Visa, Others Put Big Cash Into Mobile Banking Powerhouse solarisBank

March 12, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Mobile banking has gained a lot of ground over the years, in some cases to the point where banks are shutting down physical branches and rerouting customers to mobile apps instead. While this has shown some signs of reversing, especially lately, there’s still quite a bit of demand for mobile banking options. We see this clearly in the recent conclusion of a Series B funding round staged by solarisBank, one that netted 56.6 million euros, or just shy of $70 million US.

Fintech maker Finleap is behind solarisBank’s development, and with almost 60 corporate clients putting its capability to work, it’s clear that there’s a lot to like on this front. With this latest Series B, though, the company has pulled in investment on several fronts, including no less than credit card titan Visa itself.

That’s not all, however; BBVA, a major figure in Spain’s banking scene, was one of the big contributors in this round, and this following its recent expansion of its own investment in the UK’s challenger bank known as Atom. The ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund also joined in, among several other investors who increased current investment levels in Finleap and solarisBank’s growth. BBVA is actually the second largest investor in the company besides Finleap itself, which holds around 30 percent of current shares. All other investors hold less than 10 percent individually.

Reports suggest that solarisBank will be putting its resources to work in expanding its slate of offerings, which are already substantial. The system allows for not only digital banking and card use, but also e-money operations, and even lending and deposits. This last suggests a major presence; taking deposits is one thing, but extending loans often requires a level of red tape that deters many casual efforts.

Still, it’s clear that mobile banking is gaining a lot of ground. Banks like it for the vastly lowered overhead and customers seem to like it for the round-the-clock convenience it offers. While there’s still clearly a place for the branch—just ask the boomers, Generation X and Generation Z what they think on that topic—with millennials so clearly engaged in online and mobile, bulking up that presence will be vital going forward. It looks like solarisBank will be a substantial part of that effort.