New banks, Podcasts

BankMobile’s Luvleen Sidhu on T-Mobile MONEY, banking college students, and leveraging partnerships for growth

  • T-Mobile now offers banking services and a very aggressive interest rate.
  • Through this white label partnership, BankMobile reaches more end customers.
close

Email a Friend

BankMobile’s Luvleen Sidhu on T-Mobile MONEY, banking college students, and leveraging partnerships for growth

It’s not just challenger banks popping up to vie for consumer and business bank accounts. With consumer demand and new empowering technology, it feels like everyone is getting into financial services — from grocery chains to telecom companies. After piloting for half a year, last month, T-Mobile announced a new no-fee, interest-earning, mobile first checking account. Behind that white label offering is BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank.

BankMobile’s co-founder, president and chief strategy officer Luvleen Sidhu joins me on the podcast today to talk about why everyone wants to get into banking. We talk about BankMobile’s own business, its partnerships with colleges, and how the digital bank services students through various lifecycles.

SubscribeiTunes I SoundCloud I Spotify
The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

BankMobile’s thesis

BankMobile started about 4.5 years ago as a digital, mobile-first bank. We started with the philosophy that the macro consumer trends were shifting and banks were slow to adapt to these changes. Consumers interact with their banks 20-30 times a month on their mobile device but only walk into a branch one time a year. A third of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. These same struggling Americans were being charged $34 billion in overdraft fees. From a channel and user experience perspective, consumer needs and behaviors weren’t being met.

On the business front, bank branches on average are opening up 52 net checking accounts per branch annually. We thought we could move from a branch-based acquisition model to a model where we could generate higher volume with lower costs using technology. Now, we’re among the largest and fastest growing digital banks in the US with about 2 million accounts.

Using colleges to go to market

We always felt it was important to have an acquisition strategy to be able to reach customers to share our product. We’ve shifted to a B2B2C strategy where we can partner with companies, institutions, membership-driven organizations that have a captive audience that they want to build stickier relations with.

We started with the higher education market. Today we have relationships with over 800 campuses. We solve a pain point for the school in making disbursement payments to students. Students can use ACH to receive these disbursement payments to an existing bank account or open a BankMobile account.

Everyone wants to offer financial services

I think it’s about how to continue to create engaged, sticky, loyal relationships with your customers. The more you can address their pain points, the more of an emotional connection you’ll have.

You see it with Apple and Marcus — there’s definitely a transactional relationship with customers they can build upon. But it also provides a better way for people to get rewarded and get financial management through this credit card. Financial services is just one more outlet for customer-centric companies that want to address their customers’ needs and create more touch points and connections.

Prioritizing banking as a service

We want to continue building our banking as a service platform. We’re so proud of our T-Mobile partnership and it’s very aligned with us. We couldn’t have picked a better partner to launch this business with. We’re looking at other white label partners who buy into this mission and vision of serving their customers in a more consumer centric way with financial services. My goal is to create another white label relationship by the end of 2019.

0 comments on “BankMobile’s Luvleen Sidhu on T-Mobile MONEY, banking college students, and leveraging partnerships for growth”

Outlier OpinionsMakers

Podcasts

“You don’t say, ‘Oh, I love Amazon, because I’m logged in and they have my payment information'”: Fast’s Allison Barr Allen

  • Fast brings one click checkout functionality to merchants across the internet.
  • Co-founder and COO Allison Barr Allen joins us on the podcast to discuss the intersection of ecommerce and payments.
Zachary Miller | August 04, 2021
Podcasts

‘It’s all about embedding financial solutions at a customer’s point of need’: Plaid and Accenture on the future of embedded finance

  • Embedded finance is enabling new players from outside of finance to offer financing products.
  • Plaid and Accenture have released research on embedded finance, its roots and history, and where it's headed.
Zachary Miller | July 23, 2021
Podcasts

‘My mandate is to find great partners that can reach millions of consumers’: Green Dot’s Amit Parikh

  • Hailing from Apple and Discover, Amit Parikh recently joined Green Dot to run its banking as a service platform.
  • The executive joins the Tearsheet Podcast to discuss opportunities in platform banking and how to service top brands' financial offerings.
Zachary Miller | July 14, 2021
Podcasts

‘A real underdog mentality permeates this place’: Chase’s chief product officer, Allison Beer

  • With 56 million users, Chase is an at-scale digital bank.
  • Chief Product Officer Allison Beer joins us on the podcast to discuss UX design, payments trends, and the bank's product pipeline.
Zachary Miller | July 12, 2021
Podcasts

‘Solving corporate payments is about context, not about who pays’: Mesh Payments’ Oded Zehavi

  • Mesh Payments uses a foothold in SaaS payments to help corporates with their spend.
  • CEO Oded Zehavi joins the Tearsheet Podcast to discuss the genesis of the firm and why the market for corporate payments is so interesting.
Zachary Miller | July 08, 2021
More Articles