Marqeta business for banking
MArqeta CEO Jason Gardner announces Marqeta for Business on the Keynote stage at Money 2020, on Oct 24, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nv

Marqeta on the launch of banking as a service

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Jason Gardner, founder and CEO of Marqeta took to the main stage at Money 20/20 last week to announce the launch of banking as a service by Marqeta.

He said that the custom card company was providing fintech as a service before fintech was a word and now helps build banking services across 40 countries.

He said the new API would enable partners to offer a suite of banking products, from BNPL to early wage access, along with the typical banking products.

“We’ve taken the benefits that make Marqeta modern card issuing and open API, the ability to create cards, whether credit, debit, prepaid, and refined that experience for companies to support their core business,” Gardner said.

“Marqeta for banking underpins different tools, ACH, for example. It has the ability to give customers control down to the user or transaction level, early access to funds, and more examples that bring in the strengths of Marqeta.”

The shift to custom banking is already here

He said that after leading the way toward custom credit cards, the team saw the next shift toward custom-built banking.

Gardner gave the example of his 14-year-old daughter, who said she wanted to recycle it when given a debit card. Gen Z and the younger generation expect a single device for payments, banking, and everything else; a generation of instant access to everything he called the TikTok generation.

Marqeta booth at Money 20/20
The Marqeta booth was busy.

“Her experience, which I refer to as the TikTok generation, is very different. The bank is on a mobile device and doubles as a payment device. If we think about the next generation of financial services, the possibilities are endless,” Gardner said.

“This Gen Z TikTok generation wants everything in an instant, they want to carry one device, and they don’t want cash, they don’t want plastic, but ultimately what attracts her is a very well-designed consumer experience.”

Like it or not, he said, this is the next generation of customers, financial institutions, and Marqeta, and with that announced Marqeta for banking, with a suite of classic banking features.

Marqeta Jason Gardner on stage
Gardner, on stage with guests Paige Fitzgerald (center) and Brandon Krieg (Right) at Money 2020, on October 24, 2022, in Las Vagas, Nev. | Kevin Travers

More from Randy Kern, CTO

Randy Kern sat down with Fintech Nexus at the Venetian Casino complex to talk about the flourish of news the firm released at the event.

He called the banking push a natural evolution for the company and brand from more than a decade of providing composable and innovation-friendly cards.

Randy Kern, CTO of Marqeta, headshot
Randy Kern, CTO of Marqeta

“With Marqeta for banking, we’ve taken that same ethos, the same idea of open APIs, cloud-hosted platforms, composability, of kind of giving developers and innovators on our platform very fine-grained control without building it from the ground up,” Kern said.

Using the Marqeta card tools, firms created an ecosystem of use cases, from BNPL to loyalty rewards and gig wage agent spending.

“Whether you have consumers who are cardholders, whether they’re agents on your behalf, like in a DoorDash or something that adds to that kind of domain. There are so just many unique and interesting use cases and market segments that were unlocked from this platform and this capability,” Kern said.

Firms already using it

By Wednesday, they broke that they would power a Visa Debit card with blockchain.com, with a 1% cash back in crypto rewards feature. They also opened a Digital Bank for Raiffen Centrobank using the new banking tech, adding to a growing list along with Coinbase, Branch, and Fold.

Kern, a tech industry native but newly minted member of the fintech world, said he pivoted in 2020 and left Salesforce because when it comes down to it, Marqeta is a company you can talk about at the dinner table.

“That’s something everyone at the dinner table understands and kind of understands the importance of,” he said. “I got to know Jason a bit. I got to know the board better, the rest of the management team, a great group of folks on a compelling mission.”

He said the banking move was also a sign of the times: personal banking with embedded options is not the future; it’s the present. Meeting customers where they already are is vital, he said.

“You know, if I think about personal finance for our B2C customers or consumer segments, the sort of extreme personalization but this idea that you don’t go to a traditional bank very often anymore,” Kern said. “Take the world of financial services to meet you where you probably already are: on your phone or embedded in some other experience that’s near and dear to your heart.”

Across 40 countries and more to come

He said the troubles with offering banking products across borders are regulation and currency changes. In the past decade, while traveling internationally, he had to go to a money changer with cash in hand, and today cards and sightless changing fees are the norms.

“So it’s really kind of amazing. How just as broad and well connected as the industry has become, so you know, there’s still a lot of challenges to support a lot of markets,” he said.

An example is the blockchain.com crypto cash debit card, he said.

“It’s another customer building on top of our platform, doing things we would never have thought about before,” he said. That’s what he said he loves about fintech.

“I was sitting at that table just a few hours ago talking to another customer about interesting, innovative things we want to do together,” he said. “Getting ideas from our customers about what they want to do, and how we can make innovation easier and easier, and open up more avenues for them to meet their customers and grow their businesses.”

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  • Kevin Travers

    Intensely energetic news reporter asking questions covering the collision between Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and everywhere in-between. Studied history at the University of Delaware, learned to write at the Review, and debanked. Email kevin@lendit.com with story ideas, questions, or to say hello.