Fintech

Fintech startup Brex partners with UMB to offer FDIC insurance to customers

Brex also has hired Katie Biber to serve as its chief legal officer

This article was written for FinLedger, HW Media’s new fintech-focused news brand designed specifically for financial services professionals in banking, insurance and real estate. Stay tuned for updates.

Fintech startup Brex, which is building out a bank alternative for startups, announced today the addition of FDIC Insurance on its cash management account, Brex Cash.

It has also added a feature that gives customers a way to invest, and earn yield, in Money Market Funds.

The moves were largely in response to the recent COVID-19 environment that is forcing more people and companies to conduct business digitally. They come “after many months of regulatory and technological investment” that aim to “enable a robust, lightning-fast experience for customers looking to access business banking services in today’s virtual environment,” Brex said in a statement.

Brex, which started out with a credit card for startups, says its goal is to offer customers flexibility on how to store their cash, while at the same time doubling down on investments across regulatory compliance.

Brex has partnered with UMB Bank so that it can offer FDIC insurance on uninvested cash reserves up to $250,000. 

Doug Pagliaro, senior vice president and executive director of the FDIC Sweep program at UMB Bank, says the partnership gives Brex’s customers “the ability to offer their customers same-day liquidity with principal protection and FDIC insurance.”

Meanwhile, Brex says it continues to invest in building a top legal and regulatory compliance team. As evidence of that, it also announced today the hiring of Katie Biber as its chief legal officer. Biber has legal and compliance oversight of Brex at large, including Brex’s broker-dealer, Brex Treasury LLC. She most recently served as general counsel at Anchorage, a cryptocurrency platform and asset custodian company.

Brex claims that with its fully digital application, businesses can get approved and receive a corporate card and Brex Cash account in under 10 minutes. It says that over 50% of its customers today get instant approval.

Once approved, businesses can run their banking and payment workflows entirely online through Cash, including through the mobile app. The company offers two-factor authentication and optional approvals on every transaction. Zero account or transaction fees and free wire transfers have been core to the product since launch.

The company has had a roller coaster of a year, which saw Brex both lay off employees and acquire companies. Since its inception in 2017, the startup has raised more than $465 million in known venture capital from investors like Kleiner Perkins, DST Global, Ribbit Capital and Y Combinator, per Crunchbase. As of earlier this year, it was valued at $2.6 billion.

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