Podcast 348: Stuart Sopp of Current

I would argue that few if any digital bank CEOs were thinking seriously about crypto back in 2015. Fewer still were thinking they should start a digital bank with the goal of incorporating crypto opportunities into the very fabric of their bank. And none would be so crazy as to create their own banking core from scratch with crypto very much central to this process.

Our next guest on the Fintech One-on-One podcast is Stuart Sopp, the CEO and founder of Current. He did all those things and now he leads one of the fastest-growing digital banks in the country. And they are poised to take full advantage of the many opportunities that crypto and DeFi provide.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • The founding story of Current and the role that crypto played.
  • How their product offerings have evolved.
  • Why they decided to build their own banking core from scratch.
  • What their partnership with Acala is about.
  • How they are going to enable their customer to access DeFi.
  • Why there is a narrow window to onboard people into DeFi.
  • How they partner with MrBeast and approach influencer marketing.
  • The different ways they make influencer marketing work.
  • The scale they are at today.
  • The digital banking trends that Stuart is paying closest attention to right now.
  • Who Current is actually competing against.
  • Stuart’s vision for Current.

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Download a PDF of the Transcription or Read it Below

Welcome to the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, Episode No. 348. This is your host, Peter Renton, Chairman and Co-Founder of LendIt Fintech.

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Before we get started, I want to talk about the 10th Annual LendIt Fintech USA event. We are so excited to be back in the financial capital of the world, New York City, in person on May 25th and 26th. It feels like fintech is on fire right now with so much change happening and we’ll be distilling all that for you at New York’s biggest fintech event of the year. We have our best line-up of keynote speakers ever with leaders from many of the most successful fintechs and incumbent banks. This is shaping up to be our biggest event ever as sponsorship support is off the charts. You know, you need to be there so find out more and register at lendit.com

Peter Renton: Today on the show, I’m delighted to welcome Stuart Sopp, he is the CEO and Founder of Current. Now Current is a super interesting company, they are one of the largest digital banks in the fintech space and, I would argue, one of the most interesting companies in all of fintech. A lot of things I didn’t realize before starting research on this episode, Current actually built their own core banking system and that, to me, was super interesting in and of itself. 

Stuart gets into the reasons why they did that and interestingly enough, they are also putting a lot of effort into blockchain and DeFi, we talk about that in depth as well. We talk about influencer marketing which is, I’d say this, probably no other company in fintech quite doing as much influencer marketing as Current. They’d really been doing this for years now and I think that’s super interesting as well. Stuart talks about, you know, the banking landscape, the competitive landscape that they operate in and what the vision is for the future of Current. It was a fascinating episode, hope you enjoy the show.

Welcome to the podcast, Stuart!

Stuart Sopp: Thanks for having me, Peter.

Peter: My pleasure. So, let’s get started by giving the listeners a little bit of background about yourself. You have had, I would say, an interesting career working with some of the biggest names in finance so give us some of the highlights.

Stuart: Yeah, some of the highlights, probably lowlights now (both laugh) given where the market is. I was a trader for many years, I was a foreign exchange short term interest trader, started off in Forwards in 1999, moved within a few centers, London, Sydney, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and then New York in banks like Deutsche Bank, you know, that used to be a good name, (Peter laughs) good days when I was there, maybe not so much now, all these Russian sanctions and then Citi and Morgan Stanley most recently. I resigned from that previous life around 2014.

Peter: You next gig was Current, right, so tell us a little bit about the founding story there, what did you see?

Stuart: Towards the end of my financial career trading, managing traders, those kind of things, I got introduced to Bitcoin, the white paper, from the now CTO. I was a young man then, he’s definitely not anymore and he showed the white paper in 2010/211 and so being a currency guy, being interested in macro trading really unlocked a few things for me. One is access to banking, two is that banking was fundamentally going to change, we went from, I believed then okay, we’re going digital money, we had digital money, fiat money is digital 30/40 years, but programmable money and it’s going to be really, really interesting how it’s going to be this next leap and it’s like sovereign, right, so it’s cross border and all this other stuff. Being an FX guy, I was like wow, I want to get involved in this so really I came out trying to find a problem to solve around crypto really. That was really what I was trying to do and crypto in those days was just Bitcoin and Ripple and we just were on the eye of Ethereum that just came out in 2013. 

And so, really the beginning of Current was like okay, there’s like a bunch of problems like access to banking, value that the incumbent banking system was going to yield for most people over the next 10/20 years and sort of like a the fairness of it, I guess and then the wealth inequality that was a part of, right, building the efficiency mechanism of this monetary policy system and part of that and how that was driving a wedge through society as well. And so, there was an opportunity to create a company that could maybe take advantage of some new tech, solve some of the legacy problems of people who weren’t included and then maybe try to make a bit of a difference in the right direction (laughs) for a while. 

Peter: Right. We’ll get into crypto in a little bit, but I want to maybe just start with maybe you can describe your existing product suite today.

Stuart: We built our own banking core bank, you know, we started that in 2015/2016 and that’s highly unusual compared to maybe our competitors. In fact, almost all banks rent their core, right, so, you know, they don’t really do that. We did this out of necessity primarily, but also because looking at the future and understanding about a multi-product strategy would be really necessary encompassing both traditional finance and this new thing, blockchain stuff. We recognized that we probably have to own a lot of our own tech and so we went about building that and so Current is built, it’s foundational level on our own core and technology which is really, really exciting yields, cost advantages as well as product innovation I just mentioned. 

So, we started off with 18 products in 2017, turns out when you’re building your banking core you need to build a lot of things and so we weren’t ready for prime time, we needed to find a cohort to prove everything on so our investors and also because parents in their teens really were left out of the existing banking infrastructure due to high cost and all that stuff. And so, we launched that and then our full checking account product launched two years later in 2019 which is earned wage access product which means that we’re really focusing on young adults, people who are 25 to 32, somewhere there who were working paycheck-to-paycheck, who have been left out and don’t feel welcome in the existing banking network using cash, pre-paid, things like that and banks obviously not making that intentionally actively omitting this demographic, but really just not welcoming them because they have high fixed costs, it’s really hard to sort of square that round hole for a lot of banks when they’re really focusing on deposits. 

It’s a spend experience, right, and so your business model has to be fundamentally different and so we started in the spend model when we started with people who were really overlooked. collateralized differently, who weren’t really savers and so that was the bread and butter of Current for the last three/four years, we’ve grown a decent amount and only recently have we started stretching our legs into a slightly more affluent demographic with our high yield savings that got launched in January.

Peter: Right, right. So, I just want to go back to the banking core because, as you say, it’s not very typical. I don’t know of any digital bank that has decided to undertake such a process, such a massive project. You must have spent like the first what two to three years just with engineers doing coding, you were a trader, you didn’t have any knowledge, I presume, in core banking systems, tell us a little bit about that process.

Stuart: You’re right, totally unqualified is probably where you’re going (both laugh).

Peter: I wasn’t going to say that.

Stuart: And you’d be right, you’d be right. I think when it comes to like big step function changes you need to know enough to be dangerous, but not everything, otherwise, you’d never do it. You ask anyone in the existing banking industry of they’d like to build a core and it’d be a unanimous no because they know too much, right, and we didn’t know enough.

Peter: Right.

Stuart: Because we were playing in this blockchain space, we understood the power of open source/open ledger technology as well as the ability to program contracts and all the rest. We recognize that, you know, most of the regulation sits in the incumbent industry and the incumbent financial system and so there’s going to be gearing mechanism whereby for most people, a debit card or a credit card worked perfectly fine, it really worked, it’s fine in merchants, in stores and the rest of it. But, when you wanted to go into sort of more complicated, maybe cross border or international type things which most people, most domestic consumers don’t really access, you’re going to need this new system and so making sure that they talk together was really a paramount sort of consideration for us. 

What we didn’t realize obviously at that time was this was a ginormous project (laughs) unlike, you know, the unknown unknowns were like quite large. And so, when it comes to trading, you’re managing traders as a manager aspect, engineers are very similar to traders and I’ve worked with them years ago when I first sort of came over, highly competent and functional, but at the same time sort of unwieldy in a group to manage and they have their own performance metrics and they want to do what they want to do, very similar to traders. And so, I felt very comfortable sort of wrangling very highly talented individuals to build something that was exceptional so in terms of like the high level, it felt very similar in terms of the details, it was completely orthogonal.

Peter: Right. We’ll start talking about the blockchain piece because it was recently that I saw that you have a partnership with Acala, I think I’m saying that right, moving into DeFi so just explain exactly what you’re doing there.

Stuart: So, Polkadot system is considered the layer zero above all these other layer-1s so layer zero, layer-1. So, Polkadot is an interchain product whereby it will move assets and value between these other chains. you’ve heard of these other chains like the Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, things like that. And so, those things have network effects that will then have apps and sort of layer-2s that will be built on top which the consumers will interface with, most values sitting at the l-1 right now, and most people are finding it very hard to switch between all those and so Polkadot is right up there with, you know, helping us understand and navigate between all these networks. 

Acala is a decentralized app whereby you can do DeFi things, we can go into it later, but there’s exceptional value compared to the income of a financial network although there is some other risk which we’re obviously trying to scope as we go forward. This is an extremely complex, emergent, nascent technology, but it is being built and it is going to change how we do things. And so, you know, the biggest concern I have is, right now, in the old world, we are facilitating networks so we are bridging the Fed wire, ACH incumbent banking payment system, that’s what we’re connecting to through our partner banks. We’re also connecting to Visa and our secondary networks through the products, through merchants in facilitating payments and this is extremely complicated systems where there’s lots of value in that chain all sort of pulling in different points making sure that the customer experience is seamless and they’re getting exactly what they want. 

Payments, as you know, is extremely complicated and, you know, it’s like to tip of the iceberg, the actual thing thing at the end takes years and years and years to perfect and get right. Of course, now we’re seeing multiples of these networks emerge and they’re all going to be doing different things, well, most of them are going to be global, not all of them and so making sure that we’re part of those networks is what we’re about so we running validators on Polkadot and things like that. That’s very similar to us being part of the Visa network, the best analogy I can give.

Peter: Obviously, you’re a centralized organization, you’re a corporation so are you planning on being like a bridge to DeFi for your users so they can maybe go out and borrower money through the decentralized networks, you know, go out on the compound or places like that? What’s your vision there?

Stuart: Exactly. So, it’s still emerging and just the same way we bridge the banking network to the card network so you can take your money from your employer and go pay for stuff in McDonald’s, whatever it is. These networks will have very specific use cases of which we will then facilitate, DeFi being one of them. So, you remember sec lending, securities lending, right, you have a high interest in the risk-free rate, there are some element of contract coding risk, some element of liquidity risk, but pretty small given the technology and so, obviously DeFi enables this, enables it basically in lending whereby you’re lending out either some of your crypto assets or you’re borrowing dollars, or some form of Stablecoin against them and so they are providing in a world whereby the incumbent financial system has negative real interest rates, right, so negative value. 

The longer you leave that system, the more purchasing power you lose, but these are exceptions and of course, inflation reported 7/8%, right, when really like for some people it’s 15 or 18% when depending on that basket of goods or whatever you consume. And so, having an access to something that can even just tread water, I think it’s extremely powerful and we need simplicity and ease of access to something like that and it’s not part of this incumbent network, right, and that’s the whole point of it that’s why there’s exceptional value and so making sure that we can get people who need it the most, who have little savings, but could hopefully stay still if not make a bit of money on these tumultuous times, I think it’s really, really important.

Peter: I‘ve dabbled in DeFi and I wouldn’t call myself an expert. It’s kind of painful to go out and try and do some of these things that everyone talks about on Twitter that is like staking different tokens and trying to earn yield and then you’re paying all these gas fees. It’s reminded me of the days of, you know, I’m old enough to remember DOS, MS-DOS, going from DOS to Windows and it reminds me of those days where you’ve got to know what you’re doing. if you’ve got to command line prompt, you’ve got to know what you’re doing and same with DeFi. What I thought would happen when I got into this, it will be just as easy as making a stock trade or something, but it is not that so it’s part of your thesis about being that on ramp?

Stuart: So, you’ve nailed it. There’s no shortage of people highlighting the same problems where the web people get sort of stuck. That’s the reason most of stuff is built in that way is because it’s by engineers for engineers.

Peter: Right.

Stuart: So, it’s extremely complicated and it’s the same in the 90s with DOS, it was by engineers for engineers, right. And so, what unlocked it obviously was, you know, Steve Jobs and Apple with the GUI and the mouse and making sure that the user interface and the simplicity of choice with that, that was a real unlock. And then, you had things like AOL which basically monolined the Internet and said the Internet is a really complicated thing and you don’t understand it so here is the Internet in a box, you just turn it on and you have AOL and a lot of that stuff. 

We’re in this era whereby there is an opportunity to simplify the user interface, there is an opportunity to have walled gardens even in the short term, we even see it with some of these networks like Solana or things like that, but effectively centralized and it will be a very narrow window as we’ve seen, right. You have a narrow window of like five to ten years, whatever it is, whereby you are onboarding the majority of Americans, the majority of these things, this new world should be able to understand it and I think Current, you know, has been purposefully, deliberately built so that we can take full ownership of the strategy.

Peter: Really interesting. As you say, you’ve built a company that’s way back….it wasn’t an obvious move back in 2015/2016, that’s for sure.

Stuart: You should ask most of my investors. (both laugh) I don’t think anyone thought I was that smart.

Peter: Right. Okay. Well, I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about influencer marketing because this is something that I was really interested about. I’ve got a 13-year old girl who plays Minecraft and is a huge fan of many of the YouTubers including Mr. Beast and I think I heard a podcast a while back with one of your people talking about how Current is the reason MrBeast does what he does from what I’ve gathered which is give away money basically, just gives away money and he’s doing very, very well. He gives away like serious money, you’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars sometimes and if the listeners don’t know about MrBeast, just Google him. you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. He’s super young, he’s in his early 20’s, I think, so tell us about your partnership with MrBeast and influencer marketing in general.

Stuart: You hit on all the salient points there. Adam Hardy, he runs Marketing here, he gave Jimmy Donaldson, his real name, MrBeast, his first $10,000, he gave it to a homeless person on a YouTube channel many, many years ago and so whilst it wasn’t Current, it was definitely like an active Current employee right now so he’s being formative. Adam has been formative in Jimmy’s life and he’s been formative in growing our influencer marketing strategy. So, when you’re dealing with the product offering that we have in teens and sort of young adults, 28-year olds, we were looking at strategies of basically getting eyeballs, right, getting attention. Now, this is a world in which you have a 13-year old daughter, I have a 12-year old daughter so very similar, getting their attention is impossible, right, the noise level (laughs). 

Apart from being a dad of a 12 or 13-year old daughter which is already hald, but the noise barrier for piercing anyone’s sort of bubble in terms of getting their attention is extremely hard now because we’re sort of bombarded by multiple channels multiple times a day. What ends up happening I think is we’re in this attention deficit sort of era whereby only very few trusted people can ever break through, maybe 8 or 9 for each person, that’s really like the core idea. And so, we were like okay, who would stretch all the way down to….we have a team, 13 to 18, totally free, parents sign up on all the rest of it to get their kids on there, we’ve got this 18 to let’s call it 35-year old earned wage access product, who could bridge both of those two products and be trusted, wouldn’t feel cheesy, who would actually believe in the product, the mission of the company to improve financial outcomes for people. 

And so, you know, talking to Adam early days, I was just like I love what he was doing, he was with another company at that time and I was very patiently trying to snipe him out of that company and so he joined us like three years ago. I think it was the other day, he’s built up this amazing team, sort of world-class team, pioneering team in influencer marketing. The way I would describe influencer marketing, this is not anyone else’s analogy, is like the difference between fracking and oil drilling. You’re in the Mexican Gulf, right, and you’ve got like the Shell oil rig and it’s just drilling, that’s Facebook, that’s Facebook and it’s just like, you know, it’s expensive to start up the rest of it, but once you get going you know what your flow is, you’ve got it. 

Well, influencer marketing is like fracking, there’s multiple wells, overall the cost is much, much higher, like sales relationship and really get aligned with each one, but this untold, unknown amount of sort of oil that can be out there, but if you’re good at it, you can really make it sort of work for you and you have to have the right demographic. Don’t get me wrong, if your average age of your target demo is like 55 years old, it’s not going to work, right, it’s not going to work so we just happen to have the right product, the right stuff for this to work and so we do extremely well, one of our most cost efficient, most active channels and also it’s cool, let’s be honest. Facebook, right. No, I don’t want to disparage them, but it kind of sucks, right, it kind of sucks (Peter laughs), you know, you’re sort of interrupting someone’s like Instagram scrolling thing whereas this is like it’s content, we’re sponsoring content and people like getting content for the money that we’re putting to work and it’s cool, that’s cool.

Peter: So, can you just tell an example of exactly what you’re doing. I mean, my daughter told me sometimes you are giving away like $20 or $50 or something to open up an account, I mean, what exactly are you doing and any metrics you could share would be fantastic.

Stuart: So, with MrBeast, Jimmy has a specific deal with us, but like per video will cost X amount and then there will be various contractual things that will enable, you know, sign-ups and all the rest of it. Typically, he’ll do a video so that X amount of money will basically pay for the video or most of it, his videos are extremely expensive, it goes once every whatever. This is say for almost every influencer and so they need some money to buy the Lamborghini that they’re going to torch (both laugh) on the underground, they’re going to give away, whatever the stunt is, you know, this is, again, attention, it’s grabbing attention, making sure it’s great content on the rest of it so really that money is doing that. 

And then, there is the sell, the upsell, you know, either putting it into the content. We’ve had other influencers who have done long format content videos which are phenomenal, right, and Current is sort of weaved into it as they get the card out of the gas station and whatever it is. And so, all these things are different strategies in making us, you know, a trusted brand that is the perfectly natural part of life, then there’s the usual referral bonuses or whatever it is and typically, we’ll move between value props and what we’re trying to offer at various terms. Obviously, we have high yield interest right now, we have crypto coming in a year, in a month, hopefully, it’s not a year and so as we go into these new partnerships there will be, you know, highlighting different value coming forward. And so, that’s generally how it works.

Peter: Right. So, how many different influencers do you work with?

Stuart: I think we did about a thousand videos in 2021 which just basically is a thousand influencers.

Peter: Wow! So, obviously there’s a long tail there, right, because MrBeast, my daughter said has 90 million subscribers now, that’s obviously a massive audience. but there’s plenty of the one million subscriber mark, right?

Stuart: There’s a lot and so you get the long tail so as more people join, you know, they see all the videos so there’s all that stuff, it’s a bit like TV in that way, right, or if you sponsor a sports team and they win a championship, you kind of have this evergreen sort of thing going on and it’s the same for us with influencers. When we sponsor an influencer, you know, like Adam’s done with Jimmy and you do it early and they end up breaking out, well then that’s just this crazy evergreen thing that’s always going to be there. You’re not just part like a sponsor, you’re also part of history, you’re also part of the story and I think there’s just extra value that’s brand value. It’s pretty hard to nail that price down, but it’s something more.

Peter: Right, right, fair enough, okay. So, can you give us a sense of the scale you guys are at today, I mean, anything you can share about, you know, number of accounts just any kind of metrics.

Stuart: Yes. So, we’re nearly four million, we’re late threes in our products, yeah, it’s been crazy. 2020 was a very generous year to us because everyone was staying at home and obviously branch networks were struggling and we’re sort of optimized for that future, the future that brought forward towards us. 2021 started as an amazing great year, but you saw people start to return to normal and there was more competition, there was a lot more competition and you’re starting to see it in some of the public companies, PayPal and things like that. 

Those are the kind of numbers and the kind of years we’ve had. 2022 will be dictated and sort of dominated by product releases, multi-product strategy and making sure that we can get into multiples. I’d love over the next couple of years to get to sort of 10/15 million to open accounts that would be great, that’s where I’m trying to get to in the double digits there and that will only come because, you know, we have new products, new revenue streams and we’re able to create a holistic product that makes sense and there’s sort of exceptional value with some of the parts versus those individual ones being in other places.

Peter: Right, right, okay. So then, maybe we can take a step back for a minute, I’d love to get your sense on the digital banking landscape today. You just said it’s got more competitive, you know, there’s also just lots of new products, feels like changes are happening faster than ever, what are the trends that you’re paying closest attention to?

Stuart: You know, with the B2B2C market plus all the newer entrants who have all come in the last two years, I think 20% of what VC does was fintech in 2021, something like that. So, what you’re going to see and the way I describe this, I’m sorry for listeners that are not into Bitcoin, but like the difficulty, right, in the hash power has gone up so we have more and more money going into the system and so this necessitates an order of magnitude higher of customer value, otherwise, it doesn’t make any sense, there’s no way that that all can work. And so, you’re seeing the rise of the super app, one of the cheesier terms, it’s pretty bad, but what it really means is that superior value around engagement, superior value bigger than the sum of the parts and so that can only be done by truly constant and technical teams and people who really understand a lot of different things in fintech because if any corporate can now add a debit card to it, like just adding a debit card by definition doesn’t work and so you’re not solving any specific problem and so that’s the real trend. You can see it in the public markets, they’re all talking about the same things and you’ll see it in the private markets as well, with us, with everyone else going towards the same thing. 

I think the other trend given the macro backdrop, you know, and I would say it was going this way towards the end of 2021 and it’s definitely cementing it in 2022 is this move towards credit. I think a lot of people are getting into lending, the markets rewarding credit place and it’s a natural progression for most of these neobanks, including us, is that, you know, we’re already doing earned wage access, right, which is a very safe way of doing credit and so there’s a natural progression here of like okay, we’ve got all these models, these data models, we know a lot about a lot of people, how does it make sense for us to take this to the next step which is more traditional banking, right. And so, the banks, we’ve probably always feared it and so, not that I know anything, but I’d suggest that over the next few years you’ll see more and more credit products coming out.

Peter: Right, right. So then, when you look at the landscape of your target market, I’m mainly talking about not the teenagers, but the 18 to 35, is your primary competitor…do you think other fintechs, is it DeFi, is it traditional banks, who are you competing against?

Stuart: As noisy as it can get between other fintechs, it really is a very small proportion of our growth. So, 90% of our growth is our full checking account, 95% something like that and then in terms of our growth of that we are slightly different to some of our others competitors in the sense that we’ve onboarded people into the financial system so up until about last year, about 50% of all new accounts never had a bank account before.

Peter: Wow!

Stuart: Yeah, it’s crazy. So if you look at that unbanked number, the underserved number that…there are a dozen people who bash everyone over the head with, it’s going down because companies like Current, right, we have that mission, we’ve been doing it for five years, guess what, it’s working. You know, we haven’t traditionally run up against anyone, now going forward, we will be starting to bump up against the fear of our fintech buddies, our frenemies, but the majority of our growth has been from other banks so traditional large cap as well as some community. And so, there’s 9,000 banks, there’s 10,000 credit unions, I don’t want to sound facetious, but it’s kind of going one way, right, so everyone wants a more modern 24/7 fully complete financial services product, one-stop-shop that speaks to them in a language and a UX/UI that they can understand and they can get behind.

Peter: Right, right. That segueways into my last question there, I’m curious about your vision for Current because you’re a little different to the other neobanks that are out there, digital banks. You’ve got your own core and you’ve got a whole, feels like from what you’ve been saying, this sort of latent blockchain business that is about to potentially come forth, but what is your vision for Current?

Stuart: So, this is what you get when a foreign exchange and interest rate trader runs a financial services company (both laugh), this is what you get, if you ever wondered, this is what it looks like. You know, the vision for the company is well, I’d say the actual vision for the company is to connect the world financially through platform of new technologies, right, and so we’ve had that vision for seven years. And so, we haven’t gone to any new countries and we’re starting to plug-in those new technologies, right. 

When you think about, you know, earlier in our conversation, we are really simplifying access to networks, that’s really at the very highest level of what we’re doing, right, new technologies, new networks and so the vision of the company is to make sure that we provide no barrier to entry for all these new networks and all the old networks so that people can then do the things that they need to do to improve their financial outcome, right. So a lot of access to financial services, a lot of access to a better future have been not understanding what to do, not understanding their options and what they can do and basically having someone around to really sort of, you know, pushing and help you in these areas.

You know, it’s like auto lending or refis and all the rest of it, there’s a lot of traditional incumbent finance that is incentivized to give you a worst deal, right, it’s fairly incentivized that way. If people rely on politicians to create pressured regulations to banks rate, it’s just too slow, right, and so why not have a company that is fully aligned with the end user to get the most value to you in as quick a time as possible get your money to you. We can take with so low cost as a tech firm, we don’t have all the stuff, these fancy golf open to sponsors and all the rest. (laughs) We don’t have to do that, we don’t have any of that planned so we just want to make sure that we can improve financial lives and make sure that people participate in what is becoming the future right now which Current does now.

Peter: Right, right, that’s a great place to leave it. Well, Stuart, thank you so much for coming on the show today, it was great chatting with you.

Stuart: Thank you, Peter, it’s great to be here.

Peter: Well, so many interesting things there that I could really just dig into, but one thing I want to highlight is the thing that Stuart talked about, 50% of their customers are opening a bank account for the first time and they’re getting a really sophisticated, easy to use fintech platform that they’re going with and that’s where I feel like we’re at a point now where fintech has made the user experience so much better than it was even five years ago, certainly ten years ago that really anyone who wants a bank account is going to be able to get one and they’re going to be able to have a good experience. 

So, we talk about the unbanked and the underbanked a lot and fintech, to me, has really, I wouldn’t say 100% solved the problem, but, boy, we’re getting close to where we have the tools where people can open a bank account and take advantage of really sophisticated features that are simple and easy to use and a pleasure to use and that I think is going to make a huge difference in the economy of America and the world for that matter.

Anyway on that note, I will sign off. I very much appreciate you listening and I’ll catch you next time. Bye.

(music)

 Before we go, I want to talk about the 10th Annual LendIt Fintech USA event. We are so excited to be back in the financial capital of the world, New York City, in person on May 25th and 26th. It feels like fintech is on fire right now with so much change happening and we’ll be distilling all that for you at New York’s biggest fintech event of the year. We have our best line-up of keynote speakers ever with leaders from many of the most successful fintechs and incumbent banks. This is shaping up to be our biggest event ever as sponsorship support is off the charts. You know, you need to be there so find out more and register at lendit.com

  • Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.

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