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Partner Spotlight: Pathward + Galileo Promoting Financial Inclusion

February 24, 2023

Galileo and Pathward have worked for 17+ yrs to provide equitable financial solutions. The collaboration has led to innovative products and solutions

For more than 17 years, Galileo and Pathward (formerly known as MetaBank) have worked together to increase financial inclusion and create a more equitable financial system for all. 

Throughout their long-standing relationship, the companies have jointly collaborated with mutual fintech partners to create and deliver forward-thinking financial solutions for consumer and business end-users, ranging from digital banking, to card issuing, to money movement and beyond. 

Galileo recently sat down with Whitney Woyke, president of Pathward’s Banking as a Service (BaaS) division, to discuss the companies’ nearly two decades of progress in expanding access to impactful, problem-solving financial services. 

Mission: “Pathward’s purpose is about driving financial inclusion for all,” noted Woyke. “We have diverse partners, including processors, program managers, fintechs and government agencies, who find individuals and small businesses who are underserved by the traditional financial community… We’re really striving to create an equitable financial system for all.”

Founding: Founded in 1954 as Storm Lake Savings and Loan Association in Storm Lake, Iowa, the bank grew steadily over the ensuing decades, acquiring a number of other financial providers and rolling out a payments division in 2004. Today known as Pathward Financial, it operates a dedicated division for its BaaS and commercial finance business lines. 

Location: Headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., with branch locations in Iowa and South Dakota.

What Galileo does for them: Galileo and Pathward have collaborated to support numerous financial services products since 2005. Recent examples include Clair–a provider of instant pay access for hourly and gig economy workers–for which Pathward provides issuing and banking services, while Galileo provides API-based payment processing. The companies serve similar roles for Fundbox, a platform that provides working capital for small and mid-sized businesses.

“Over the last 17 years, we both changed a lot and evolved with the payments industry, and really solved a lot of problems together,” Woyke said of Pathward’s long history with Galileo. “We have incredibly deep relationships at all levels of both organizations… and we’re excited to continue to partner with Galileo to bring forward-thinking financial solutions to the next generation of banking and service partners.

Testimonial: “Our national bank charter, combined with the deep relationship we have with our regulators and our expertise within the risk and compliance controls area, really gives us the opportunity to guide our partners and help them deliver financial products to the market that are safe and sound,” said Woyke. “In our BaaS division, we offer issuing solutions, acquiring solutions, money movement and credit solutions for consumers who can’t access it through their normal bank. On the commercial finance side, we offer relationship-first lending with products and services that compete with traditional big banks, but we’re lending to businesses who aren’t qualifying for traditional financing through those other banks.”

Impact: “Millions of Americans are still unbanked and underbanked today, and unless we find a way to serve them, they’ll continue to be at an economic disadvantage,” Woyke noted. “Small to medium sized businesses need access to sufficient credit to fund their operations to make payroll to purchase goods. And similarly, individuals need access to trusted products that will fit into their lifestyle. We’re committed to finding ways to provide access for small businesses and individuals to the financial system to help them be successful.”

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