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May 5, 2021Blog Posts

Chime has agreed to stop using the word ‘bank’ after a California regulator pushed back

TechCrunch

Chime might call itself the “fastest-growing fintech in the U.S.,” but it has agreed to stop referring to itself as a “bank,” per a new report out of American Banker.

Evidently, the eight-year-old, San Francisco-based outfit was the target of an investigation by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation after Chime used “chimebank” in its website address, as well as used “bank” and “banking” elsewhere in its advertisements, according to the agency in a settlement agreement.

As noted by AB, Chime made the decision to settle ahead of a deadline imposed by the regulatory body.

The development won’t surprise anyone familiar with U.S. banking laws. No outfit can represent itself as a bank or credit union unless it’s licensed to engage in the business of banking. The commission that pushed back on Chime issues such licenses and regulates state-chartered banks in the state of California through the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, and it said in the settlement that “at all relevant times herein, Chime was not licensed to operate as a bank in California or in any other jurisdiction, nor was it exempt from such licensure.”

chime-logo-transparent-green - Chris Skinner's blog

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New research from The Strawhecker Group analyzes key trends and consumer attitudes.

Consumers have increasingly adopted Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services for multiple reasons; a desire for financial flexibility, a way to avoid incurring credit card debt, or to purchase items outside of their budgets. However, despite its popularity, consumer debt and missed payments have led to calls for additional research and regulation. Read the press release.

To take a closer look, The Strawhecker Group (TSG) conducted a survey of over 1,500 U.S. consumers in early 2021 with the goal of understanding domestic attitudes and perspectives on the use of BNPL services. The complete findings, a selection of BNPL provider profiles, and market landscape details can be found in the firm’s new report Buy Now, Pay Later: An Analysis of Key Trends and Consumer Attitudes.

Highlights of this extensive 81-page report include:

  • Buy Now, Pay Later Background
  • Key Players in the Buy Now, Pay Later Space
  • Buy Now, Pay Later Consumer Survey
  • Concluding Thoughts: The Future of Buy Now, Pay Later

Download a free infographic covering several findings from the full report.

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