Icelandic challenger bank, indó has announced that it is coming out of stealth mode with $4.5m in seed funding.

Concurrently, the digital banking start-up announced that it has been granted a licence from the Central Bank of Iceland to operate as a savings bank.

Founded in September 2018, indó is the first challenger bank in Iceland and intends to focus on digital innovation and transparency.

The digital lender said it is targeting customers’ primary salary-deposit accounts with a new-build and low-cost model along with the existing financial infrastructure.

Initially, indó plans to offer a debit card account and expand its product portfolio over time through partnerships with third parties, while operating as a digital-only bank.

indó CEO HaukurSkúlason said: “Over the centuries, banking has evolved from ‘a place to store money’ into a vast, complex financial services industry – one that is steeped in the mystique of money, privilege, power and exclusivity, thriving on opacity and getting away with shoddy customer service.

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“The financial services industry is one of the lowest-ranked worldwide when it comes to trust and is driven by bank failures, ongoing scandals, revelations of corruption and participation in money laundering. indó is going back to the roots of banking to restore trust, regain transparency and return tradition to a field that sorely needs a new approach.”

In the coming months, indó will integrate its computer systems with the Central Bank’s system infrastructure after which consumers will be able to access its services.