With $1.5M deposited in its neobank, Zolve launches bank accounts, credit cards for US immigrants

By Sindhu Kashyaap
September 22, 2021, Updated on : Thu Sep 23 2021 05:43:42 GMT+0000
With $1.5M deposited in its neobank, Zolve launches bank accounts, credit cards for US immigrants
Neobank Zolve launched unique financial products to provide US immigrants with the ability to obtain an FDIC-insured US bank account, credit and debit cards.
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Share on
close

Earlier this year, when Raghunandan G decided to launch Zolvein February, he hadn’t anticipated over 40,000 sign-ups. 


Zolve set out to make banking and financial systems border and boundaryless, enabling anyone moving across the world to avail credit at market rates and not at a premium. At present, Zolve has $1.5 million deposits in its bank accounts. There have been people deposit $40,000, the Bengaluru and San Francisco-based global neobank claims. 


On Wednesday, the startup launched unique financial products, which will provide US immigrants from around the world the ability to obtain an FDIC-insured US bank account, credit card, and debit card upon entering the country — all without a social security number — in partnership with Community Federal Savings Bank (CFSB). 

Zolve

Raghunandan G

The new product line 

“We are one of the fastest neobanks to go live in the US markets. We have gone live in five to six months, besides that, the response we have received is quite large. We wanted to touch 500 customers to do a product-market fit, but we got 42,000 users. And managing the scale needed a stronger push,” said Raghu, in a conversation with YourStory


Zolves products include:


  • Zolve Credit Card (powered by Mastercard): An unsecured, high-limit credit card with zero percent APR for the first six months, no application fee, and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Zolve Deposit Account: A deposit account, FDIC insured up to $250,000, with no minimum balance requirements, and no social security number required to apply.
  • Zolve Banking Mobile App: On-the-go mobile app integrated with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Venmo, which provides customers with payment alerts, reminders, access to direct deposits, and other financial tools and educational materials for responsible credit building. 


Customers can apply online free of charge for the products in under 10 minutes by providing a valid visa and passport.

Building for the consumer need

Zolve had initially looked at offering credit cards to Indian migrants based on their Indian credit history.


He adds, “But the customer asked even for a bank account with debit cards; so we provided both. We always thought customers would get bank accounts within their universities or employers, but it has challenges. While we had assumed people would only deposit their expenses in bank accounts, the behaviour showed educational loans, too, were getting deposited in the accounts.” 


At present, the team is looking to build an integrated remittances product. Since Zolve’s customers are used to UK-based remittances in India, different from the one in the US, the team is building something similar to the UK remittance system.

“Money transfer in the US takes two to three days, while in India, within the country, it is immediate. It is something we take for granted, so we are building those products too,” says Raghu. 

Why Zolve? 

While Raghu may be starting up again after six years, he remained busy in the Indian startup ecosystem. After TaxiForSure was acquired by Ola in 2015 for $200 million, Raghunandan turned investor and mentor in multiple startups, including Bounce, Ninjacart, and Vedantu.


During this time, Raghunandan met people from across the world, which got him the idea for Zolve. On his trips outside India, Raghu noticed friends and colleagues travelling along with him using their debit cards for payments as many did not use credit cards. 


Despite being senior executives, these individuals had credit in India. However, their credit rating abroad didn’t make them worthy of owning any credit services at the market rate, and they would end up paying at a premium. 

In an increasingly digital world, neobanking has created waves in the fintech sector. Global startups like Brazil-based Nubank and Berlin-based N26 are valued at $10 billion and $14.5 billion, respectively. There’s also US-based Chime, valued at $14.5 billion. 

Closer home, there are startups like Finnin, FamPay, and Bhavin Turakhia’s Zeta. The new fintech unicorn Razorpay, too, has a neobank vertical. 


Through Zolve, an individual can open a banking account in India. They can continue to operate and access the same account while travelling abroad.  

Future plans 

“Our vision with Zolve is to make banking and financial systems border and boundaryless,” says Raghu. 


Today, a consumer is working without boundaries, can access work and commerce from different parts of the world, and the financial systems are still restricted, he adds.


In order to ensure financial transactions across borders are seamless and different, Zolve also offers a range of compelling features that can be used by any consumer in any part of the world. 


This will soon include buying stocks or investing in the stock markets in NASDAQ and other exchanges.


Edited by Suman Singh

Clap Icon0 Shares
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Clap Icon0 Shares
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Share on
close