A challenger bank for students is adding features to its app to help users find jobs, fill cash gaps and get personalized help.
Mos, which is based in San Francisco, announced on Thursday the launch of Mos Gigs, which helps students find odd jobs that fit into an inconsistent class schedule, such as babysitting, dog walking and tutoring. It also released Mos Cash Advance, which advances users in good standing $25 without a credit check and gives them 14 days to pay it back; and Mos Advisor, a service that connects students with financial aid counselors to discuss lowering college costs. Users already benefit from a checking account and a debit card free of charge.
The company is founded by Amira Yahyaoui, a Tunisian human rights activist. The name “Mos” is inspired by the fictional town of Mos Espa, a port city on the fictional planet of Tatooine, which is inspired by Yahyaoui’s real-life hometown, Tatouine.
College students and graduates are a mature market that only a few traditional financial institutions reach beyond dedicated deposit accounts.
“So many young people face daunting financial hurdles,” Mos founder and CEO Amira Yahyaoui said in a press release. “We constantly hear students say they don’t know where to start.”
Mos raised $13 million in Series A funding in May 2020 from investors including Sequoia Capital, National Basketball Association player Stephen Curry and Zoom founder Eric Yuan. At the time, it was to help students verify their eligibility for different forms of financial aid and apply for scholarships. It expanded to become a challenger bank in 2021 and raised a Series B of $40 million in February 2022. The challenger bank earns money through interchange fees. Banking services are provided by Blue Ridge Bankshares, which is based in Charlottesville, Va., and has $2.8 billion in assets.
Although it is common for traditional financial institutions to offer student checking and savings accounts, a few have biggest moves to help young clients get financial aid, pay off debt, or manage money after college. This often involves the help of fintechs.
For example, JPMorgan Chase acquired Frank in September 2021, a college planning website that offers a guided application process to apply for free federal student aid, curated scholarships, and discounted online courses for credit. Key Corp in Cleveland acquired GradFin in May 2022, an online advisory company that helps borrowers understand their repayment, refinance, and forgiveness options. It is one of many fintechs who work with financial institutions to help graduates navigate complex student loan repayment and forgiveness policies that, in some cases, have become more generous during the pandemic. Michigan State University Federal Credit Union in East Lansing, Michigan, is working on a digital-only credit union for college alumni that will provide members with high-yield deposit products and loan options and access to fintech partners that promote financial well-being.