financial inclusion

Moneylion: the digital bank for basic banking

moneylion app
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MoneyLion is a fairly new private fintech company. A fintech company that’s only 8 years old that offers multiple services, including but not limited to lending, investment services for consumers, and financial advisory. In this article, we’re going to give you key takeaways on MoneyLion. What exactly is MoneyLion? What are the features and services MoneyLion gives its customers? And, how can MoneyLion help you? We’ll also answer the question: is MoneyLion a real bank?

What is MoneyLion?

MoneyLion was founded in 2013. The company's main target group, its main demographics, are Americans with less than $2,000 in savings — a sector of the population that constitutes over 70% of the populace. 

MoneyLion is a mobile banking app, a neobank, that offers basic banking, lending tools, and wealth management services. The company headquarters is located in New York. They also have offices in Salt Lake City, Utah, Kuala Lumpur, and San Francisco. 

One of the company's main tools is the fact that it uses AI services and proprietary algorithms to help individuals save money and improve their credit scores. The company’s main objective is to optimize its clients’ money management skills and savings while ultimately boosting their credit scores. 

More than 93% of MoneyLion Members are first-time investors.

The story of MoneyLion

MoneyLion was founded by Dee Choubey in 2013. Since then, he’s been its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Before founding MoneyLion, Choubey was a senior investment professional for Barclays. He’s worked not only for that institution but for Citadel Securities, as well as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.  

Mr. Choubey also sits on the board of directors of his alma mater, the University of Chicago.

Along with Dee Choubey, MoneyLion was also co-founded by Chee Mun Foong. Chee Mun Foong has been the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) since its inception. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. 

MoneyLion has managed to raise a total of $477.5M in funding over 7 rounds. Their latest funding round-up was on Sep 23, 2021, from a Post-IPO Equity round. Amongst its investors, more than 15 in total, you’ll find such legends as BlackRock and Apollo. 

moneylion review

How does MoneyLion work?

MoneyLion is a bank. It’s a neobank, with financial services, in the sense that it is almost all digital. It still operates under federal oversight laws, for financial institutions, and it gives its clients all the protections and guarantees afforded to banks by the government.

The main philosophy behind MoneyLion is that its consumers should only have one platform for their financial growth. One best-in-class, self-serving, intuitive, and innovative platform for most of their financial services. MoneyLion has everything you might expect from a digital modern bank, along with easy ways to borrow cash, save, invest, and get rewarded for sound financial decisions. 

MoneyLion’s main source of revenue comes from its subscription service — $19.99 per month. Users can nevertheless reduce this monthly fee with daily logins and access other perks. The company also makes money from its lead generation and its premiere loan business.

Amongst its product you’ll find: 

Core Membership

This is a free membership that comes with a fee-free checking account, a debit card, cashback rewards, and fee-free cash advances. There are no hidden fees. No overdraft cost, no required minimum balance. Your account is secured up to $250,000.

Core also offers instant 0% APR cash advance of up to $250. Members also have free credit monitoring. 

Credit Builder Plus Membership

For a monthly fee of $19.99, members can access other tools. Including credit builder loans of up to $500 at 5.99% APR without the need of a credit check. 

Financial Heartbeat

MoneyLion helps its members track their financial evolution and health. They help consumers manage and track 5 key pillars: Save, Spend, Score, Strive, and Shield. 

  • Save: measure your investments and personal savings.
  • Spend: track your spending habits in relation to your income.
  • Shield: lets you know your economic coverage in case of emergency. 
  • Scores: tracks your FICO score and offers advice on how to improve it. 
  • Stride: provides inspiration, advice, and other nuggets of wisdom in order to reach financial goals.

Managed Investing

MoneyLion allows its members to automatically invest $50 per month in a brokerage account. MoneyLion invests this money on behalf of its user, fee-free, largely on Vanguard ETFs.