Stash, the FinTech aimed at simplifying how people save and invest, announced Tuesday (March 12) the launch of its mobile-first banking service that comes with a rewards program, enabling customers to invest as they spend.
In a press release, the FinTech said its new rewards program, dubbed Stock-Back, enables users to earn fractional shares of stock automatically on qualified purchases by using their Stash debit card. That enables users to build a portfolio of investments that reflect where and how they are spending their money. They get the opportunity to invest in the companies they are interacting with on a regular basis.
The new mobile-first banking service is in conjunction with Green Dot Corp. It includes a debit account with no overdraft or monthly maintenance fees, access to a network of free ATMs nationwide and direct deposit. The launch comes after Stash raised $65 million in a Series E round of fundraising, the company noted in the press release. Proceeds from that will go to grow the product and build brand awareness for it.
"Our ability to give customers the opportunity to save and build portfolios that mirror their spending behavior and preferences is incredibly powerful," Stash Co-Founder and President Ed Robinson said in the release. "During the testing period, we saw an overwhelmingly positive response from users as they pay ordinary bills like Netflix, and in return received Netflix stock as well as access to dividends, educational resources, and financial advice. It's a winning combination for our over 3 million customers."
Robinson said 80 percent of Americans "are living paycheck-to-paycheck," and the firm can use its technology "to help people build better financial habits and invest in their future."
According to the company, the rewards program will be quickly ramped up when exclusive offers and partner deals are layered on top of it. Stash said some deals can be up to 5 percent stock-back. At launch, the Stock-Back Rewards program will give customers a base reward of .125 percent for every qualifying purchase in the respective publicly-traded stock or an investment in a Stash-approved ETF.
"Beyond democratizing access to the stock market, we're trying to upend an ecosystem where financial services companies continue to take from the masses, and pile on fee after fee," said Brandon Krieg, CEO and co-founder of Stash. "Now, with Stock-Back Rewards, we can really deliver on the holistic experience we set out to achieve, helping our customers maximize their financial power."