Payment Methods

Galileo Introduces Debit Card Aimed At Contract Worker Pay

debit card

Galileo Financial Technologies, the digital payments platform provider for many of North America’s largest financial technology companies, has launched what it says is a faster and cheaper way to create debit cards.

Galileo Instant allows businesses to introduce debit card programs in as early as two weeks, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based company said in a Thursday (June 25) announcement.

While any business can use the tool to create branded debit cards issued by a financial institution, Instant is especially useful for the U.S. businesses paying millions of 1099 or contract workers, Galileo said.

By collaborating with banks to standardize debit card issuing, Galileo said it reduces the cost and time of market entry compared to traditional solutions. Galileo did not provide the price of the service.

“In time and dollars, the barriers to entry in digital payments have been prohibitively high, even as the need for solutions has grown,” said Cole Wilkes, managing director of Galileo Instant, in a statement. “Fast growing companies ... need to pay their content creators and gig workers quickly and easily, but there hasn’t been an easy way to do that.”

Galileo’s digital payments platform provides savings and checking account-like abilities through its application programming interfaces (APIs). The firm’s offerings can be accessed through desktop, mobile and a tangible debit card. Its APIs have fueled functions including direct deposit, account setup, funding and check balance, among other features.

The firm’s clients include Chime, Monzo, KOHO, Revolut, Robinhood, TransferWise and Varo.

Last fall, Instant launched in beta mode. Prior to this month’s full launch, Instant had a waiting list of more than 100 businesses, Galileo said.

“In a live demo, we went from idea to issued card to completed transaction in less than an hour,” Wilkes said.

Last spring, Social Finance Inc. (SoFi), the San Francisco-based online personal finance company, bought Galileo for $1.2 billion in shares and cash.

“SoFi has established itself as a leader in the fintech sector, providing our more than one million members a full array of financial products to help them get their money right,” said SoFi CEO Anthony Noto at the time of the announcement.

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