The short version
Today we’re publicly announcing Column, the only nationally chartered bank built to enable developers and builders to create new financial products – we’re calling it an infrastructure bank. We are live, open for business, open for feedback and you can go start building right now!
The longer version
We’ve been working towards this day since 2019 but in many ways this journey started back in 2015. Previous to starting Column, I (William) co-founded and built Plaid, which helped drive much of the innovation we’ve seen in financial services over the past decade. I spent time with (literally) thousands of companies building in financial services and it was painfully obvious that the biggest bottleneck to their growth and innovation was the underlying banks and middleware they relied on.
Financial services needs to be consumer, developer and internet first. But in order to do this — it needs a new backbone. Three years ago we set out to fix this by starting from first principles and building a bank from the ground up. Column N.A. is a nationally chartered bank where we created everything in house purposely to power developers and companies building in financial services. We were always told that banks can't be software companies, and until right now they have not been. We’ve built our own core, have a direct connection to the Federal Reserve, a robust balance sheet and a maniacal developer focus.
However, having the best technology and developer experience is not enough. We have a strong balance sheet that enables us to provide capital and developer focused lending infrastructure to our clients. We rethought what it means to partner from a compliance and legal perspective, and created purpose built tools and hired a world class team who understands what it takes to enable our customers to dramatically improve financial services.
We’ve been powering a select group of customers for some time and are now opening up for anyone to build on. We’re open to all and are excited to see what you build. There are probably some edges that need to be ironed out and we are very open to feedback. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with any ideas, suggestions or improvements!
William, Annie, and the entire Column team.