Acorns Announces Acorns Spend Checking Account, Debit Card
The micro-investing app Acorns unveiled a new product this week, which the company says will make it even easier for users to invest and save. As TechCrunch reports, the FinTech firm has now opened pre-orders for Acorns Spend — a new checking account and debit card offering. Within a matter of hours, Acorns had already received thousands of sign-ups for the new product.
Acorns Spend includes many of the same features as the app itself but does include some added conveniences. For example, while the app’s signature “round-ups” assessed from other cards need to accrue $5 before being invested, round-ups from purchases made using the Acorns Spend debit card will be invested in real time. Additionally, on top of the Found Money offers the app lists from various retailers, the company’s website suggests Acorns Spend account holders will be eligible for additional offers that could earn them up to 10% on certain purchases. Since it is a checking account, Acorns Spend will also include some other must-have features such as mobile check deposit, free bank-to-bank money transfers, and free or fee-reimbursed ATM access. Lastly accounts are FDIC insured for up to $250,000.
In a video released by the company, the app boasts that Acorns Spend is the next logical evolution for the app’s main goals. However, speaking to TechCrunch, Acorns CEO Noah Kerner brought up another aspect of the offering: the design of the debit card. Kerner told the site, “The design is important to us because this card is a badge of honor. By choosing it, people are choosing to save, invest and earn while they spend. They’re handling their business and they deserve a card that reflects that — a card made of tungsten metal, the heaviest non-radioactive element, and designed together with the visionary behind Apple’s design group.”
One potential downside of Acorns Spend is the user fee, currently set at $3 a month. However it should be noted that Acorns charges $1 a month for its basic service, which is included in the Acorns Spend fee. Also included with Acorns Spend membership is the company’s recently launched Acorns Later retirement savings product.
As part of the product’s launch, only 100,000 Acorns Spend cards will be made available. Those cards will be shipped out by November 1st of this year. Current Acorns users can sign-up for the new product by visiting the website while new users will first need to register for the app before they’ll be eligible to apply for an Acorns Spend account.
Acorns latest venture actually follows a bit of a trend seen in FinTech as of late. Just a couple of months ago it was revealed that PayPal was looking to offer more traditional banking features to select users. While those functionalities are the result of multiple bank partnerships (for the record, Acorns Spend debit cards are issued by Lincoln Savings Bank), other FinTechs have announced their intent to apply for their own bank charters. In any case, with more and more non-traditional institutions looking to offer banking services, it seems inevitable that a sweeping overhaul of banking regulations will be forthcoming. Until then expect more startups to partner with banks in order to present their users with a greater set of financial tools.
Also published on Medium.