FinTech Binji Launches Its “Complete Personal Finance Solution”
For years various FinTech ventures have sought to make managing your finances a bit easier. Of course this overall vision has manifested itself in different ways, with various startups offering their own ideas and plans. Now Binji is launching what they call a “complete personal finance solution,” combining a few different FinTech-centric elements into one account.
Perhaps the main attraction of Binji is their digital display debit card. This single card allows users to link up to 24 other credit or debit cards via the app and select which one they’d like to use at any time. Then the digital display will show the last four digits of the selected card along with a chosen nickname so users know which card they’re paying with. If this concept sounds familiar it’s likely because Coin previously created a somewhat similar product. Unfortunately, after being purchased by Fitbit, that company ceased support for their products back in 2017. So what makes Binji different?
Beyond their clever consolidating card, Binji also offers traditional online banking features as well as peer to peer payment capabilities. In terms of banking features, Binji’s partnership with Axiom Bank ensures customer funds are FDIC insured up to the standard $250,000. Additionally the company says those who use their Binji accounts for direct deposits can access their money up to two days earlier than they would with traditional banks. These accounts also carry no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, and offer access to a network of free ATMs. On top of that, as mentioned, Binji has built-in support for peer to peer payments.
In a press release announcing the company’s product, Binji co-founder and CEO Ryan Marquis said, “We saw an opportunity to improve people’s lives by streamlining their finances through the convenience of offering app-based banking, card consolidation, and peer-to-peer payments on one platform. We’re offering consumers something that, until today, didn’t exist: With just a push of a button on the Binji Card’s user interface, consumers can now transfer funds from up to 24 different debit or credit cards into a single spending account.” Similarity co-founder and CTO Joseph Callahan added, “Binji takes the familiarity of a physical card and combines it with the best parts of app-based banking–convenience and security. We’re not only streamlining the payment process, but also providing a clear snapshot of where and how people spend their money.”
On the downside, Binji’s Digital Display Mastercard current sells for $89 on their website. It’s also worth noting that, as Marquis mentions in his statement, the card consolidation feature can “transfer funds from up to 24 different debit or credit cards.” That begs the question of whether using the Binji card as a proxy for a cash back credit card will still net users the same merchant category rewards they’d receive if they used the card directly. It seems the answer is “no” as the company’s Twitter account responded to a similar inquiry by saying, “Rewards will only work if it’s for general purchases. Specialized rewards (restaurants, gas, etc, will not work).” Upon further investigation, it also seems as though there’s a 3% fee when funding from a third-party credit card. Between the high buy-in, that big consolidation catch, and surely some more Coin comparisons, it will be interesting to see if Binji’s plan to be an all-in-one finance solution pays off.