Credit Sesame is getting into digital banking. The credit and loans company, first launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2010, has since grown to 15 million registered users and, in 2016, achieved profitability. To date, its focus has been on helping consumers achieve financial health by taking steps to consolidate debt and raise their credit score. Now, it’s expanding to include digital banking, but with the goal of using its better understanding of its banking customers’ finances to better personalize its credit improvement recommendations.
The new service, Sesame Cash, has many features found in other challenger banking apps, like a general lack of fees, real-time notifications, an early payday option, free access to a sizable ATM network, in-app debit card management and more. Specifically, Credit Sesame says it won’t charge monthly fees or overdraft fees, and it provides free access to more than 55,000 ATMs and a no-fee debit card from Mastercard.
However, the banking app also serves a secondary purpose beyond its plan to take on traditional banks. Because the company has insights into users’ finances and repayment abilities, it will be able to offer personalized recommendations, including those for relevant credit products from its hundreds of financial institution partners.
Credit Sesame is a smaller version of Credit Karma, which was recently acquired by Intuit for $7 billion. Since then, it has been rumored to be another potential acquisition target for Intuit, if it didn’t proceed to go public. The banking service would make Credit Sesame more attractive to a potential acquirer, if that’s the case, as it would offer something Credit Karma did not.