New banks

Remitly launches Passbook, a new challenger bank designed for immigrants

  • The money transfer firm introduced a new banking offering for immigrants.
  • In addition to money transfer, it allows them to sign up with various ID and doesn't charge fees.
Remitly launches Passbook, a new challenger bank designed for immigrants

Money transfer firm Remitly’s Passbook is a bank aimed to work for people without a US social security number or standard ID to help them move money back to friends and family in their home countries.

  • There are 44 million immigrants in the US and globally represent some $1.3 trillion in wages and $900 billion in spending power annually.
  • Passbook removes much of the friction around signup by allowing various picture IDs to sign up — whether they are from the US or not.
  • Accounts come with a Visa debit card and are designed to be used globally. Cards can be with customized with a customer’s national flag of choice.
  • There are no monthly fees, no minimum balances required, no overdraft fees, and access to surcharge-free ATMs. Passbook account holders can access special pricing when using Remitly to transfer money internationally.

“Passbook was born from countless hours listening to customers’ experiences navigating financial services not built for them,” said Matt Oppenheimer, Remitly CEO and co-founder. “Our team has a unique ability to deliver industry-changing products for immigrants. We’re going to change banking like we changed remittances.”

remitly's new bank, Passbook targets immigrants

Remitly’s Passbook uses Visa’s push payments platform, Visa Direct, to send and receive funds across borders from the United States to eligible Visa debit cards. “Our relationship with Remitly is another great example of how Visa works with fintech partners to help them grow and scale their business quickly,” said Matt Dill, global head of strategic partnerships and venture at Visa.

The Passbook debit card is issued by Sunrise Banks.

  • Sunrise is a B-Corp with experience working with immigrant communities.
  • Sunrise has issued prepaid debit cards for firms like AT&T Small Business, Boost Mobile, and Relay.
  • “We share Remitly’s commitment to doing good, and this new collaboration allows us to expand on Sunrise’s mission of providing products and services that improve the economic well-being of our clients,” said David Reiling, Chairman and CEO of Sunrise Banks

Remitly’s Passbook joins other firms like Nova Credit, CreditStacks, and Petal in helping address the friction around banking and financial services for immigrants.

  • Passbook will launch in the US first with plans to expand to any of the markets Remitly is active in.
  • Remitly closed a $135 million investment last summer.
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