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Chime: The Online Bank Revolutionizing the Banking Industry

When it comes to banking, most of us think of the traditional institutions that have been around for centuries. However, over the past decade, we have seen a rise in neobanks and digital banking services aimed at simplifying the process of banking.

One such company is Chime, a financial technology company that provides customers with a hassle-free banking experience. In this article, we will explore Chime, including its history, business model, and growth.

So, sit back and take a tour of Chime, the online bank making waves in the banking industry. Chime’s Founding and Mission

Chime was founded in 2013 by Chris Britt and Ryan King, two financial experts based in San Francisco, California.

The mission of Chime was to provide an alternative to traditional banking by offering free banking services and reducing the fees levied on customers. Chime positioned itself as a financial technology company or neobank aimed at providing a seamless, mobile-first banking experience.

Chime’s Growth and Funding

Chime’s growth over the years has been phenomenal. In 2018, Chime raised $70 million in a series C funding round, which was led by Menlo Ventures.

Two years later, in 2020, Chime raised $485 million in a series G funding round led by Dragoneer Investment Group. Today, Chime is valued at $14.5 billion, making it one of the most valuable startups in the fintech industry.

Chime’s Business Model

Chime operates its business model on two fronts. Firstly, it offers free banking services to its customers, and secondly, it makes money from partnerships with other financial institutions.

Free Banking Services

Chime’s free banking services include several features that make banking hassle-free. Customers can access these services through the Chime mobile app or website.

Some of these features include:

Mobile banking: Chime’s mobile banking app is available on both iOS and Android devices. It allows customers to check their balance, set up direct deposits, and manage their accounts from anywhere, at any time.

No overdraft fees or account maintenance fees: Chime doesn’t charge its customers for overdrafts or maintaining their accounts. ATM network: Customers can access their funds free of charge at over 38,000 fee-free ATMs across the US by using Chime’s ATM locator tool.

Early direct deposit: Chime allows customers to receive their paychecks up to two days early by setting up a direct deposit.

Partnerships and Revenue Streams

Chime operates a revenue model that leverages partnerships with other financial institutions such as Bancorp Bank to offer its customers a wide range of services. Some of the revenue streams utilized by Chime include:

Interchange fees: Chime earns money by charging a fee every time their customers use their debit cards on other networks.

ATM fees: Chime earns money by charging customers for using out-of-network ATMs.

Interest on deposits: Chime earns money by investing customer deposits and earning interest on those investments. Investing services: Chime launched its investing services in 2019, allowing customers to invest in stocks without incurring fees or commissions.


Chime has become one of the fastest-growing digital banking services in the US, providing an alternative for people looking for a seamless, mobile-first banking experience. Its free banking services model, along with its partnerships, has brought more value to its customers, making Chime a significant player in the banking industry.

With its recent series G funding round, Chime is well-positioned to continue its positive growth trajectory. From its founding to its latest achievement, one fact is clear Chime is here to revolutionize banking, one customer at a time.

Chime’s Customer Segments

Chime’s free banking services model and ease of accessibility have made it a top choice for a wide range of customers, including individual users and small businesses. In this section, we will explore Chime’s customer segments.

Individual Users

Chime’s individual users span a broad range of demographics, including students, private individuals, freelancers, digital nomads, and military personnel. Its free banking services model has made it a popular choice for young adults and college students who are looking for hassle-free banking.

Chime makes banking easy for students by allowing them to make mobile payments and transfer money without any fees. Private individuals, freelancers, and digital nomads also appreciate the ease of access and no-fee structure of Chime’s banking services.

For freelance workers and digital nomads, being able to access their accounts on the go is essential, and Chime’s mobile app and website offer seamless integration with their lifestyle. Another group that Chime caters to is military personnel.

Military personnel who are constantly on the move would appreciate a seamless banking experience that doesn’t charge them for every balance check, deposit, or withdrawal. Chime’s free banking services model and military-friendly features, such as reimbursements for ATM fees incurred while traveling, make it a top choice for those in the military.

Small Businesses and Merchants

Chime’s value proposition also extends to small businesses and merchants looking for ways to manage their finances and increase their spending power. Chime’s offerings make it easier for small businesses to access capital and build credit.

Through Chime’s “Credit Builder” feature, small business owners can establish or build their credit score by regularly making payments on a credit builder secured credit card. Additionally, Chime helps small businesses and merchants increase their spending power by offering a debit card with no foreign transaction fees.

This feature is a boon for small businesses that import or export goods as it reduces transaction fees and makes it easier to manage expenses. Chime’s Value Propositions

Chime’s value proposition is centered on providing free banking services, ease of accessibility, and a range of unique features that cater to its customers’ needs.

In this section, we will dive deeper into Chime’s value propositions.

Free Banking and Ease of Accessibility

Chime’s free banking services model and ease of accessibility make it an attractive option for individual users and small businesses. Chime’s mobile app and website offer a broad range of online banking services, including setting up direct deposit, mobile payments, and mobile check deposits.

With no minimum balance requirements, monthly fees, or foreign transaction fees on the debit card, Chime’s customers enjoy a stress-free banking experience. Chime’s mobile app also features financial dashboards that show customers their spending habits, which can help them make informed financial decisions.

Customers can set up automatic savings options and access financial coaches on demand, making it an excellent choice for those looking to build their financial literacy.

Other Value Propositions

Besides the primary value propositions outlined above, Chime also offers several unique features that add to its customers’ convenience and security. Some of these are:

– SpotMe: SpotMe is a feature that allows customers to overdraw their accounts up to a certain limit without incurring any overdraft fees.

– Credit Building: Chime helps individual users and small businesses build or improve their credit scores through their “Credit Builder” secured credit card and a feature that reports payments to credit bureaus. – Referral Bonus: Chime rewards customers with a referral bonus of $75 for every new customer they refer to the platform.

– Aids Easy Payments: Chime has made it easier to send and receive payments by allowing customers to transfer funds quickly and free of charge to other Chime users. – Customer Support: Chime’s customer support team is available round the clock and helps customers troubleshoot any problems they encounter while using the platform.

– Security: Chime’s platform features several layers of security, including two-factor authentication, account alerts, and transaction monitoring, to ensure the security of its customers’ accounts.


Chime’s value propositions cater to a wide range of individual users and small businesses. With its free banking services model and ease of accessibility, Chime has made a name for itself in the neobanking industry.

And thanks to its unique features like SpotMe, Credit Builder, and Referral Bonus, Chime has become a top choice for customers looking for a comprehensive, convenient, and secure banking experience. Chime’s Channels

Chime has made a name for itself by offering hassle-free banking services that cater to customers’ needs, making transactions more manageable and accessible.

In this section, we will explore the channels through which Chime provides its services.

Website and Mobile App

Chime’s website and mobile app are the primary channels used by customers to manage their accounts online. The website provides easy access to customers’ account details, transactions, and financial dashboards, allowing users to manage their accounts effectively.

The mobile app is available for download on both iOS and Android devices and provides customers with the flexibility to manage their accounts on the go. The app allows users to check their balances, transfer funds, pay bills, and make mobile deposits.

Customers can also track their expenses and set up alerts for their accounts to ensure they stay on top of their finances. Chime’s website and mobile app are designed with simplicity and convenience in mind.

Navigation through the platform is easy, and the platform’s layout is streamlined, making it easy for customers to find what they are looking for quickly. The interfaces are intuitive and user-friendly, with clear instructions for every feature’s usage.

ATMs, Cashback Locations, and Social Media

Chime has partnered with several banks and financial institutions to provide its customers with access to surcharge-free ATMs. By using the ATM locator feature on the Chime app, customers can find the nearest ATMs in their area. Customers can also get cashback at over 30,000 national retail and convenience store locations, including Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens, making it easy to access funds anywhere, anytime.

Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are also used by Chime to engage with its customers. One of Chime’s unique features is its referral program, which rewards customers who refer new users to the platform with a $75 referral bonus.

The referral program is widely promoted on social media platforms, with customers sharing their unique referral codes with their friends and family. Customers can also share their reviews of the platform on social media, review sites like TrustPilot, or blogs, helping spread the word about Chime and its services.

Chime has also partnered with several other financial institutions and retailers to expand its reach and provide more extensive services to its customers. Partnerships with Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, for example, have allowed Chime to offer a wider range of financial services.

Chime has even launched an initiative called Chime Credit Builder, which is designed to help customers build their credit scores from scratch or improve an existing score. By using its Credit Builder Secured Credit Card, Chime reports customer payments and actions to all three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, which increases their score over time.


Chime’s channels are designed to provide accessibility, convenience, and a seamless banking experience to its customers. Through its website and mobile app, customers can manage their accounts from anywhere, at any time, while its partnerships with other financial institutions and retailers increase their options for accessing funds and services.

Chime’s presence on social media channels, review sites, and blogs ensures that its customers can share their reviews and experiences, helping the platform to expand its reach. With its unique features like Cashback and Referral Programs, and Credit Builder, Chime has proven to be an excellent choice for anyone looking for hassle-free banking services.

Chime has revolutionized banking with its free banking services, ease of accessibility, and a range of unique features. Serving individual users including students, freelancers, and military personnel, as well as small businesses and merchants, Chime offers a seamless and mobile-first banking experience.

Through channels such as its website, mobile app, ATMs, cashback locations, and social media presence, Chime ensures that customers can easily manage their accounts, access funds, and engage with the platform. With its emphasis on convenience, security, and financial inclusion, Chime has become a top choice for those seeking a hassle-free and customer-centric banking solution.

The rise of neobanks like Chime paves the way for a future where banking is accessible, affordable, and tailored to individual needs.

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