PayPal has offered credit and debit cards and lets users store money in some online vault somewhere, but it’s never been legally a bank. Synchrony Bank and Bancorp Bank have backed the plastic and PayPal itself has never offered checking or loans to customers. That is, until recently.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has been offering FDIC account insurance (the first $250,000 in deposits). PayPal is reported to be working with a bank in Georgia for mobile deposits and Utah banks for consumer and small business loans. PayPal has also been developing relationships for an ATM network.
PayPal has skirted around licensing laws to offer these banking services as a way to centralize services that so-called “unbanked” customers would like without technically being a bank. In doing so, it charges fees for out-of-network ATM withdrawals and mobile deposits.