On the consumption side of personal finance, managing credit is one of the most important aspects of financial wellness. And for more than a decade, Credit Sesame has been among the more innovative companies in this space. From its origins as a hub for financial planning tools, insights into credit scoring, and advice on smart borrowing, Credit Sesame has grown into a leader in the financial wellness industry with new solutions like its Sesame Cash debit account, which topped one million customers less than a year after emerging from its beta launch.
“With Sesame Cash and features like real-time cash back rewards and rewards for improving their credit score,” Credit Sesame GM and Head of Global Banking Miro Pavletic explained when the solution was introduced last September, “we are helping customers put more money back in their pocket than any other digital banking service. Whether you’re looking to buy groceries or debating where to grab takeout, we can connect you with the brands you love and give you cash back instantly,” Pavletic said.
The $51 million in new funding the company raised this week is a testament both to the journey Credit Sesame has been on since its launch in 2010, as well as the potential the firm has to continue to play a leading role in helping millions of consumers better understand and manage their finances.
“Creating access to better credit and finance is critical for financial prosperity for consumers in our country, and it’s enlightening to see major banks and the federal government also taking action,” Credit Sesame CEO Adrian Nazari said. “The impacts of the past year have only made those needs greater, and through our recent acquisition and fundraising, we are proud to be expanding our platform offerings and leading the charge in opening more doors to financial inclusion and wellness for all.”
The company sees its current mission as closing the “credit chasm,” which it believes limits economic opportunities for more than 44 million “credit invisible” Americans. Part of this effort includes Credit Sesame’s decision to acquire Zingo, a transaction that was completed recently. A fintech company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Zingo helps renters improve their credit scores via timely rent payments. With almost 80% of its 15 million members renting, rather than owning, a home, Credit Sesame expects the acquisition to represent a “significant growth opportunity for the company” while enhancing “financial inclusion for its customers.” Credit Sesame anticipates integrating Zingo’s rent reporting technology into its financial wellness platform over the summer.
Looking out over the balance of 2021, Credit Sesame appears to be taking a page from Zingo’s book by launching a new feature that will enable consumers to use their cash to help them improve their credit rating. Requiring no credit check, the new solution will allow Credit Sesame customers to leverage their cash and credit together to help build a strong financial foundation and create a path toward better financial health.