The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has unveiled plans to grant national bank charters to financial technology firms.

To apply for the charter, fintech firms need to offer either one of the three core-banking activities, namely lending money, paying cheques or receiving deposits.

Companies applying for a charter will also have to ensure they have a reasonable chance of success, effective risk management and consumer protection, as well as strong capital and liquidity.

Comptroller Thomas Curry said: “It is clear that fintech companies hold great potential to expand financial inclusion, empower consumers, and help families and businesses take more control of their financial matters.”

“It will be much better for the health of the federal banking system and everyone who relies on these institutions, if these companies enter the system through a clearly marked front gate, rather than in some back door, where risks may not be as thoughtfully assessed and managed.”

The plans are open for public consultation through to 15 January 2017.