The traditional banking system in the U.S. is broken, especially for the third of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Many of the 130 million U.S. adults who earn $75k or less are unserved or underserved by their existing banks, which charge high, unpredictable fees, offer irrelevant and inaccessible products, don’t extend credit to low-FICO customers, and rely on deposits to make money.
There is no other consumer-facing industry with such a mismatch between consumer demand and existing products on the market. In the U.S. alone, the top 100 consumer banks are worth $2.5 trillion and the top four banks have a combined value of $1.1 trillion. Yet, they consistently have negative NPS scores, among the lowest of any industry.
We believe there is going to be a seismic change in the next 10-20 years, as consumers — especially younger ones — shift from legacy, retail-focused banks to consumer-first banks powered by technology. Traditional banks have a massive retail footprint of ~80k branches across the U.S., but gone are the days when consumers selected their bank based on physical proximity. Millennials, in particular, have shown they don’t want to bank in physical branches, they want technology that resembles the non-financial consumer social apps they use, which are mobile-first, beautifully designed, and built for their personal needs.
Today, we are announcing our investment in Current, which we believe is building the bank for the next generation. Current offers modern banking products and services — instant cash deposits, faster direct deposits, better visibility and control of money — for its members, almost half of whom have never had a bank account before. These features, along with those on the roadmap, are tailored to the specific needs of their target customer base and have been rolled out at a rapid pace. They have built their core banking infrastructure in-house, which not only improves margins, but allows the company to offer products no one else does, such as rewards points for up to 10% cash back at merchants, and instant gas hold crediting.
We’ve gotten to know Stuart since the early days of the company — he’s an ambitious CEO who has built a brand and product customers love. Premium users who are signed up for direct deposit use the card close to 40 times per month, and Current also sports an NPS of 85, which is on par with some of the most loved consumer products across all industries. Current’s partnerships in the influencer space have also set a standard in the fintech industry. They’re providing a platform for creators to produce engaging content and collaborate with some of the most relevant stars of this generation, including a long-term, exclusive partnership with MrBeast, one of YouTube’s most viewed creators and philanthropists.
Current has grown rapidly at more than 4x year-over-year, reaching close to 3 million active users in just over 3 years. This is a customer base that will grow with Current as they accumulate wealth, and will turn to Current for the full lifecycle of their banking needs.
Today, Current is announcing a Series D raise of $220 million, and we are thrilled to be leading the round. I am very excited to join the board and work with Stuart and team as they build an iconic bank for the next generation!
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