Neobank Ando Announces Launch of “Change that Counts” Feature

In celebration of this year’s Earth Day (which took place on April 22nd), a growing FinTech unveiled its latest plan to help consumers combat climate change. Last week, Ando formally announced the launch of its Change that Counts feature. Now, customers can elect to round-up their purchases to the nearest dollar, with the change going toward the planting of one tree.

For example, a purchase of $4.27 would be rounded up to $5, with the 73¢ supporting tree planting. While any round-up purchase of a penny or more will translate to one tree, Ando points out that the average cost to plant a tree (with program administration factored in) is approximately 50¢. Of note to users, those who opt into the Change the Counts program will automatically be disabling the Round-Up Savings feature — although customers can easily switch back and forth between these options using the app. Additionally, Ando debit card users will continue to earn 1.5% cashback on purchases they make with their card.

To make this new feature a reality, Ando has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation and the Eden Reforestation Project. Plus, in celebration of the program’s launch, the neobank has pledged to match up to the first 100,000 trees that its customers help plant. The resulting 200,000 trees planted amounts to more than 10 times the number of trees found in New York’s iconic Central Park. Ando also notes that, while planting new trees will be the initial focus of the program, they plan to eventually evolve the feature to include protecting mature existing trees in a bid to make a more immediate impact in the fight against climate change.

Ando’s latest feature is reminiscent of one offered by fellow eco-minded FinTech Aspiration. Aspiration’s Plant the Change program also allows customers to round-up their purchases in order to donate the difference toward planting trees. Meanwhile, Aspiration also now offers a credit card that plants one tree for every purchase a cardholder makes. Elsewhere, BMO Harris Bank recently revealed a new program that will enable cardholders to redeem credit card points to support tree-planting initiatives.

Announcing the new program, Ando CEO JP McNeill said, “By using the purchase power of an Ando debit card to plant a tree, our customers are collectively making a tangible, quantifiable impact on reducing the amount of carbon pollution in our atmosphere.” Noting that Ando’s other features can also benefit customers financially, McNeill added, “The national average for a debit card purchase is $38.00. Since the Ando Visa Debit card earns you unlimited 1.5% on every transaction, that’s $0.57 cashback on the average purchase. So really, every swipe earns you money and enables you to plant a tree — a win/win.”

Overall, Ando’s latest feature launch highlights how FinTech is enabling companies to really find a niche and create innovative ways to deliver on their mission. While Ando does follow in the footsteps of Aspiration here, it’s still helping to lead the way for a number of up-and-coming neobanks in the Earth-friendly space. In turn, it’s worth keeping an eye on Ando’s efforts as the company continues to grow.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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