Oportun Buying Challenger Bank Digit for $213 Million
The consumer lender Oportun has agreed to buy the challenger bank Digit in a deal that the buyer says will accelerateits plan to offer a fuller suite of banking services. Oportun, a Silicon Valley lender that offers personal loans and credit cards to consumers, announced the nearly $213million cash-and-stock deal on Tuesday. Less than six weeks earlier, Oportun said that it was withdrawing itsapplication for a bank charter from the Offi ce of the Comptroller of the Currency. The proposed acquisition would allow Oportun to offer Digit's services, including mobile banking, automated savingstools and robo-investing, to its customers, and give Digit's 600,000 customers the option to borrow from Oportun. The goal is to give customers a “one-stop shop” for all of their fi nancial needs that improves their fi nancial well-being,Oportun CEO Raul Vazquez said in an interview. “We’re going to create a leading neobank focused on fi nancial health,” he said. Oportun says that its products provide affordable alternatives to payday loans and that its artifi cial intelligenceunderwriting models help it offer credit to consumers who have struggled to qualify at traditional providers. Thecompany has drawn criticism from consumer advocates, particularly in connection with its past debt collectionpractices.