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Wealthfront Lays Foundation for Direct Deposit, Bill Pay

In development since at least 2018, will this be the year for 'Self-Driving Money?'

In a note to customers, Wealthfront teased that it would be rolling out account and routing numbers to its cash account feature in “late spring.” The move allows users to set up direct deposit to Wealthfront accounts, further encroaching on ground traditionally held by banks (to date, users have had to rely on ACH transfers to fund or add money to their Wealthfront cash accounts).

The move is necessary for rollout of additional features Wealthfront has previously discussed like bill pay and debit cards. Account and routing numbers are also a necessity for sending money using apps like Venmo and PayPal. “These features are important first steps towards our ultimate goal … something we call Self-Driving Money,” said Andy Rachleff, president and CEO of the firm, in a message to clients. Wealthfront is planning to launch that feature “later this year,” he added. Wealthfront announced it had already brought in $1 billion in cash account deposits from its customers by April 2019.

The firm recently saw its CFO depart after five years at the firm. A spokesperson did not return a request for more detailed launch information. 

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