BBVA's latest digital banking effort launches in the US

By Emily Nicolle on Thursday 15 February 2018

Digital Banking

The Spanish lender provided Azlo's initial funding, and now it's ready to go online.

The Spanish lender provided Azlo’s initial funding, and now it’s ready to go online.

US digital banking platform Azlo has announced today that its services for freelancers and small businesses is going live. Starting today, entrepreneurs and SMEs will be able to access Azlo’s digital business-banking services online, with no fees or minimum balance.

Brian Hamilton, Founder & CEO of Azlo, commented, "Our vision is to improve access to core financial services for entrepreneurs from all walks of life by offering transparent business banking services that enable them to pay and get paid, including across borders, promoting a free flow of money without fees or boundaries.

“Globalization and the changing nature of work has intensified an already unequal access to economic opportunity. Fair and uncomplicated access to these tools can help level the playing field for many marginalized communities of founders and business owners."

Founded early last year, Azlo’s initial funding was provided in the form of an unknown sum by BBVA’s New Digital Businesses unit. The bank hopes to offer a full suite of business products alongside its free banking solution in due time, including support for e-Commerce, point of sale and marketplace providers.

Teppo Paavola, Chief Development Officer at BBVA's NDB unit, said, "Our goal at NDB is to identify banking disruptors that are transforming what we know as banking today. Azlo's desire to provide entrepreneurs with a new banking experience designed to engage and partner with aspiring founders from all backgrounds is an appealing proposition.

“Our venture capital investment signals our belief in Azlo's accomplished management team and will support public market availability and accelerated growth."

Azlo’s target market sits within the US “gig economy”, with recent data showing that around 44m Americans report earning some level of income on the side of their main employment.

However the young platform is not BBVA’S first foray into digital banking. In 2014, BBVA bought out online bank Simple for $117m, and later acquired a majority stake in UK-based savings platform Atom Bank. According to Reuters, BBVA also holds an undisclosed stake in Scandinavian bank Holvi.

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