Deposits secure $5m Seed Funding to democratise modern banking and payments
By Edlyn Cardoza
Plug-and-play finance startup Deposits announced a seed funding round of $5 million led by ATX Venture Partners and joined by Cabal Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and others. Deposits’ cloud-based platform enables credit unions, community banks, insurers, retailers, and even product brands to offer a broad spectrum of payment and banking experiences without needing deep technical expertise.
Deposits open access to digital banking by making it easy for organisations, regardless of size, skill or budget, to strengthen their relationships by offering modern financial experiences. These services include mobile apps, fully online account opening, identity verification, debit and credit accounts, mobile deposits, virtual cards, P2P payments, home and auto loans, foreign exchange and more. Deposits’ modular, flexible platform allows for rapid implementation, enabling partners to offer modern banking services in days versus months. Deposits will use the seed funding to continue the development of its full-stack banking platform.
“Local banks and credit unions have built trust with customers over decades by keeping money within the community. But those customers often fall out of love because those institutions struggle to provide a modern, mobile-first banking experience,” said Joseph Akintolayo, founder and CEO of Deposits. “Deposits makes it easy for trusted brands to provide stellar experiences with money. This means their customers can participate in a full range of financial services that in turn improve their financial circumstances and well-being.”
The Deposits platform comprises several kits, each of which provides thematic financial experiences for Web, Android and iOS devices using no-code/low-code tools and is extendable through open APIs:
- Banking Kit – provides features essential to modern business banking such as invoicing, merchant processing, payments orchestration, accounts, card provisioning, and an account management console for resolving customer queries. Financial brands can customise or configure the user interface with their own visual identity (logo, colour scheme, etc.) and select the services they wish to provide. These can be US dollar accounts, global deposits and payouts.
- Money Kit – adds modular mobile banking experiences for modern money management. This includes personal financial management, shared accounts and kids banking, and features like mobile payments, card management, virtual cards, bill pay, rewards programs and P2P payments. Financial institutions and emerging financial brands use Money Kit to launch mobile money experiences as easily as launching a website. By integrating Money Kit, they can launch products for new communities or upgrade existing banking experiences.
- Identity Kit – a toolset to verify individual or business customers for banks and non-banks. This could be used to meet Know Your Customer regulations for financial institutions or for brands extending their relationships with customers requiring new verification levels.
- Commerce Kit – adds the ability for platforms to become marketplaces by embedding lightweight shops that enable their users to become merchants. Commerce Kit adds shopping and checkout experiences to an online presence, including payment processing, one-click payments, a merchant dashboard, and a wallet for store credits or earnings.
- Workplace Kit – adds the infrastructure for organisations wanting to tackle their payments and payroll or offer banking to their teams and contractors. Workplace Kit provides a self-service portal for staff to select products or benefits, update personal details, make tax withholding adjustments, etc. and a back-end for simple administration.
“The first wave of embedded fintech platforms demonstrated demand but required deep technical expertise and suffered delayed rollouts,” said Chris Shonk, partner and co-founder at ATX Venture Partners. “Deposits delivers on the promise with a low-code platform that literally any credit union or product brand can use. Combine that with the team Joseph has put together, its compelling mission and impressive early traction, and it was an easy decision to invest.”
Deposits partners with a range of networks, aggregators, program managers, and issuing banks to facilitate the issuance of payment cards, loans, and other financial products. These include Blue Ridge Bank, Juicefin, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, MX, Qolo, Sutton Bank, Visa, Mastercard, and others. Depending on the services required, Deposits select partners that provide the best fit for each customer.
Deposits earns revenue from a mix of interchange fees, originations, banking SaaS fees and interest, which it shares with its customers and partners. This ensures alignment around the usage of its products and reduces up-front risks for organisations starting to offer new banking services.
Deposits’ customer FRSH is dedicated to empowering people with criminal records by providing access to resources that improve quality of life. The organisation seeks to dismantle systemic barriers to employment mobility, including those surrounding acquiring bank accounts and earning credit. “Deposits helped us provide our community with banking services they desperately need,” said Danny Feldman, co-founder and CEO at FRSH. “We are thrilled to call them a partner and deeply believe in what they are doing.”
“Financially empowering people who share values is a core mission of credit unions across America and our focus on members drives trust in our brands,” said Renee Sattiewhite, President and CEO of the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC). “By making it simple for credit unions to deliver more sophisticated financial services, Deposits is ensuring more communities are included in opportunities to build wealth.”
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