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Author: @luvleensidhu

16 Jun

#LuvNote: A Thank You to My Parents

With Mother’s Day last month and Father’s Day coming up this weekend, it is a great time to reflect on the lessons and values I have learned from my parents. I am the byproduct of having two parents who invested heavily in my personal and academic development from an early age, and I am fortunate to have them as my greatest teachers.

Growing up in a Sikh family in Pennsylvania, spirituality and Indian culture were a big part of my life. I participated in Indian dance, sang hymns at our local Gurdwara every Sunday, spent most of my time studying, playing piano, horseback riding, running track, and traveling with my family, including our annual trips to India to visit our family.

My father immigrated from India and came to the United States on a scholarship where he attended Wilkes University for his MBA. Since then, I am proud to say that he has established the Jay S Sidhu School of Business and Leadership at Wilkes to help develop thousands of other students.

My dad is extremely devoted to constantly learning and growing and has always told me you should always have something “significant left to do” in life. Something that not only inspires and motivates you but also helps serve others. I learned from his drive and commitment to always be the best that I can be, to never give up when life throws you curveballs, and to be a life-long learner. Seeing him in action, making his own life dreams a reality showed me the power to have a clear goal and pursue it with passion and dedication.

I also have deep respect for my mom, who was born in Punjab, India, and came to the US after she married my father at the age of 20. She earned a Master’s in health and business administration after coming to a new country while juggling two young children. After that, she worked for several years until she decided to dedicate her life fully to raising her kids. My mom is my superhero and has taught me what it means to love selflessly, be dedicated to family, have compassion and empathy for others, and value spiritual living (living with gratitude, purpose, and authenticity).

The mixture of characteristics I have adopted from my parents have helped me expand my own life in beautiful ways.  I live my life dreaming about what’s next while mindfully living in gratitude for what is already here. My parents helped me believe that a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit is key to achieving my goals, and if I remained dedicated and persevered, I would win in the end. It is because of them that I had the confidence and determination to start and build BM Technologies Inc, which has been one of the greatest, most fulfilling gifts in life.  Our mission at BMTX is to create a financially empowering banking experience rooted in affordability, transparency, and exceptional customer service. In the journey to achieve BMTX’s mission, I became one of the few young female CEOs of a publicly traded company and the youngest female founder and CEO to ever take a company public at the time of BMTX’s listing.

This LuvNote is a huge THANK YOU to my amazing, loving, selfless, and inspiring parents and to all the parents out there.  Thank you for all you do. Wishing everyone a wonderful Father’s day as well! 

With Love,

6 May

PaymentsSource NEXT Award

Luvleen Sidhu, BM Technologies | Women in Payments, Next

PaymentsSource NEXT Award Feature

They say no one makes it big on their own, and Luvleen Sidhu gives plenty of credit to her family in helping to launch her company and guiding her along the way. But it was Sidhu’s own tenacity and refusal to give up that made BM Technologies and the BankMobile banking-as-a-service concept a success.

Sidhu designed a digital banking platform in 2015 through the eyes of mainstream consumers who wanted simple financial management tools. Incubated as a subsidiary of Customers Bank — which her father Jay Sidhu founded, and is now run by her brother Sam Sidhu — BM initially focused on a business-to-consumer model.

Behavior changes driven by COVID will have a long-lasting impact on the rewards strategy of major issuers.

The BankMobile offering proved to be solid but adoption stalled.

“We weren’t growing at the exponential rate we had hoped for and I became frustrated,” Sidhu said.

Drawing on lessons her father had taught her about setbacks during his own 40-year career in banking, Sidhu called a time out. Brainstorming with her team, she went back to the drawing board to determine how to gain scale by operating as a white-label solution for colleges and universities and businesses.

Now handling disbursement of college student financial aid balances on more than 700 campuses, as well as providing other companies including T-Mobile and Google with mobile checking accounts, BM Technologies in six years has expanded from three employees to 250, serving more than 2 million consumers.

Sidhu reached another milestone this year when she spearheaded the debut of BankMobile on the New York Stock Exchange through blank-check company Megalith Financial Acquisition Corp. and formed BM Technologies through a merger. The move made Sidhu — 34 at the time — one of the youngest female CEOs to take a company public.

Luvleen created an innovative company by leveraging technology, and when she ran into obstacles she sought guidance from banking veterans who helped her pivot strategies.Pankaj Dinodia, CEO, Dinodia Capital Advisors

The year leading up to that triumph wasn’t easy, as the pandemic restricted in-person meetings just as BM Technologies entered a critical phase in its evolution.

Sidhu gave each employee Amazon gift cards to help them cope, adjusted their work hours by granting strategic time off and offered them $2,500 interest-free loans if needed.

“This moment also highlighted the importance of self-care and I began to lead with a more solid work-life balance,” Sidhu said.

Sidhu began taking a 20-minute walk each morning after realizing she missed the experience of commuting on foot to her New York office every day during the pandemic. Instead of relying on door-delivered food and rushing through meals, she also rediscovered cooking and savoring healthy food.

“I realized the importance and enjoyment of cooking,” Sidhu said.

But BM Technologies’ recent success has not diminished Sidhu’s ambitions, which include expanding the company’s digital banking model to more workplaces and organizations.

“The secret to going from intention to action is driven by the desire to succeed, and by having a mission and the compassion to serve,” Sidhu said.

Sidhu’s formidable academic credentials — including an undergraduate business degree from Harvard, an MBA from Wharton and additional executive certifications — have helped power her success.

“Getting your credentials is one important way for women to learn the skills needed on the way up, though it’s not the only way. At Wharton, I caught the entrepreneurial bug and became more and more intrigued about starting my own business,” she said.

Looking for mentors and finding women to mentor is another big component to finding satisfaction and success, Sidhu said. She would like to help other women take companies public.

“It’s encouraging to see more women listing their companies, but it’s still a challenging process,” Sidhu said. Apart from encouraging other entrepreneurs like herself, Sidhu does everything she can to encourage other companies to promote women into leadership roles and give them the pay and opportunities equal to men in those same jobs.

“These initiatives must come from senior management, who can really drive change,” she said.

Staying true to her family’s discipline continuously learning, in her spare time Sidhu stokes her enthusiasm for her business by listening to the NPR podcasts “How I Built This” and “Planet Money,” along with “The Tim Ferriss Show.”

“It’s phenomenal how much wisdom you can pick up from hearing the stories of others who have started from scratch and built lasting and impactful companies,” she said.

Nominating executive:
Pankaj Dinodia, CEO, Dinodia Capital Advisors

What he says:
“Luvleen created an innovative company by leveraging technology, and when she ran into obstacles she sought guidance from banking veterans who helped her pivot strategies.”

Original Feature:

4 May

Elle India Profile

Meet Luvleen Sidhu, The Woman Behind One Of The Largest Mobile-First Banking Platforms In US

Luvleen Sidhu, co-founder and CEO, BM Technologies, Inc. (BMTX), recently became one of the first female minority founders of a publicly traded company, following the recent listing of her company on the New York Stock Exchange. Luvleen founded her company when she was 28 and has expanded it to now serve over five million customers. In a candid chat with ELLE, she talks about leadership in the new world, digital banking and more.ELLE: From starting the company in your 20s to becoming one of the first female minority founders of a publicly traded company, tell us about the highlights of your journey?

Luvleen Sidhu (LS): I graduated from Harvard in 2008 when the financial crisis hit. My first day on the job at Lehman Brothers was the same day the firm filed for bankruptcy. This impacted my professional trajectory and influenced why I founded BMTX. It soon became clear to me that I wanted to focus my time on launching a new digital banking platform that would be dedicated to solving the pain points of everyday Americans, and so I embarked on my entrepreneurial career.

ELLE: Your company was recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange. How did that achievement feel?

LS: It was a thrilling moment for me, both professionally and personally. In the six years since founding the company, I’ve become one of the youngest female CEOs of a publicly traded company (NYSE: BMTX) and overseen the acquisition of over five million customers, a collaboration with Google and a partnership with T-Mobile – and this is just the beginning. 

ELLE: As a female leader, what are some of the things you are doing to bring gender parity to the workforce?

LS: As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I try my best to actively focus on actions that can help propel women in finance. For example, promoting women in leadership roles, creating mentorship opportunities, providing equal pay, and ensuring female voices are represented at the executive leadership level are a few initiatives I have taken on. 

ELLE: What are the things that drive you professionally?

LS: My business aspiration is to help Americans achieve financial stability. There are millions of unbanked and underbanked individuals in the U.S. Many of these people are locked out of the system by monthly fee requirements due to certain circumstances and have an inherent scepticism of traditional banks. By launching a low-fee, digital banking platform focused on technology and financial empowerment, BMTX is providing an alternative that will hopefully enrich people’s lives. We’ve developed several financial literacy tools and hope to support people in properly managing their money—and achieving their dreams.


ELLE: You believe in the power of positivity, beginning every morning with Buddhist chanting and reciting prayers focused on gratitude. Tell us about that ritual?

LS: Having a strong morning ritual to start the day is important! My morning ritual consists of enjoying a homemade cappuccino and then sitting down to do Buddhist chanting, which is my form of meditation. During this 30 to 45 minutes meditation, I connect with my heart, my deepest desires, and my fears, as well as what I want to manifest in my life that day and in general. I also give thanks to everything in my life that is “working for me” and allow myself to feel gratitude. By starting my day this way, I am set up for success. I am vibrating with gratitude and have put out my intentions for the day, so I can start making it happen.

ELLE: What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you started, and now, you would like to give to other female entrepreneurs?

LS: I was fortunate enough to be raised by two strong and independent parents who instilled confidence in me from a young age. But I think having a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit are key to being successful. When I started my career, it never occurred to me that my status as a female or minority was relevant to my professional success. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I bring a unique perspective to the table and actively voice the importance of equality in the workplace. I dedicate my spare time to mentoring other women and hope my story will inspire young girls around the world to pursue careers in technology, finance, and banking.

Person Writing on White Paper

ELLE: What are some of the challenges you feel millennial women face when starting their own businesses, and what is the best way to navigate them?

LS: Millennial women want to make sure that their work is having a positive impact on the world in which they live. As a result, we can expect that most businesses will have a social mission attached to them when millennials are officially at the helm. No longer will working be only about making a profit, but rather about profit while doing good and making the world a better place.

ELLE: What is your business vision for the ‘new world’ that we have stepped into?

Today, more than ever before, bold leadership is needed. As a leader myself, I don’t believe that a company or group can be successful without bold leadership. But that’s not all it takes. For me, bold leadership with a sprinkle of compassion is the winning formula.

Original profile posted @

30 Apr

#LuvNote: Feeling (Financially) Empowered!

April is always an exciting month! Earlier this month, we reported that through the pandemic, we have had the opportunity to provide our customers with hundreds of millions of dollars of government payments, including stimulus payments and tax refunds, more quickly than traditional banks. We know how crucial funds are during these difficult times and it has been exciting for the entire BM Technologies (BMTX) team to see how many of our customers consider their accounts as their primary account. Reaching these milestones and finding new ways to support our customers is what keeps us going.

It’s Financial Literacy Month!

Our vision for BM Technologies (BMTX), formerly known as BankMobile, is to prioritize financially empowering our customers and use technology to provide them with the best digital banking experience. Since founding BM Technologies (BMTX), our focus has been on financial empowerment and we are commemorating Financial Literacy Month by reflecting on the services we provide to help our customers.

  • Passport: We serve our students through BankMobile Vibe and Passport is the account’s recognition program where users earn stamps for smart money management, academic achievement and good financial behavior. Every stamp earned also gives them an entry into the Student Success Sweepstakes for a chance to win prize money put toward paying off their student loan debt. Approximately 1,420,000 customers are currently enrolled or participating in Passport. Since the launch of the Passport program and sweepstakes, BM Technologies (BMTX) has awarded customers a total of over $200,000.

  • Scholarship: We also have an Annual Financial Empowerment Scholarship, which was started in 2015 and rewards students who understand the important role that financial empowerment plays in life. The deadline for video applications is July 16, 2021, so please don’t hesitate to share the details with a student in your network who can benefit from the opportunity.

  • Financial Wellness Solution: We have a partnership with Prudential Financial, Inc. to provide a full-service financial wellness solution to our Workplace Banking and BankMobile Vibe checking account customers. The solution provides customers with a financial wellness assessment to explore how they are spending, planning and protecting their money and assets. The platform also gives tips on how to gain peace-of-mind with saving and spending.

  • Blog and Social Media: We have a Financial Wellness Blog, which is a one-stop-shop for financial inspiration and motivation featuring articles and advice. We also offer financial tips and tricks on our social media platforms—follow/like us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok!

In honor of Financial Literacy Month and to continue focusing on our goal to empower our customers financially, BM Technologies (BMTX) is challenging not just our customers but everyone to take a pledge to thrive towards financial freedom. We are excited to engage with our customers and others and watch them take the pledge. Reaching your financial goals is very rewarding, so I hope you consider taking the pledge with me.

To take the pledge head over to BMTX Instagram and check out the “Story Templates”:

Lastly, the team and I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can further help our customers even more regarding financial literacy. DM us on IG – I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

With Love,

P.S. Because of my wonderful connections on LinkedIn, I was able to come across Business Insider’s “22 free or affordable online finance course from top schools like Yale and UPenn’s Wharton School” and wanted to share with you all!

29 Mar

#LuvNote: Leading Women in Fintech

Reflecting Back on International Women’s Day, Celebrating Women’s History Month, and Leading Women in Fintech

Reflecting back on International Women’s Day 2021 (#ChooseToChallenge) and as we continue to observe Women’s History Month 2021, it is a time for us to acknowledge and celebrate some extraordinary leading women’s achievements who have paved the way for others in the financial technology space, honor the women whom we live and work alongside every day, and keep pushing toward gender equality.

In 1870, Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to open her own brokerage firm and the first woman to run for president. In 1903, Maggie L. Walker became the first woman to charter a bank in the United States. In 1967, Muriel “Mickie” Siebert became the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and first Lady Abigail Adams was known for her management of family finances and investments. These stories are just some of many in the line of impressive women leaders who have influenced financial services.

The number of women involved in fintech startups has grown at a slow pace over the last decade. Women founders or cofounders now comprise 12.2% of total startups vs. 10.9% a decade ago. There are less than 30% of women in fintech, and less than 20% of them hold executive positions.

The current She-cession due to the coronaconomy has women taking the biggest economic slam. As of December 2020, women accounted for 55% of the 9.6M net jobs lost in 2020; and nearly half of the 12.1M jobs lost among women from February to April 2020 haven’t returned. The She-cession has occurred because women are overrepresented in high-contact industries like dining, retail, education, and travel. These have been majorly hit by lockdowns and social distancing. To avoid the next She-cession, women must achieve gender equality; women need to found and join the next Fortune 500s to shape a diverse corporate culture from the beginning and accumulate generational wealth for themselves.

As one of the youngest female founders and CEOs to ever take a company public (NYSE: BMTX), it is my honor to lead a company that is inclusive of gender vibrant teams. As proven by our BMTX statistics, we’re certainly not letting the FinTech industry’s slow pace related to gender diversity impact our ability to pave the way as a leading organization in this realm. Gender aside, I am grateful for the unique perspective each individual team member brings to the table and voices at BMTX on a daily basis. May we continue to lead the way and set the pace in the FinTech industry with gender diversity accomplishments—both as an organization and individually.

And as a global community, may we continue to make waves of impact from this generation to the next, and so on and so forth!

With Love,

Sources: | | | Robinhood Snacks