Blue Ridge Bank has partnered with financial technology company Aeldra Financial to launch a new mobile neobank.
The Virginia-based neobank will target customers in countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa that have cross-border banking needs in the US.
“Aeldra meets a significant need in today’s banking environment,” said Brian Plum, president and CEO of Blue Ridge Bank. He added that the new services would “provide unprecedented financial access to an underserved segment”.
Neobanks do not offer any physical retail branches, instead reaching their digitally native customers online or via mobile technology.
Users of the Blue Ridge/Aeldra service will be able to make transactions, get account documents, and access their credit scores through the mobile banking platform.
Aeldra offers interest-bearing accounts with debit cards and mortgage loans, all of which are backed by Blue Ridge Bank’s traditional financial infrastructure.
Aeldra plans to offer other products such as credit cards in the near future, it said.
“The US continues to attract the best and brightest from across the world,” said Sukeert Shanker, founder and CEO of Aeldra. “They deserve seamless access to US financial services.
“However, the simple act of opening a bank account without a social security number is challenging, as is getting approved for a credit card or loan. Our special partnership with Blue Ridge Bank aims to close the accessibility gap.”
In recent weeks, regulators and industry bodies have made efforts to address varies groups and communities that are unserved or underserved by banks.
Since the pandemic, trends in bank consolidation have left many communities without access to bank branches. Many premises were forced to close to customers temporarily to slow the spread of the virus.
The industry has argued that poorly tailored regulations have deterred new banks from filling this gap.