Magazine article American Banker

Green Dot Moves Further into Bank Turf with Mobile App

Magazine article American Banker

Green Dot Moves Further into Bank Turf with Mobile App

Article excerpt

Byline: Sean Sposito

After months of internal testing, GreenDot (GDOT) is rolling out a beta version of its mobile consumer checking account, the aptly named GoBank.

The launch of the iPhone and Android app is the culmination of several acquisitions, including the purchase of Bonneville Bancorp in Provo, Utah (now Green Dot Bank) and geolocation company Loopt.

The test puts the prepaid card company in the same league as Simple (formerly BankSimple), which is itself in beta; Movenbank, which plans to launch in late February; and American Express, which is marketing its Bluebird fee-less, prepaid account with Walmart.

What sets GreenDot apart, asserts chief executive Steve Streit, is the company isn't relying on a third party to hold its customers' deposits.

"We are a bank, and this is a bank-issued checking account. It is a real, FDIC-insured bank account," he says, alluding to Bluebird, which is not backed by the independent federal agency, and Simple, which keeps its customers' deposits with The Bancorp Bank. "That's different."

As of Tuesday morning, people were able to sign up for the beta launch at "The whole team is set up to hit 'clear, clear, clear,' says GoBank spokesman Quinn Daly. Green Dot will be accepting "a few thousand" initial users, says Streit.

After being accepted into the program, beta testers will be given a confirmation and be able to download the app at the Apple or Google app store.

GoBank customers will be given access to two buckets of money -- a Money Vault, a type of savings account where users can sock away cash in an effort to save, and a regular checking account.

In addition to Green Dot's ATM network and mobile check deposit, people will also be able to send cash to others via text message or even through Facebook. Those receiving cash will be able to either open their own GoBank accounts or get the money through PayPal, says Streit. …

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