Challenger bank for immigrants expands across the U.S.

Majority, a challenger bank for immigrants to the U.S., has exited beta testing and is now widely available across the U.S., the company announced on Tuesday.

At the same time, Majority announced a $19 million seed funding led by the venture capital firm Valar Ventures with participation from Avid Ventures, Heartcore Capital and a group of Nordic fintech unicorn founders. The company is headquartered in Houston and Stockholm. Founder and Chief Executive Magnus Larsson splits his time between both countries and is in the process of immigrating to the U.S.

“Since we are a company of immigrants for immigrants, we look forward to hiring diverse talent that exists within the different immigrant communities we serve,” said Magnus Larsson, founder and CEO of Majority.

Majority, which previously operated in Florida and Texas, bills itself as an all-in-one mobile banking service. It charges $5 a month. For that, users get a no-fee deposit account backed by the $1.2 billiion-asset Sutton Bank in Attica, Ohio; local discounts at restaurants, grocery stores and more when using the debit card; international money transfers; the ability to top up mobile phone accounts in more than 35 countries; free calls to 20 countries; and customer advice in multiple languages.

The company has added new features with its public launch, such as early access to direct deposits. It will use its additional funding to bolster its technology and operations, prepare for expansion into new migrant communities in the U.S., and hire more employees, most of whom will be based in different cities in Georgia and Florida.

”Given the current climate, we are thrilled to be in a strong position to ramp up our expansion plans,” Larsson said in a press release. “Since we are a company of immigrants for immigrants, we also look forward to hiring diverse talent that exists within the different immigrant communities we serve.”

Like other challenger banks for immigrants, Majority has primarily grown by word of mouth. For example, it hires community members as brand ambassadors who pitch the product to friends, post photos from Majority activities on social media and invite people to events they spearhead.

Majority began its operations in Florida and Texas, focusing on the Cuban community in Miami and the Nigerian population in Houston. Dedicated meet-up spaces in those two cities serve as a place for migrants to interact and receive personal assistance from advisors that share their nationalities. The company said more meet-up spaces will follow.

Majority would not say how many subscribers it has, but it said the number has grown rapidly since the beta launch in October 2019.

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