A new deposit and payment method developed by a Silicon Valley banking expert made its national debut in Missoula on Friday, aiming to give both merchants and consumers a new way to conduct business.
Figure Pay, a digital-first company created by Tony Morosini, targets “thin file” consumers such as young adults and immigrants with little credit history. It also relies upon blockchain technology, eliminating the need for a traditional financial company.
“I don’t need a traditional core banking system or some of the other core components in the payments ecosystem,” Morosini said, standing outside of Rockin Rudy’s. “I can deliver the product to the constituents who get the least out of financial services, which are small merchants and underbanked consumers.”
According to the Federal Reserve, roughly 22% of all adults in the U.S. are considered underbanked. The federal government describes an underbanked person as one of two consumers, including an individual with no bank account and those who may have a bank account but rely upon check cashers and payday lenders.
Figure, which runs through a secured app, looks to reach such consumers. Those who use the system can build credit, finance purchases and avoid the fees of some financial institutions, including high interest payments and maintenance charges.