Simplifying financial life, one app at a time

Meet KOHO, the disruptive app that is shaking up Canada’s financial services sector.
28 April 2021 | 630 Shares

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As one of the most detail-oriented industries, financial services have often been at the forefront of digital disruption. After all, tech has been repeatedly pressed into service to provide more financial data, develop better systems to track records, or extract insights into what best works for users.

These methods are usually called financial technology or fintech, and they work to simplify people’s financial lives. Want to save better? Want to be able to track your spending patterns? Want your money to make money for you? There’s probably an app for that.

Fintech has been improving financial offerings worldwide, using digital mechanisms to plug gaps and address needs specific to markets. In Canada, fintech adoption has skyrocketed since 2015, from 8% then to 50% of the local market using a digital financial service of some sort today.

Yet, at least half the country has never tried a financial service that wasn’t offered by one of the five major banks. That means many Canadians are foregoing digitally-driven options that are helping worldwide users budget, save, and invest. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution for this problem.

Have you met KOHO?

KOHO started with a vision to democratize the Canadian financial system; to make it easier to spend responsibly and save proactively. Their first steps included introducing an easy-to-use app that’s connected to a prepaid Visa card. Like a credit card, the KOHO card can be used anywhere that accepts Visa, and earns cashback with every transaction.

Unlike a regular bank-issued credit card, however, this card doesn’t make you spend any credit. Instead, it uses the funds that you’ve pre-loaded into your KOHO personal or joint account. That means you won’t lose money on interest or late fee charges for missing repayments. In fact, the exact opposite is true: on average, a KOHO user saves 7% of the funds they add to their account.

In addition to equipping users with an antithesis of credit cards – which makes you spend cash you don’t have – the KOHO account and card combo also offers multiple, easy-to-use ways to better spend and save their hard-earned money.

For instance, once funds are added by e-transfer from a regular bank account or work payroll (directly deposited into your KOHO account), you can use your KOHO card to make online and in-person payments and purchases, like buying clothes from Amazon or paying for a gym membership. Better yet, when you shop with their retail partners (known as Partner PowerUps), you earn an additional 2-5% cashback.

KOHO has also been progressively ramping up its financial features. This year, it introduced a savings product, KOHO Save, helping users realize greater financial independence. For every penny deposited in KOHO Save, users will earn an additional 1.2% interest — that’s 2x the national average. But the benefits don’t stop here; significant advantages of an innovative fintech like KOHO are the digital-native disruptive features, such as automated savings.

Automated savings can be controlled via KOHO’s intuitive app, where you can see how much cashback you’ve earned from various transactions, known as PowerUps. They also offers RoundUps, another pain-free savings feature that, like the name implies, rounds up purchase amounts to the nearest figure, then transfers the extra straight into savings.

Your funds can be taken out anytime, with zero hidden fees. Better yet, instead of adding your saved money back to your spending account, you can allocate it towards a savings goal, like your next vacation, directly on the app.

Beyond features like these that put you in charge of your finances, KOHO offers digital-only capabilities that think outside the box, as you might expect from such an industry disruptor. A couple of notables are Early Payroll and Credit Building. Fee-free Early Payroll gives account holders three days’ advanced access to $100 from their next paycheque. Credit Building actively increases a user’s credit rating in just six months.

Another example of their game-changing initiatives is KOHO Premium. Premium users gain 2% cashback on every purchase of groceries, transport, and dining out. There are also no foreign exchange charges for spending outside of Canada, and the app offers price matching features to ensure users score the best possible deals. Premium users access all of this for only $9 per month or $84 for the entire year.

Next-level features and a digital-only portfolio of services are what has made KOHO the leading challenger bank in Canada, and already it processes upwards of $2 billion in transaction volume every year. Such growth has enabled the company to scale so quickly to provide more savings and credit features, rounding out its financial capabilities to be on par, and in many respects, completely outstrip classic, over-the-counter banking.

KOHO is a purely digital service that requires no interactions with tellers, paying-in slips, or standing in line to pay bills. The savings the company makes from not paying overheads for brick-and-mortar premises are passed to its customers.

Through a single app, KOHO enables spending, saving, and credit building, while simplifying an entire financial ecosystem in online space. Democratizing finance? It’s a bold claim, but they’re making it a reality for more Canadians, every day.

Select your card, and get started right here; join a new era of banking.