A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, digital financial services are a major part of most consumers’ daily lives. To illustrate this shift, a Plaid study from October found that 88% of U.S. consumers used fintech in 2021, a 53% year over year increase. What’s more, among those who used digital financial services tools, consumers who used investing platforms exhibited the highest confidence of all use cases for fintech, the study found.
As digital financial services platforms become more mainstream, regulators are keeping a closer eye on the benefits and risks they present for customers. Amid the growth of consumer interest in investing and trading — partially spurred on by the “meme stock” craze from earlier this year — and the rise of crypto, investing and banking app Stash wants to play the role of a trusted intermediary, helping expose its customer base to new tools while emphasizing the importance of regular and diversified investing for the long term.
“The biggest thing with meme stocks and investing moving more into mainstream news is customers feeling like they’re missing out,” said Claudio Esposito, Stash’s senior vice president of product. “It wasn’t always as much about the specific stocks like GameStop; it was more just hearing so much in mainstream news, it was a jumpstart for a lot of people to say maybe now is the time to get started.”
Like other digital financial platforms, Stash, which was launched in 2015, saw its user numbers and assets grow during the pandemic. The company, which has raised $467.1 million in funding, said it now has 6 million customers and 2.5 million active subscribers. Customers have to date set aside $3 billion, and weekly set-aside amounts grew 50% compared to the period prior to the pandemic. (Customers make regular, automatic deposits of $31 on average, according to the company).
As customers crave to know more about financial services topics in the news, and how to explore new ways of investing — including through crypto and stocks — Stash said its mission is to expose its customers to new tools responsibly.
“The way we think about it is how do we get someone to not think about [getting into] day trading, but think about setting up …….