#FractionalOwnership #WealthTech / ‘Banking enables us to play a bigger role in our customers’ lives’: Stash CEO Brandon Krieg

Stash is an interesting animal. The fintech firm’s roots are in fractional share, automated investing…

[CEO:] “It’s funny, I don’t refer to Stash as a challenger bank… Banking, for us, has always been really important. The main reason wasn’t to have another card or another checking account out in the market — it was to be able to give advice out to our customers and be able to play a bigger role in their financial lives.”

The cornerstone of Stash’s banking push has been its Stock Back Card, which rewards cardholders with fractional shares of stock in the companies they shop at. [Customers of Stash] … don’t have a lot of experience with stock ownership. Through Stock Back, they tend to have a discovery experience, learning that they can own the companies they do business with. “So, you can move from being a pure consumer spending money to actually learning about the companies you interact with…”

Stock Back is also a passive way to build an investment portfolio that doesn’t require any behavioral change. Stash has issued nearly 20 million Stock Back rewards since launching a year and a half ago. The rewards program has an interesting knock-on effect — nearly half of the Stash users who receive Stock Back rewards go on to buy more stock in the companies’ stock they receive…

Stash always charged a subscription fee for its service, differentiating it from other challenger banks that employ a freemium pricing model. An AUM pricing model, where users pay a percentage of their assets, also didn’t feel aligned to Stash’s mission. “From day one, we wanted to be a subscription business. We want this business to be around for a really long time and we also need to have a business that’s very stable because we are effectively the private bank for the masses,” Krieg said.

In addition to banking and investing, Stash has introduced other products, like insurance. Looking ahead, Krieg sees more growth and is focused on continuing to invest in a product that people love.