Beloved mobile banking company scales rapidly with national media and brand-building to help all Americans feel better about their money.
SAN FRANCISCO – December 17, 2019 – Mobile banking company Varo Money, Inc. announces the hire of Halle Hutchison as Chief Brand Officer, who brings 20 years of experience launching and developing some of the most renowned and innovative brands including AT&T, T-Mobile, Alaska Airlines, and Expedia. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Marketing for global dog care brand Rover. At Rover, Halle and team propelled the brand from an unknown start-up to a household name during a period of explosive customer growth and rapid geographic expansion for the company.
Halle now joins Varo on the verge of a similar stage of growth. In November, Varo announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar media partnership with iHeartMedia that will reach hundreds of iHeartMedia properties—ranging from radio to podcasts to live events. Varo will leverage this partnership to grow awareness of its premium banking services and grow the impact the brand makes in the lives of everyday Americans. More than 1 million people have opened accounts with Varo since it was made available in the App Store in July 2017.
“We are at a major inflection point with banking. Today, 40% of global customers do their banking digitally—but that percentage was just 28% in 2015,” said Colin Walsh, CEO and co-founder of Varo. “Halle’s deep experience with consumer brands will help make Varo the top-of-mind choice and an iconic brand as people increasingly move to digital.”
Prior to joining Varo, Halle worked on multiple award-winning advertising campaigns during her career including TIME Magazine’s Reader’s Choice #1 advertising campaign “Who’s in Your Fave Five?” as part of the T-Mobile’s NBA sponsorship featuring Charles Barkley and Dwyane Wade. Her emphasis on brand storytelling has helped propel these brands to national recognition with tens of millions of customers.
“Businesses sell products or services. Brands are about people, emotions, aspirations, and therefore stories. Stories are what connect us together, and they are a welcome shortcut to help us interpret the proliferation of facts and data we are exposed to everyday,” said Halle. “The stories that Varo customers share are real, heartwarming, powerful, and persuasive.”
The fast-moving shift and adoption of digital into almost every aspect of our lives—whether that’s banking, communication, or shopping—doesn’t change our need for human connection, Halle added. The number of people listening to storytelling channels such as podcasts has jumped from 17 million monthly in 2015 to 32 million monthly in 2019.
“Bringing technology and innovation together to change people’s lives for the better is what drew me to Varo,” Halle said. “It’s time to redefine the American Dream for a new generation—a dream that is increasingly about the freedom to live one’s life exactly as one chooses and that’s where Varo can help.”
Halle has also served on the advisory board for Spoonful, a start-up nutrition brand; and is on the Board of Directors for Team Survivor Northwest, a non-profit that helps women cancer survivors.
Varo customers can save up to hundreds of dollars in bank and overdraft fees. Customers are also eligible to get paid two days faster** with direct deposit through the bank account’s Early Direct Deposit feature. They can also set up auto-savings features to build savings and earn up to 2.80% Annual Percentage Yield*** with no minimum balance requirement with a Varo Savings Account.
Varo is the first fintech company to receive preliminary approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to open as the first mobile-first national bank.
Varo bank account services are provided by The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.
Varo Money, Inc. (“Varo”) is on a mission to help people make progress with their financial lives. In one mobile app, Varo offers customers premium bank accounts with no monthly fees, high-interest savings accounts, and tech-first features to help people save and manage their money more easily. As a fintech leader, Varo has been granted preliminary approval for a de novo national bank charter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and is working to become the first mobile-centric national bank in U.S. history. Varo Personal Loans are offered by Varo Money, Inc., under state licenses, subject to application approval. For more information, visit www.nofeeoverdraft.com or www.varomoney.com, like Varo on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @varomoney.
*To be eligible for No Fee Overdraft, customers must make at least 5 qualifying debit card purchases each calendar month; receive payroll or government direct deposits of at least $1,000 each calendar month into their Varo Bank Account or Savings Account; and opt-in to the program via the app on their mobile device.
**Faster access to funds is based on comparison of traditional banking policies and deposit of paper checks from employers and government agencies versus deposits made electronically. Direct Deposit and earlier availability of funds is subject to payer’s support of the feature and timing of payer’s funding.
***To earn 2.80% APY, the Savings Account balance must be $50,000 or less and the customer must meet both of the following requirements. If the Savings Account balance is above $50,000, or both of the following conditions are not met, the APY will be 1.92% on the entire Savings Account balance:
- Receive payroll or government direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 each month into the Varo Bank Account
- Use the Varo debit card to authorize at least 5 purchases each month (excluding ATM or Over-the-Counter Cash Withdrawals and P2P transfers)
New customers seeking to qualify for 2.80% APY will first need to set up direct deposit and receive their debit card in the mail and activate it. Until the qualifying direct deposit(s) are posted and debit card purchase transactions made, they will earn 1.92% APY.
The APYs are accurate as of December 1, 2019; rates are variable and may change. There is no minimum balance required to open the account. Balance in Savings Account must be at least $0.01 to earn interest.