Until now, Branch has offered customers the capability to a get instant access to a portion their wages early for a $3.99 fee. Now, customers who choose to bank with Branch can use this service without fees. Reminiscent of other digital-only challenger banks, Branch customers also can access their paychecks two days early and use a network of ATMs without having to pay fees.
The fee-free, digital-only banking offering is a playbook employed by such startups as Chime, Varo, Revolut, Monzo and others. Other companies that offer employer-based payday advance services and money management tools include Even and Finfit, while Earnin lets users advance a portion of their paychecks without employer integration. Branch generates revenue through subscription fees employers pay to offer its services to employees.
Asked how Branch intends to differentiate, Siddiqi said Branch’s integration with employers and in-app side-hustle marketplace are ways to set itself apart. “One of the big things that differentiates us from others is that relationship with the employer,” he added. “We see employers playing a role in helping employees start their financial journeys.”