NEW YORK (AP) — Online lender and financial startup SoFi is taking the first step toward competing with the nation’s biggest banks on their home turf: the checking account.

Last week, the San Francisco provider of student and personal loans applied for federal deposit insurance, a protection normally only available to conventional banks. In its application, the company said SoFi Bank will offer bread-and-butter banking products, including checking accounts and credit cards.

But no one should expect to see a SoFi branch in their neighborhood any time soon. In its application, SoFi says it believes its all-digital approach – meaning no physical branches – will better serve customers, particularly those who find visits to traditional bank offices unnecessary.

The company, however, will have back-office operations in both Delaware and Salt Lake City, Utah.