MoneyLion Banking Platform: What It Is and How Does It Work?

UTC by Marco T. Lanz · 7 min read
MoneyLion Banking Platform: What It Is and How Does It Work?
Photo: MoneyLion / Facebook

In this guide, we will speak about MoneyLion – a fintech company founded in 2013 that provides financial services through an innovative mobile platform and calls itself “the private bank for everyone”.

MoneyLion is an innovative financial company that is revolutionizing the way people manage their finances. Through its mobile app, it offers a wide range of financial products and services, from bank accounts to loans and cryptocurrency investments.

In this guide, we will explore what MoneyLion is, its history, how it works, and the products it offers. We will also analyze the pros and cons of using this platform which has quickly positioned itself as a digital alternative to traditional banks, especially for those with limited credit history.

MoneyLion Defined

MoneyLion is a fintech company founded in 2013 that provides financial services through an innovative mobile platform. Self-called “the private bank for everyone”, it aims to bring the benefits of private banking to the general population.

The MoneyLion app serves as a centralized hub for managing personal finances. It combines various services that usually require multiple providers, including:

  • fee-free digital bank accounts;
  • low-interest loans without strict credit checks;
  • automated investments with no balance requirements;
  • buying and selling cryptocurrencies;
  • tools for building and improving credit;
  • educational content on finance and money.

This way, MoneyLion has established itself as a fintech “super app”, leveraging innovative technologies to deliver a comprehensive, personalized, and accessible financial experience to its users.

MoneyLion Roadmap

MoneyLion traces its origins back to 2013 when Dee Choubey, its CEO, envisioned creating an innovative and accessible financial platform leveraging new technologies, drawing from his extensive experience in leading quantitative risk groups and capital markets at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Barclays PLC (LON: BARC) on Wall Street.

Dee assembled a talented team with expertise in both finance and technology. The team includes Pratyush Tiwari who brings over three decades of experience in the global technology sector, specializing in conversational interfaces and artificial intelligence. Prior to joining MoneyLion, Tiwari served as Chief Technology Officer at Merrill Lynch.

Then, Chee Mun Foong joined the team. He is an expert in data engineering, machine learning, and cloud system architecture, with a broad background working at renowned companies such as Microsoft Corporation (NYSE: MSFT) and Goldman Sachs. Foong came on board to lead the company’s technological direction.

After a year of development, MoneyLion was officially launched in March 2014 in New York City. The startup quickly caught the attention of fintech investors, closing a $2 million seed round by the end of the year.

With this capital injection, MoneyLion continued to improve its technological platform, and in 2015, it launched several new products such as capital loans and debt management tools. By 2016, the company had already surpassed half a million users.

That same year, MoneyLion closed a $22.5 million Series A round led by Edison Partners and FinTech Collective. This funding allowed the company to expand its operations and begin its journey to establish itself as a comprehensive financial platform.

In the following years, the company achieved several key milestones for its growth:

  • 2017 – it launched MoneyLion Plus, a premium membership program that combines gilded savings, simple investing, access to low-fee borrowing, and personalized advice.
  • 2018 – the company secured a new $42 million investment round.
  • 2019 – MoneyLion raised $100 million in a Series C round.
  • 2021 – the company went public with a valuation of $2.4 billion.
  • 2022 – MoneyLion surpassed 3 million users and managed $2.5 billion in assets.
  • 2023 – the company grew its users by 123%.

As of 2024, MoneyLion is backed by major investment funds such as Edison Partners, MetaBank, CapitalOne, and Greenspring Associates.

How Does MoneyLion Work?

MoneyLion is a fully mobile platform, meaning all operations are carried out through its app, available on both iOS and Android.

The initial registration process involves downloading the app, creating a user profile, and linking external accounts. Personal information such as full name, address, social security number, and primary bank account details are required. This process validates the user’s identity to start enjoying MoneyLion’s services.

Once registration is complete, a dashboard is enabled to centrally manage various savings, investment, credit, and rewards products.

Core Products

The products offered by MoneyLion include:

  • Digital bank accounts. MoneyLion’s bank accounts are 100% digital, with no minimum balance requirements or hidden fees. Users receive a Mastercard debit card for both physical and virtual purchases. Key benefits include no fees for overdrafts or maintaining a minimum balance, free access to over 55,000 ATMs nationwide, direct deposit of paychecks up to two days early, and price protection with refunds for differences in purchases made in the last 90 days.
  • Personalized loans. MoneyLion automates access to personalized loans with low-interest rates using proprietary credit assessment technology, making the products more inclusive. The loans offered by MoneyLion range from $20 to $1,000, with competitive annual interest rates starting at 5.99% for good credit profiles, without requiring strict credit checks. These loans can be repaid over flexible terms ranging from 12 to 24 months. When applying for a loan, MoneyLion conducts a personalized assessment of the user’s financial profile to determine the appropriate rate and amount.
  • Automated investments. Customers can invest in pre-designed ETFs according to categories like conservative, moderate, aggressive, equity-only, etc. There are no minimum balance requirements or hidden fees. Investments can be set up for automatic periodic contributions, facilitating the progressive construction of an investment portfolio.
  • Buying and selling cryptocurrencies. MoneyLion allows buying, selling, and holding major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC). The app connects with digital exchanges to access this emerging market. Additionally, besides these financial products, the app also manages rewards, cashbacks, credit monitoring, budgets, savings goals, and more.
  • Simplified Investing with RoarMoney Mobile Banking. MoneyLion Round Ups convert your everyday purchases into investments effortlessly. For instance, when you buy something with an eligible linked card, Round Ups automatically round up your transaction to the nearest dollar. This spare change is then seamlessly invested into either your MoneyLion Investment Account or towards purchasing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. For example, if you spend $8.50 on a dinner, Round Ups would round it up to $9, investing the additional $0.50 into either your MoneyLion Investment Account or towards a MoneyLion Crypto purchase. This feature operates seamlessly in the background, enabling users to steadily grow their portfolios without the need for manual intervention. Each small contribution, accumulated from rounding up transactions, adds up gradually, bringing you closer to your financial goals without the need for manual intervention or significant budgeting adjustments.

Pros & Cons

The advantages of using MoneyLion include an innovative mobile experience. Since the MoneyLion app has an intuitive and user-friendly interface, this 100% mobile and digital experience is ideal for the modern user.

Furthermore, it offers financial accessibility. The requirements to open an account or apply for loans are minimal compared to traditional banking.

MoneyLion is also about a comprehensive range of products. Multiple accounts, loans, investments, cryptocurrencies, rewards, etc., can be managed on a single platform. This simplifies users’ financial management.

Next, MoneyLion heavily invests in engineering to create leading products and maintain the highest security standards.

Finally, the app provides educational content on money management, credit, and investments to improve users’ financial health.

Speaking of the drawbacks you might face when using MoneyLion, they include complex identity verification as some users have complained that the ID verification process is too rigorous, and limited customer service as there are no physical branches or bank executives available to offer personalized assistance. Besides, some advanced products like loans and investments come with monthly fees. Bank accounts are not as fully insured as in traditional banks, which also might bring challenges.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, we can affirm that MoneyLion represents an innovative value proposition in the fintech sector, challenging the status quo of traditional banking in the United States. Through its 100% mobile platform, MoneyLion has democratized financial services, including those typically excluded due to limited credit history.

While MoneyLion has significant strengths in terms of technology, accessibility, and variety of integrated financial products, it is not without weaknesses, especially associated with its youth as a company and the complete absence of physical branches.

Looking forward, MoneyLion’s foremost goal must be to maintain its growth momentum while placing utmost importance on the security and privacy of its customers’ data, thus ensuring ongoing trust and confidence in its platform.



What is MoneyLion?

MoneyLion is a fintech company founded in 2013 that provides financial services through an innovative mobile platform. Its goal is to make the benefits of private banking available to the general population. 

How does MoneyLion function?

The MoneyLion app functions as a centralized hub to manage personal finances. It combines several services that usually require multiple providers, such as fee-free digital bank accounts, low-interest loans without strict credit checks, automated investments with no balance requirements, crypto buying/selling, tools to build credit, and educational content on finances.

Who is standing behind MoneyLion?

MoneyLion was founded by a team with experience in both finance and technology, led by CEO Dee Choubey, who has a Wall Street background. The company has also received investments from major funds like Edison Partners, MetaBank, CapitalOne, and Greenspring Associates.

Is MoneyLion a real bank?

No, MoneyLion is not a real bank. It’s a fintech company that offers financial products through a mobile app. While it provides services like bank accounts, loans, and investments, it does not have a banking charter.

What are the products offered by MoneyLion?

Among the products and services of MoneyLion are fee-free digital bank accounts, personal loans from $20 to $1000, automated investing in ETF portfolios, cryptocurrency buying, selling, and holding, cashback rewards, and loyalty programs.

Does MoneyLion charge any fees?

Yes, some of MoneyLion’s advanced features and products do have monthly fees, such as their loans, investments, and premium memberships. However, the basic bank account has no monthly costs. 

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