Betterment Checking, the automated advice platform or so-called robo advisor’s launchpad for banking services, is in “full rollout” and widely available, according to a company spokesperson. The feature comes with a debit card, reimbursement for foreign transaction fees and ATM fee reimbursement, as well as $250,000 in FDIC insurance. Checking is a partnership between Betterment and nbkc bank.
The rollout marks the culmination of an initiative that was widely publicized last July and is part of a larger trend of wealth management-focused fintechs seeking to erase the lines between banking and wealth management. For advisors using Betterment, the Checking feature isn’t expected to move the needle compared with other wealth management-centric feature launches. “B4A advisors can advise their clients to open a Betterment Checking account if they wish,” said Senior PR Manager Arielle Sobel. “Advised clients also want all the perks of the checking account, no ATM fees, etc.”
Betterment Checking’s rollout, just as many Americans are receiving federal government stimulus payments, offers insight into how retail customers are handling their checks. Just 13% are depositing them into their retirement funds, while 20% are putting them towards an emergency fund and another 27% are earmarking them as cash-on-hand. Another 25% are putting the money in investments designed to “build wealth,” according to Betterment data.