Making banking services available gives retailers, brokerages and other companies another way to engage with customers, with the aim of building loyalty and keeping those customers within their ecosystems for longer. For customers, it can mean convenience and a better tech experience — but also extra costs and the potential for confusion. When you think about Google, Walgreens or H&R Block, what comes to mind is probably searching the web, picking up a prescription or getting your taxes done — not writing checks, building an emergency fund or setting up automatic bill payments. But these companies are part of a growing trend of nonbank brands offering banking services.
To be clear, these companies aren’t actually becoming banks. That would require obtaining a bank charter — a process that can be long and expensive and would subject the company to extra regulatory scrutiny, says Francisco Alvarez-Evangelista, a research associate at the Aite Group, a financial services analysis firm.
Source theindependent.com Instead, they are partnering with existing banks that are chartered and regulated and offer federal insurance for customer deposits. The partner banks handle the regulatory and security responsibilities and do the work of actually managing checking, savings and other accounts, while the companies focus on branding, marketing and customer engagement.
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