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Credit Sesame Launches Digital Bank Account

Financial health platform Credit Sesame announced this week it has launched Sesame Cash, a debit card aimed to help consumers reach financial stability while optimizing credit.

The San Francisco-based company, which sees 500,000 new members every month, said that more than five million of its existing members want a digital banking service that integrates their cash and credit. Sesame Cash does just that.

“Through the use of advanced machine learning and AI, we’ve helped millions of consumers improve and manage their credit. However, we identified the disconnect between consumers’ cash and credit—how much cash you have, and how and when you use your cash has an impact on your credit health,” said Credit Sesame Founder and CEO Adrian Nazari. “With Sesame Cash, we are now bridging that gap and unlocking a whole new set of benefits and capabilities in a new product category. This underscores our mission and commitment to innovation and financial inclusion, and the importance we place in working with partners who share the same ethos.”

The Sesame Cash account includes a fee-free Mastercard debit card with no overdraft fees, no minimum balance, and no service fees. Cardholders have free access to more than 55,000 ATMs, the option for early payday, real-time transaction notifications, the ability to freeze or unfreeze the debit card, and virtual card integration with other mobile wallets.

Unique to Credit Sesame’s bank account are daily credit score updates, cash rewards for credit score improvement, and free identity theft protection.

Future advancements include a billpay service that helps users lower their interest payment and pay down debt faster, a roundup autosave tool, rewards programs, and budgeting tools.

This move by Credit Sesame comes at a time when many fintechs are launching debit accounts and high yield savings accounts in order to compete with traditional financial institutions for not only consumer deposits but also mindshare. One of the company’s closest rivals, Credit Karma, launched a high interest savings account last October that yields 1.30% (down from 2.03% at launch).

Credit Sesame’s decision to offer a debit card instead of a high yield savings account will ultimately prove to be a winning strategy. Many fintechs that have launched high interest accounts in the past couple of years have little differentiation now that the U.S. Federal Reserve has cut interest rates to 1.25%.