Member Exclusive, New banks

‘I have a visceral understanding of the underserved customer because I was one too’: The story behind Ahead Financials

  • Ahead Financials was launched back in December to provide banking services to anyone who feels financially insecure or underbanked.
  • Anu Shultes is the CEO of Ahead. Her inspiration for the challenger bank and her understanding of how to build it come from 25+ years in the banking industry, as well as her own experience as an immigrant in the US trying to make ends meet.
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‘I have a visceral understanding of the underserved customer because I was one too’: The story behind Ahead Financials

Challenger bank Ahead Financials by LendUp was launched back in December. 

Ahead is an extension of LendUp, in that it’s focusing on providing financial services and literacy to people who either have low credit or no credit and have therefore been shut out of the system. In short, the challenger bank, which is still in waiting list status, aims to be a solution to anyone who feels financially insecure or who has a history of being underbanked or unbanked.

Ahead will offer a checking account and debit card with no monthly fees. It will also include financial literacy tools to educate consumers on their budgeting, a Visa contactless debit card, no fees for withdrawing from ATMs at certain locations, and eligibility for no overdraft fees.

“The Ahead Financials platform is going to be set up in a way so that anybody who feels underserved by the bank, even if they are doing fine financially, should be able to come to Ahead and benefit,” said Anu Shultes, CEO of Ahead Financials. She’s also been the CEO of LendUp since January, 2019.


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