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Get US bank account on Indian passport via an app

The affluent customers get a high-yield savings account, dedicated concierge, investment and trading facility, credit card, and home loans (Photo: iStock)Premium
The affluent customers get a high-yield savings account, dedicated concierge, investment and trading facility, credit card, and home loans (Photo: iStock)

  • The bank account comes with a $250,000 insurance by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and a Mastercard debit card
  • After the US, the company plans to offer similar services for Canadian, United Kingdom, and Australian bank accounts

You may now open a bank account in the US with an Indian passport from an app. US-based fintech startup Aeldra has started offering US bank accounts to Indians without a social security number or a US address.

“The bank account can be opened with Indian passport and other local documents for KYC (know your client). We are in the beta phase and opening about 30 accounts a day. We have a wait-list of about 5,000 customers who want to open a US bank account," said Sukeert Shanker, founder and CEO, Aeldra.

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The bank account comes with a $250,000 insurance by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and a Mastercard debit card. Aeldra doesn’t charge any fee for account maintenance, mobile banking, debit card, and so on.

Aeldra is a neo-bank, which means the company doesn’t have a banking licence. It offers banking services in partnership with an established bank. However, neo-banks offer better solutions than traditional banks using technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Aeldra has tied up with Blue Ridge Bank.

After the US, the company plans to offer similar services for bank accounts in Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. Customers from any part of the world should be able to open a bank account in these markets using their passport and other local documents.

Aeldra is targeting affluent customers who want to invest in the US for the future. “There are many Indians who invest in the US for different reasons. They may want to take an exposure to the market. They could be travelling to the country for business or because they have relatives. There are others who start remitting money abroad as they want to send their children for further studies to the US," said Shanker.

The affluent customers get a high-yield savings account, dedicated concierge, investment and trading facility, credit card and can even avail of home loans.

Besides affluent Indians, the bank is also targeting students, freelancers who get work from the US, and micro, small and medium enterprises.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) restricts the amount an Indian citizen can remit abroad under its Liberalised Remittance Scheme to $250,000 each financial year.

The regulations allow remittance only for specific purposes. For example, an individual can remit funds to another country for private or business travel, gift or donation, employment, emigration, maintenance of close relatives, medical treatment and education. Individuals can also remit money to invest abroad.

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