Digital banking challenger Current confirmed on March 12, 2021, that it began receiving and crediting stimulus payments “as of 11 am. ET on March 12.” The digital bank stated that it would be crediting “all member accounts immediately, making all funds fully available as we receive the payments.”
On March 18, 2021, the Current team revealed:
“Some Americans got stimulus payments in their accounts today. But Current members had theirs five days ago, … because getting money back in our members’ pockets as quickly as possible is what we do every day.”
Some Americans got stimulus payments in their accounts today. But Current members had theirs five days ago, as The New York Times notes, because getting money back in our members' pockets as quickly as possible is what we do every day. https://t.co/TZb0ffqbv6
— Current (@current) March 17, 2021
Yuliya Chernova from the WSJ noted on March 16, 2021 that Fintech startups Current and Chime “began distributing stimulus payments on Friday.” Chernova added that “three days later 54% of the money was already spent by Current customers, with half of that going to pay back friends and family.”
The Current team wrote in a blog post that US President Joe Biden had signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. As noted by the digital bank, the new bill includes direct payments of “up $1,400 for individuals making $80,000 or less, heads of households earning $120,000 or less and married couples with a combined income under $160,000.”
Current also mentioned that these payments and requirements will be “based on the most recent tax return the IRS has on file for you (either 2020 or 2019).” Current further noted that you’ll be getting “up to $1,400 for any dependents you claimed on your most recent tax return.”
While sharing other updates, Current noted that the bill “extends an extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits through early September.”
The digital bank added:
“Current is again committing to crediting all stimulus payments immediately for all our members, which we also did in both April and December last year. Our members can again expect to receive their payments up to five days faster than with a traditional bank. You can also expect to receive any unemployment benefits up to two days faster.”
Current added that the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be sending out all payments to the bank account they’ve got on file for US residents. If you have to update these details, then you need to file your 2020 tax returns with your most up-to-date info (using your Current account and routing number) “as soon as possible as they would need to be processed before stimulus payments are issued.”
The banking challenger stated that you’ll “get your tax refund up to five days faster on Current.”
While sharing some key information regarding these payments, Current noted:
- $1,400 in direct payments “to individuals earning less than $75,000 per year; heads of households making under $112,500 per year or married couples (who file taxes jointly) making less than $150,000.”
- Any individual “earning over $80,000, heads of households making over $120,000 or married couples earning over $160,000 will not receive any direct payments”
- These incomes are “based on the most recent tax return the IRS has on file for you (either 2020 if you have filed already this year or your 2019 return if you have not)”
- If you “qualify for a payment, you will receive an additional $1,400 for any household dependents you have (including dependents over 16 this time, and older adult relatives and people of any age with disabilities this time)”
- If you “qualify for the $1,400 payment based on your 2020 taxes but you have not filed them yet (or the IRS has not processed them) and the IRS uses your 2019 return to determine your eligibility, don’t forget about it.” Current also mentioned that you may “claim the difference next year on your 2021 tax return.”
The digital banking platform further noted:
- If you “qualify for a payment this round (please note, just because you received a stimulus payment last year, it does not automatically qualify you for this one) and you received your last stimulus payment on Current, you will receive this payment automatically on Current (unless you used a different bank account on your 2020 tax returns), which can be up to five days faster than traditional banks”
- All payments “will be sent to the bank accounts the IRS has on file (either from your 2020 or 2019 tax returns).” The only way to “update your payment information to your Current account with the IRS is to file your 2020 tax returns using your Current account and routing number before stimulus payments begin to process”.
- If the IRS “does not have a bank account on file for you, paper checks will be issued to the address on file”
- Please note “if you are missing any previous stimulus payments from 2020 for which you were eligible (based on your 2019 tax returns), you claim them on your 2020 tax return (if you have not yet filed) to now receive your funds”
- If you’re “eligible for a stimulus payment this time and do NOT receive your funds, you can claim then on your tax returns next year”
- The $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits “is extended until early September”
- If you “need to file for unemployment, use your Current account and routing numbers on your forms and you can receive your payments up to two days faster than traditional banks”
The digital bank pointed out that if you’re not yet a Current member, then you may download their app and sign up within minutes in order to get “faster stimulus payments, unemployment benefits or paychecks with direct deposit.”
As reported recently, Current revealed that the average tax refund size is just over $2,000, and that money sent with Current Pay increased nearly 10%.
As covered in November 2020, Current topped 2 million users and raised $131 million via a Series C round.
In an interview with CI last year, Stuart Sopp, Founder and CEO at Current, explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has been a business accelerator, specifically for Fintech firms and the Fintech sector in general.
“This has been an accelerant to digital. In terms of Fintech you will probably see a concentration of focus from incumbents. On the lower end of fintech, it is going to be hard to take big swings or get funding for big swings. I think the door is closing on the number of players and who is racing to take market share from banks. In the fintech community, I think there will be consolidation.”
“Between all the fintechs and our different products, you have a Chase. Over the next three years a lot of them, (maybe not Current), especially the bigger guys will IPO or get together and have a $50 billion IPO. To me, that makes more sense than a bank acquiring a fintech like Current. Companies like Stash or Robinhood are easier to wrap into a bank because they are different product lines and have different features than most traditional banks. If you look at regional or super-regional banks, I think that’s where the opportunity for acquisition of fintechs will be. The M&A landscape is an assessment of who needs what.”