BankMobile promotes Luvleen Sidhu to CEO

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BankMobile, the digital-only division of the Customers Bancorp in Wyomissing, Pa., said Tuesday that it had promoted Luvleen Sidhu, its president and chief strategy officer, to CEO.

In a separate announcement, BankMobile said it is launching a paycheck advance product as part of a suite of retail deposit upgrades.

Sidhu succeeded her father, Jay, who remains executive chairman. Jay Sidhu is also chairman and CEO of the $11.7 billion-asset Customers.

Luvleen Sidhu co-founded BankMobile in 2015 and has been instrumental in building its banking-as-a-service model. One of its main services is BankMobile Disbursements, digital checking accounts it offers to some 5 million students on nearly 800 college campuses nationwide. The accounts hold excess funds from financial aid disbursements that have not been used for tuition.

BankMobile recently started offering student-loan refinancing in partnership with LendKey, a technology company that matches borrowers with lenders, and is the bank behind T-Mobile’s recently launched T-Mobile Money, a digital banking offering for the cellphone carrier’s customers.

“We congratulate Luvleen on her well-deserved promotion to CEO of BankMobile,” Jay Sidhu said in a press release. “Luvleen has helped BankMobile grow tremendously since launching in 2015 and has overseen many of its advancements over the past five years. We are excited to see the bank continue to develop under her strategy and guidance.”

BankMobile said it is rolling out the paycheck advance product to help direct-deposit customers who may run out of money before their next paychecks. In a press release, BankMobile quoted an often-cited Federal Reserve finding that one-third of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and nearly half do not have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency.

“BankMobile is addressing this pain point with a two-day paycheck advance offering,” said Jay Sidhu.

BankMobile said it will not charge a fee for giving customers access to their funds two days early. Several fintech firms, including PayActiv and Even, charge fees for offering similar services in partnership with employers.

BankMobile also said it will offer a high-rate savings account, intended to compete with other online banks like Ally Bank and Capital One. The company also said that it is adding a team of personal bankers to provide advice and guidance to its direct-deposit customers.

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