Denizen, created at BBVA’s in-house incubator and funded by the bank’s digital business unit, charges no foreign exchange fees, provides a regular debit card rather than a prepaid one and allows clients to maintain a single balance across jurisdictions
The start-up is licensed as a payments company, not a bank. It will offer its borderless bank accounts through partnerships with BBVA and other banks in countries where BBVA is not licensed. Denizen’s creation was aided by the EU’s PSD2 directive on payments, which forces banks to open up their payment infrastructure to outsiders in a bid to create more competition in banking. Denizen would not give details of its customer acquisition target, but Ian Ormerod, BBVA’s global head of new business, said it was suitable for “more than 50 million expats and 250 million migrants”.