EXCLUSIVE: Stride Bank, Payfare and DoorDash are up to something

An industry insider has exclusively revealed to us that Stride Bank, (formerly known as the Central National Bank of Enid) has just completed a long-term deal with Payfare and food delivery service DoorDash. With the ink still drying, and the (virtual) handshakes still warm… What could this triumphant trio be conjuring up? 

Our source has hinted that there may be plans underway to offer exclusive bank accounts to DoorDash drivers, known as “Dashers”. This adds up nicely as Payfare and Stride Bank have a history of collaborating in this way. It was only last year that they made a similar deal with driver-service Lyft, which could shed some light on the situation.  

There are certainly some similarities between driving people around and driving food around, so my money is on a near-identical set-up. If this turns out to be case and history repeats itself, what could Dashers be looking forward to?

Working with Lyft, Stride Bank and Payfare created an all-in-one app known as Lyft Direct, which Lyft drivers use to navigate client journeys and get paid. The transactions are instant, so they can enjoy real-time payments – and as account holders they get a bunch of tailored perks too. The extras include things like getting cash-back at gas stations and discounts on rental cars, as well as a few restaurant deals too. 

So far, the app seems to have gone down pretty well, earning a 4.6-star rating on Google Play. One nuanced difference between the DoorDash deal and Lyft Direct is that this time around they’re apparently working with Visa, not MasterCard. Whether there’s anything juicy there remains to be seen – it could have just been a matter of bidding and tendering, or maybe something based on feedback. For now, we don’t know. 

The other thing to consider is why they’ve targeted Dashers specifically. It seems like Payfare have already worked with the food delivery service before, based on the logo on their website, so it may be that the pair enjoy a good relationship already.  

Another possible explanation would be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has not been kind to cabs and drivers. Food delivery services, on the other hand, are experiencing a rare boost. According to a recent blog by DoorDash CEO Tony Xu,Dasher earnings have increased by $5 per active hour, compared to this time last year, and Dashers are averaging over $22 per active hour over the past week [as of April 3] nationally”. In addition, Dashers can now keep their tips, (after the scandal last year was brought to light), which some employees report are also on the increase. So, it is becoming clear that these Dashers have a little more money to spend nowadays. This may explain why Stride Bank and Payfare are eager to tap into this traditionally underserved market, with a similar model to Lyft Direct. 

If that’s the case, then a bigger picture hangs in the air – what other exclusive e-banking perks can we expect in the future? Are key workers finally getting the banking attention they deserve which works around their busy schedules and spending habits? Could this be the end of the nine-to-five in-branch bank accounts for more people? The socio-economic impacts and outcomes of the COVID-19 epidemic could be more far-reaching than we imagined. 

Author: Eleanor Hazelton