15/09/2023 Banking Innovation


Stash is turning money into a source of hope and opportunity for Americans who’ve historically been overlooked by traditional financial services institutions. The hardworking individuals we serve, most of whom earn less than $50K/year in HHI1, need our support now more than ever. At the pump, in the grocery aisle, and across every consumer spending category, Americans are facing tough choices about how to make the most of their money. That’s why, last year, Stash launched Stash Core, and alongside it a refreshed Stock-Back Debit Mastercard,2 giving millions of Americans the opportunity to tackle their finances with confidence, no matter the market conditions. A fintech as well as a registered investment advisor, we innovate to help our millions of customers easily and affordably bank and invest with tools and services that teach financial literacy and encourage actions aimed at long-term, sustainable economic security.

Innovation presentation

In September 2022, we launched Stash Core, a new, proprietary infrastructure platform that allows us to own the ledger, the money movement infrastructure, and every customer touchpoint in our platform. Building it was no small feat—the project took years and the majority of our employee base worked on it—and the outcome is that we can uniquely build our own customer experiences to best serve the millions of people who rely on us.

First, we completely relaunched our banking experience. It’s unsustainable for our customers to rely on credit cards with soaring interest rates that will put them further into debt. So we relaunched the Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® with new and valuable rewards— up to 1% stock-back for Plus Tier members.3 Here’s how it works: Customers earn stock in any place they spend. For example, when they buy Chipotle, they earn a sliver of Chipotle stock. When they fill up their tank at Chevron, they earn Chevron stock. If they spend at a company that’s not publicly traded, they earn stock in a security or ETF of their choosing. Stock-back is available in brick-and-mortar and online, in every retail location that accepts debit purchases. It acts as an education and diversification tool—more than 33% of customers go on to make a follow-up investment in a stock they’ve been rewarded.4 It’s unique, proprietary, and marries banking with investing like nothing else out there.

An added bonus for Stock-Back debit card users is the increased rewards and perks we added, which can help offset the price of our subscription tier. We made real and impactful changes in service of the needs and wants of our customers—based on diligent research—and everyday Americans. We rebuilt our entire customer service and disputes experience; added Mastercard benefits across travel and other experiences; increased the max account balances; increased cash daily load limits (many customers bank with us through retail locations such as CVS, as they do not have direct deposit); and finally, we increased our withdrawal limits and our max daily purchase limits so people can use the card as it’s intended, for every aspect of their daily lives. We made these customer-first changes thanks to our rebuilt tech and new partnerships that will continue to allow us to build, evolve, and improve as we scale.

Because of our comprehensive platform, we don’t consider ourselves a neobank, though we do offer direct deposit up to two days early5 along with many of the other commoditized perks of digital banking solutions. We marry banking with investing, so that when a person spends they also build their portfolio and their knowledge, giving customers the confidence to tackle other steps towards a brighter financial future. 94% of Stash customers are new or first-time investors6; they need this guidance. And while we are proud that they have a unique banking partner to rely on in Stash, their financial journey doesn’t stop with banking.

In the future, Stash Core will allow us to innovate even further and faster across spending, savings, investments, credit—the possibilities are unlimited. Its launch has been transformative to our business, unlocking our ability to better serve our customers, who need us now more than ever.

1 Based on Stash internal data as of September 2023. (Citation to Elevator Pitch)

2 PRODUCT DISCLOSURE: Stash Banking services provided by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. The Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to license from Mastercard International. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Any earned stock rewards will be held in your Stash Invest account. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value. (Citation to Elevator Pitch)

3 1% Stock-Back® rewards available only on Stash+ ($9/mo) and only for client’s first $1,000 of Qualifying Purchases in each calendar month program.All rewards earned through use of the Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® will be fulfilled by Stash Investments LLC and are subject to Terms and Conditions. You will bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the investments that you earn, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash. In order to earn stock in the program, the Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard must be used to make a qualifying purchase. Stock rewards that are paid to participating customers via the Stash Stock Back program, are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.

4 This value is defined as the approximate percentage of Stash users with a Stock-Back® Card, who have received stock via using their Stash Stock-Back® Card between September 5, 2021 and December 5, 2021. This value does not take withdrawals into consideration.

5 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on when the payor sends the payment file. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

6 Based on Stash internal data of 1,719,387 Stash subscribers’ self-identified investing experience, as of September 2022.

Uniqueness of the project

We've attempted to address this point in our response to "The Reason Behind."

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