only neobank. As part of the transition, the bank moved Simple off its previous provider onto BBVA’s real-time digital cores. Open Platform took the learnings from the experience of launching Simple (consumer neobank) and Azlo (small business neobank) to design and build a complete product offering which it could sell to companies outside of BBVA,
Initially targeting other neo banks, Open Platform soon expanded to the larger banking and payments marketplaces. The combination of payments and banking put them in an even stronger position.
Formed in partnership with Q2, StoneCastle, and a select group of financial institutions, Cambr offers the underlying infrastructure that’s needed to launch basic and advanced banking services. With experience in many use cases, many advanced features have already been developed and are immediately available to customers. Examples include deposit accounts, compliance, payments, banking, and debit cards.
Cross River’s main service is originating loans for marketplace lenders and providing payment and transaction services for tech companies. As Cross River is a traditional bank, everything is under one roof, enabling instant connectivity with a regulatory structure that enables these companies to thrive.
Evolve Bank and Trust
Founded in 1925, Evolve Bank & Trust is a best in class financial institution offering specialized services in Payment Processing Solutions, Banking, Mortgage, SBA Lending and Trust. Headquartered in Memphis, TN, Evolve operates retail branches throughout the Mid-South and mortgage production offices nationwide. Evolve has been named in Inc. Magazine’s 5000 List of the fastest growing companies.
Green Dot is one of the older BaaS providers out there, and in a way, their success help started the space. With a mission to provide “fair and affordable banking services to the masses”, Green Dot’s initial foray into BaaS began with a Walmart partnership in 2004 that gave customers who didn’t have a bank account access to banking services.
With the success of the Walmart partnership or on the back of the Walmart partnership, Green Dot decided to go full-on BaaS in 2015. It wasn’t until their earnings call in 2016 that they really brought this to light, and the investor community started to use the term ‘Banking as a Service’, attributing it to Green Dot. Now, with clients like Uber, Apple, and Stash, Green Dot has over 5 million accounts on its platform.
Marqeta is an issuer processor. Right now, most large FIs use legacy banking systems to issue cards, and these systems are old and clunky. Marqeta offers a fintech alternative by providing the infrastructure, or “plumbing” for issuance of debit and prepaid cards, while still working within the framework of the current banking system. As its platform is very extensive, Marqeta enables its customers to create advanced and complex workflows with their APIs. Since Marqeta is deeply integrated into the payments infrastructure, it is able to offer real time information flow, enabling its clients to make transaction approval decisions right at the point of sale.
MVB Bank was formed on October 30, 1997 in West Virginia. Currently, there are 12 offices in West Virginia and three in Virginia. MVB Bank is headquartered in Fairmont, West Virginia and provides financial services to individual and corporate clients across the Mid-Atlantic.
Founded in 2014, Synapse is DIY BaaS with a broad range of services. Anything that can be found on a bank’s homepage, Synapse can whitelabel. So far, Synapse has built products in the payments, deposits, and lending categories (which Synapse calls “Buckets”). Payments include ACH, wire, and card processing transactions; deposits include opening up deposit accounts, account routing numbers and debit card issuance; and lending includes the ability for any technology company to originate and service a loan. They also provide additional services including crypto wallets. As part of their services, they offer compliance and verification as well.
- Clear Banc
- Atomic Capital
- House of Gigs
- Spare Coin
- Bank Indigo
- Homey App
- True Layer
- IOU Financial
- Belair House
- Thamel Remit
Tearsheet compiled this list through our own primary research and fact checked it to the best of our abilities. We weren't given customer lists by BaaS providers. We believe it to be accurate but it's possible that companies begin and stop using BaaS providers relatively quickly and that companies use multiple BaaS providers at any given time.