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Varo Becomes First Consumer Fintech to Land a National Charter

  • CEO calls it ‘a very exciting moment’ in the banking industry
  • Fintechs’ entry into the system has met with push-back
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Source: Varo

Varo Money Inc. Chief Executive Officer Colin Walsh encountered skepticism when his technology startup set out five years ago to become a full-service digital bank. “Yeah, right, good luck with that,” he recalled a future partner saying.

Now Varo is the first consumer fintech to receive a new national bank charter from the U.S. government -- joining only a handful of recipients since the 2008 financial crisis. The feat, announced by the San Francisco-based firm Friday, lets the company offer a full range of services backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.