In Q4 of 2020, the FintTech neobank, Chime, has opened it’s first office outside the U.S and began work in Canada. Chime says they hope to have 100 employees working in the Vancouver, Canada office by the end of 2021.
Chime is the U.S equivalent of Scotiabank-owned, Tangerine. Chime is a no-branch bank working solely online. They offer a number of key benefits to the U.S market. Canada can greatly benefit from another strong competitor in the online banking space – but they will likely need to pair with a big bank to fast track their coverages.
Despite being just in the U.S, opening up Chime in Canada is a natural choice. However, we would have thought Toronto would’ve been a more natural choice for the company, given the city’s financial hub.
Chime Bank is currently based in California, so Vancouver may have been a strategic choice for proximity reasons. They’ve made a name for themselves by offering no fee banking and free overdraft for customers. Not to mention the option to receive your pay two days earlier!
Currently, almost 99% of Canadians have a banking account, so winning non-account holders in Canada will be tough for the neobank. However, Chime can strategically target cross-border shoppers and travelers, as well as dual citizenship holders.
Today, Canada is home to two large digital banks – Tangerine and Simplii – owned by Scotiabank and CIBC, respectively. This leaves other prominent banks such as BMO, RBC and TD without a digital-only bank. If Chime is looking to break barriers into Canada – we think they may need to partner with one of the big banks.
A few interesting facts about Canadian bankers from the CBA:
- 31% of Canadian bank account holders do not pay monthly fees
- 45% of Canadian bank account holders pay $15 or less per month in fees
So, at the moment – Chime may not be fully ready to serve fellow Canadians, but there’ s always a possibility. For now, some Canadians are looking out for a possible Chime IPO, where the bank is looking to start trading on the market.
Can I Use Chime VISA in Canada?
Yes, you can use your Chime VISA in Canada and other international locations, as long as you have international transactions enabled in your account settings.
There is no additional fee to use Chime in Canada and other international locations. However, you will be charged if you use an ATM in Canada.