Credit Sesame DebutCredit Builder Service

Financial wellness platform Credit Sesame on Wednesday (Nov. 17) rolled out its new credit builder banking technology, an all-in-one bank account that gives consumers the power to build their credit through purchases on their debit cards and with cash.

Credit Sesame’s artificial intelligence (AI)-backed Sesame Cash account allows users to establish and build their credit through everyday purchases, including groceries and subscription services. More than 8,000 Credit Sesame customers have used the credit builder technology since its beta launch, increasing their credit scores by an average of 35 points, per a company press release.

“Coming from a family of immigrants, I understand how challenging access and education around credit can be for those who fall outside of the system,” said Shazia Virji, GM, credit services at Credit Sesame, in the announcement. “By creating the opportunity to build credit through debit, Credit Sesame is increasing financial inclusion for marginalized groups by setting them on a path to build credit and take hold of their financial futures, which can open new and better opportunities for individuals and their families.”

Sesame Cash users can allocate all or some of their funds to build their credit, which is then reported to all three credit bureaus to establish a line of credit. AI technology monitors and manages the user’s transactions with their Sesame Cash debit cards.

“Your income and money matter for your credit and credit building, especially if you use debit for purchases, and we need a more inclusive and accessible credit system,” said Adrian Nazari, CEO of Credit Sesame, in the company announcement. “Now with our credit-builder technology, we do both. Credit Sesame makes it easy for consumers to add their money, including their income and everyday purchases, to their credit report and history with a click of a few buttons and get the credit they deserve.”

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About 22% of U.S. adults are either unbanked or underbanked, according to the Federal Reserve, and approximately seven million households do not have credit cards, debit cards or other financial instruments. About 33 million households have bank accounts, but no established credit histories.

More than half of the U.S. population fits within that demographic, according to PYMNTS research, from those with no credit file or flawed credit histories to those with six-figure incomes.

Nazari noted that 78% of Credit Sesame’s population lives paycheck to paycheck, has $500 in savings on hand and faces at least two financial emergencies a year.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING OUTLOOK

About: It’s almost go time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of U.S. consumers plan to make at least some of their purchases online — 13% more than did in 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed more than 3,600 consumers to learn what is driving online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preference.

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