How was Monrovia, California-based Green Dot able to quickly launch itself into the mobile banking category? Through two strategic acquisitions, one made in late 2011, and one made in early March of 2012. Green Dot--which launched its mobile banking app and service, GoBank, this week--apparently was positioning itself for the move in 2011, when it acquired a small community bank in Utah, with a mere $35.7M in assets, and with the acquisition in March of last year of mobile software developer Loopt. Those two acquisitions looked to have paved the way for the release of GoBank, an FDIC-insured, mobile only banking service which Green Dot hopes will capture the attention of a new, mobile driven generation.
Green Dot said its new, mobile banking service will include everything from mobile deposits, an extensive network of ATM machines, a "fortune teller" to tell you if you really ought to buying that new gadget, and more, with a minimum of fees. That came all thanks to spending $43.4M to buy Loopt and its development team -- specifically to set up a Silicon Valley hub for mobile and product development for the banking product. As part of that buy, Green Dot actually completely shut down Loopt and redirected the team toward GoBank last year. Add that to all the regulatory hurdles for a bank--already taken care of in its acquisition of Bonneville Bank--and you have yourself a mobile banking service.