Teen-focused digital bank Step launches with Charli d’Amelio


  • Step is a no-fee digital bank for teenagers, offering secured credit cards and an app.
  • It’s working with influencers like TikTok megastar Charli d’Amelio to spread the word, and banking on referrals between users to grow its platform.
  • Fintechs like Current and Greenlight, too, offer debit cards and savings accounts for kids.
  • Step will also have a brand ambassador called the Step Squad.
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Banking isn’t typically top of mind for teens, and teens aren’t typically top of mind for banks. But as Gen Z comes of age, fintechs are starting to pay attention to the digitally-savvy segment.

Step, a digital-only bank for teens, just launched, and it’s using influencers like TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio to spread the word.

D’Amelio, 16, is the most-followed individual on the app, with nearly 90 million followers.

When Step founder and CEO CJ MacDonald first met D’Amelio and her family, he says her parents were drawn to the product given their own challenges helping their daughters manage their finances.

“It was interesting to hear their journey trying to set up bank accounts and financial literacy for their daughters. Her mom’s exact words were, ‘I didn’t even know where to start,'” MacDonald told Business Insider.

Read more: A JPMorgan-backed personal finance app catering to children has doubled users this year. Now it’s eyeing ways to let kids play the stock market.

Step’s platform is free, and it comes with a Visa-powered secured credit card that users can spend with, via both the card and mobile wallets. 

Step isn’t the only fintech targeting younger customers. Players like Current and Greenlight, for example, offer debit cards for kids that parents can monitor. They both charge families a monthly fee for the service.

To be sure, Greenlight is further along in its