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Wealthfront Gamifies Bills to Draw Cash Account Users

Utilizing a cartoon cat and 'Drops,' Wealthfront's push into banking takes it further from its investing roots.

Wealthfront is gamifying bill paying to incentivize users to enroll and use its cash management feature. Investment account innovation at the automated advice platform, or so-called robo advisor, has given way to a push into banking, as the robo investing pioneer unveiled an FDIC-insured cash management feature last year with participation from a number of banks. Wealthfront Cash Account is currently offering checking account features via a partnership between Green Dot Bank and Wealthfront Brokerage.

As the financial services firm gets deeper into banking, it is encouraging users to pay rents, mortgages, credit card bills and other bills with its cash management feature, according to materials on its website. All the while, users are guided by a late-night-TV-watching, pizza-eating cartoon cat. Users are encouraged to pay bills, which have the chance of being reimbursed by the company. Each incentive opportunity is called a “Drop” and comes with a deadline for completion. 


Users are also encouraged to send direct deposits to Wealthfront. When it first opened, Wealthfront’s cash account feature netted $1 billion in just months, according to the firm. It opened with a 2.24% annual percentage yield, which now sits at 0.35%. 

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