Digital bank Varo Money has received a bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to operate as a bank across the United States.
The San Francisco-based fintech has also secured regulatory approvals from the FDIC and Federal Reserve to open Varo Bank N.A.
The national bank charter allows Varo to offer customers comprehensive, FDIC-insured banking services. The all-mobile fintech can also move to its new cutting-edge technology stack and innovate across a range of financial products.
“The ability to operate as a full-service national bank gives Varo more freedom to deliver the kind of innovation and allyship that many Americans have never had from their bank before,” said Colin Walsh, founder, and CEO of Varo Bank. “We are excited to lead a new wave of financial inclusion by offering fair, transparent, intelligent, and comprehensive financial services to all.”
Accounts with no fee or minimum balance
After officially launching digital banking services in July 2017, Varo quickly found product market fit providing a range of premium banking products in partnership with The Bancorp Bank.
These included industry-firsts such as Varo’s No-Fee Overdraft which allows qualified customers to overdraw their bank account up to $50 with no fees.
Varo also offers banking and savings accounts with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly account fees, as well as fee-free ATM withdrawals through a network of more than 55,000 Allpoint® ATMs worldwide.
Operating across the country under a single, uniform regulatory framework
With the national charter now in hand, the bank plans to expand its services to more holistically target a broader set of customer needs including financial resiliency, affordable access to credit, and easier management of volatile cash flows.
“Granting a national bank charter to Varo marks an evolution in banking and a new generation of banks, born from innovation and built on technology intended to empower consumers and businesses,” said Brian P. Brooks, Acting Comptroller for the Currency.
Each national bank charter granted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Brooks said, signifies the bank has survived a rigorous vetting and meets the standards and qualifications necessary for it to operate across the country under a single, uniform regulatory framework.