Point, a challenger bank which offers a premium debit card that includes rewards, announced raising a $46.5 million Series B led by Valar Ventures, according to TechCrunch.
The company says it will use the funding to hire additional staff, introduce new features to the card and develop new products.
In addition to Peter Thiel’s Valar, the round included participation from Breyer Capital, YC Continuity and Human Capital and raises Point’s total funding raised to $60 million. That includes the company’s $10.5 million Series A in July 2020 and two seed rounds worth $2.15 million total from investors including Y Combinator, Robot Ventures, Kindred Ventures, Financial Venture Studio, Chapter One Ventures and angel investors.
Point offers a premium debit card for $49 per year which offers a number of rewards in addition to traditional debit card services.
These offerings range from ‘points’ multipliers for purchases to insurance services such as new purchase, trip cancellation and car rental insurance. Users get two free ATM withdrawals per month and pay no additional foreign transaction fees.
Point multipliers are determined by purchase type, with users gaining 5x points on subscriptions, 3x on food deliveries and ride sharing, and 1x on all other purchases. Insurance services and global travel assistance are included every time the card is used.
Users can also earn additional points on limited-time offers on select brand, such as 15x when shopping at Nike, or 5x when shopping at Amazon or Starbucks. The cards use advanced RFID chips for secure payments, link to Google Pay and Apple Pay, are made of synthetic polymer and currently come in four color editions.
The Point Card is also built to be linked to a Point application, which allows users to lock and unlock the card at will and gives customers customized notifications on spending.
The company’s main goal is to attract consumers away from the credit card market, which has lost public trust in the past decade, driving many financial technology services to fill the vacuum.
While BNPL has taken a key market share in that role, premium debit cards are an interesting alternative for those who don’t want to owe money they don’t have at the time.
A number of other challenger banks have introduced their own premium cards, such as Nubank with its newest ‘Ultravioleta’ card. I predict an increase in the number of these premium, rewards-driven debit cards as BNPL ventures take over credit cards lending services and consumers look for separate, digital products to reward spending.