Credit Sesame completes the acquisition of challenger bank

Credit Sesame today announced the completion of its acquisition of Canadian challenger bank STACK. This acquisition marks the beginning of the company’s international expansion. Credit Sesame and STACK began a partnership in late 2019, marrying Credit Sesame’s deep credit expertise and STACK’s innovative digital banking services to create Sesame Cash, a new kind of no-fee digital banking service that helps consumers grow their cash and credit together in one place.

Credit Sesame began rolling out Sesame Cash to a limited number of existing customers in March and, after two months of a successful pilot, opened up general availability in mid-May. More than 200,000 customers have signed up for Sesame Cash in less than a month, and the demand continues to surge with thousands of new accounts per day, putting Credit Sesame among the fastest growing digital banking service providers in the U.S. Credit Sesame has more than 15 million members, and 62 percent have expressed interest in Sesame Cash for better cash and credit management.

“Together with STACK, we are combining the power of smart banking and AI-driven credit management to create a new kind of personal finance,” said Adrian Nazari, CEO and founder, Credit Sesame. “How much cash you have, and how and when you use your cash, have a big impact on your credit. Adding cash management to our credit platform was a natural next step to better help consumers manage their overall financial health, and it creates a unique benefit for our consumers and financial partners.”

This acquisition is the first step toward Credit Sesame’s international business expansion plans. Later this year, Credit Sesame’s credit services will be integrated with STACK’s digital banking offering to bring cash and credit management to Canadian consumers and is positioned to lead the market in Canada.

All STACK employees have been seamlessly integrated into Credit Sesame, including former CEO Miro Pavletic (now General Manager, Canadian & International Business), former COO Nicolas Dinh (now General Manager, Digital Banking Business), and former CPO Ranjit Sarai (now Vice President, Digital Banking Products). Canada-based employees will continue to work out of the existing STACK offices in Toronto

“Credit Sesame and STACK share the belief that technology can help democratize access to smarter services and stronger support to help consumers achieve financial wellness,” said Pavletic. “We’re excited to join the Credit Sesame team to help consumers in the U.S. and Canada keep as much of their money in their pockets as possible, help them grow their credit, and give them access to the right credit products at the right time.”

With the addition of Sesame Cash, Credit Sesame helps consumers’ cash work for their credit and their credit work for their cash, guiding consumers to achieve better financial stability and wellness. More than half of U.S. consumers live paycheck to paycheck and make daily decisions regarding their cash and credit use. Credit Sesame can now help those consumers by applying data science and AI-driven analytics to help them grow their cash and credit. The company can also better match consumers with credit and loan products from its large base of financial partners.

Sesame Cash offers the benefits of Credit Sesame’s deep credit expertise and Mastercard’s trusted debit card to provide a unique solution for the millions of consumers living paycheck to paycheck. With Sesame Cash, customers can gain access to first-of-a-kind and unique credit-centric benefits, including free daily credit score refreshes, cash rewards for improving their own credit, and $1 million in credit and identity protection. Other banking features include early payday, real-time transaction notifications, easy access to their funds through a Mastercard no-fee contactless debit card, Mastercard Zero Liability protection, direct deposit, the ability to freeze or unfreeze the debit card in-app, and virtual card integration with most major mobile wallets.

Over the next few months, Credit Sesame will roll out several new features and resources designed to help consumers manage and grow their cash and credit faster, which the company expects to further accelerate customer demand. These include a smart bill pay service, savings roundup of transactions to save or pay down debt, and additional rewards programs and credit-building features.

Author: Lauren Towner

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