Adro selects Stearns Bank as sponsor bank to bridge financial services gap for international students

May 21, 2024

Adro, a New York-based technology company enabling access to checking, savings and credit for international students and workers moving to the U.S. through its university partners, announced today Stearns Bank N.A. as its official bank sponsor.

With support from Stearns Bank N.A. to build a financial on-ramp for internationals, Adro is set to launch this summer. Product highlights include:

  • The ability to open an account before arrival in the U.S., no Social Security number required
  • Complete product access from the day of arrival, including debit and credit cards via Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  • And the ability to begin building credit on Day 1, while waiting for the Social Security number to be issued
  • Discounted international money transfers

“As one of our earliest and biggest supporters, choosing Stearns Bank N.A. as our sponsor bank was an obvious choice,” said Amarildo Gjondrekaj, CEO and Co-founder at Adro. “Stearns has a long history of recognizing minority groups that are traditionally underserved and underbanked. They have been an invaluable resource in sharing their expertise in risk and compliance oversight. Their team has shown great appreciation towards what we’re building to improve the banking experience for internationals.”

Left to right: Adro co-founders Kevin DeArmond, Sara Schmitt and Amarildo Gjondrekaj

“We believe in listening to what our community needs. Our customers and communities are increasingly more global and mobile, and we’re all about increasing inclusion and access.  Empowerment for all is our mission, and partnering with Adro to offer the full breadth of financial services to international students and workers aligns perfectly with our priorities,” said Kelly Skalicky, President and Chief Executive Officer at Stearns Bank N.A.  Josh Hofer, Chief Risk and Information Security Officer at Stearns Bank N.A., who leads Stearns Bank’s fintech and innovation division adds, “We’re emerging as a leader in fintech partnership and innovation because of our strong risk management, compliance and regulatory expertise and our common-sense business approach, which we’re in a great position to leverage for Adro and its customers to expand and maximize Adro’s reach and impact.”

With its bank sponsor now confirmed, Adro’s focus remains on narrowing down and finalizing its key university partners ahead of the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year. For more information, visit www.joinadro.com/university.


About Adro

Adro is a technology company helping internationals unblock access to financial services so they can live like a local. Based in New York, Adro has raised a $1.5M pre-seed and is backed by investors who deeply believe in equal access and opportunity for newcomers arriving in the U.S.

Adro was selected to join the 2024 Hudson Valley Venture Hub Accelerator at SUNY New Paltz. Adro is a graduate of Westchester County’s Element 46 Tech Accelerator and a member of CELA Innovation. To learn more, visit www.joinadro.com.


About Stearns Bank N.A.

Minnesota-based Stearns Bank National Association is a $2.8 billion, independently owned financial institution with locations in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona, and over 35,000 small business customers nationwide. Stearns Bank is consistently recognized as one of the Best Banks to Work For, most recently ranked by American Banker as the 5th best bank to work for among banks in the nation, while earning top rankings based on its strong capital and earnings as one of the nation’s highest-performing banks. The Independent Banker’s 2023 “Best of the Best” ranks Stearns Bank as the 4th best-performing bank in the U.S. among banks having more than $1 billion in assets based on banks’ 3-year average Return on Assets. Stearns Bank’s financial strength and success is achieved by Stearns Bank becoming one of the most prominent community impact lenders in the nation through effective public-private partnerships and innovative local initiatives with community organizations, CDFIs, and Minority Deposit Institutions across the country. Stearns Bank specializes in nationwide affordable housing, workforce and multifamily housing, commercial construction lending, build-to-suit and CRE-repositioning lending, family office and lender financing, USDA and SBA lending, and small business and equipment financing to foster economic development and entrepreneurial growth at a local level in communities across the country. As a national leader and go-to bank for nonprofits, Stearns Bank created a customized suite of Nonprofit Banking Solutions specially designed and tailored to empower nonprofit organizations across the country. Driven by a passion to help others achieve their greatest ambitions, Stearns Bank’s mission is to Get the Job Done! For more information, visit StearnsBank.com.

Adro launches in 2024