Mobile banking app Steps into a no-fee mobile bank account for teens

The world is flush with mobile banking apps, but Step’s new no-fee mobile banking app that targets teens is definitely in an underserved market.


February 1, 2019

As fintech apps like Venmo have all but banished hard cash to the same “farm” that physical contracts and pay stubs disappeared to, the days of asking your parents for a crisp 20 are all but over for today’s teens.  

A new fee-free mobile banking startup called Step has an answer for the 75m kids under 21 in the US who still use cash to buy fresh cans of pop at the Soda Shack… AKA whatever it is that young people spend their parents’ money on.

This market isn’t the “unbanked.” Instead, it’s the “pre-banked,” Step CEO CJ MacDonald told TechCrunch.

Isn’t that the same… ? Ok fine, ‘pre-banked’

MacDonald, along with CTO Alexey Kalinichenko, founded Step in May 2018. Shortly after, the company closed on $3.8m in seed funding.

Today, the market is f-f-f-flush with mobile banking apps, but the 13 and up demographic is significantly underserved, putting Step in a space with just a few opponents — including the subscription-based teen debit card/bank app Current and the parent-managed debit card from Greenlight.

Aiming to be more than just a debit card

Step offers the first all-in-one solution (checking, savings, and a Visa card that works as both debit and credit) and also allows parents to set spending limits.

Parents can also connect their own bank accounts to transfer funds for allowances and chores, the lifeblood of the teenage economy (until robot lawn mowers become more efficient, that is).

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