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Banking Briefing: A couple of challenger banks banking couples

  • It's Valentine's Day, so why not take a look at a couple of fintechs focused on couples?
  • On top of that, TD Bank has collected some hearty numbers in honor of the season.
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Banking Briefing: A couple of challenger banks banking couples

It’s Valentine’s Day, and in honor of this hearty holiday, we’re going to take a quick look at a couple of banking apps banking couples.

Let’s start with Zeta.

Zeta offers one account for two people, which allows couples to track their spending together. Each person in the relationship gets their own Zeta Joint Card. Other than that, Zeta is very similar to other challenger banks, with the same standard features.

Zeta’s CEO and founder is Aditi Shekar. The idea came to her from her own experience of being in a relationship, and not being able to find a financial management solution that catered to both her and her partner as one unit.

The financial system, said Shekar, has been stuck in ‘single-player mode’ – it doesn’t take into account the fact that most couples and families today operate on more than one income coming in. On top of that, the way people spend has changed – there’s more collaboration and discussion surrounding money that didn’t exist before. That needs to be reflected in financial solutions.

“We created Zeta to try to fill this gap, and truly embrace the concept of multiplayer banking and the organic, cooperative ways that money is used,” she said. 

Zeta has steadily been zeroing in on young couples in the early stages of starting a family. Shekar said this began as the company noticed that families and couples share a lot of the same pain points.

“We started with couples with our joint banking product, and have found that the biggest challenge in banking for them is the same as it is when banking for families — they are a fundamentally complex use case, which is understandably why many institutions avoid going too deep into the problem.”

Turning our focus to Honeydue

Honeydue is a budgeting tool that allows couples to sync their respective accounts and track spending on one platform. The app is able to link accounts from over 20,000 financial institutions. 

It may be a bit different from Zeta in the sense that it aims to focus on all couples, regardless of age. Making the app more malleable to fit different sorts of relationships is part of the challenge, according to CEO and founder Eugene Park. 

“Each couple is unique and in a different part of their journey, and so our biggest challenge has been designing a platform that allows each couple to manage money on their own terms,” according to Park. “We continually overcome this challenge by listening and thoughtfully growing our service with their needs.”

In addition to offering ways to budget and save together using separate accounts, Honeydue also offers a joint account called Honeydue Joint Bank Account. 

Honeydue itself also recently entered a relationship. The company, which has around 500,000 users who’ve signed up, was acquired by Mission Lane last year.

Mission Lane plans to use Honeydue’s technology to offer debit cards in the future.

The acquisition brings forward an underlying question — can a banking app for couples itself manage the single life? Or will it inevitably be converted into a one-in-many banking option?

Some numbers: TD Bank’s annual Love & Money survey

TD Bank’s seventh annual Love and Money survey talked to couples who are either married or in committed relationships to get a better sense of their attitudes towards their finances.

Here’s one little tidbit from the bank’s research:

TD bank love and money

Tsk, tsk, tsk…

Around a third of the people surveyed said they are currently harboring a financial secret from their partner. Half of those secret keepers say they don’t plan on revealing said secret to their partner. 

And here are the winning secret categories (shhh!):

  • Secret purchase: 40%
  • Significant credit card debt: 18%
  • Secret bank account: 13%

Here are some other TD-lightful stats:

Maybe not gold diggers, but – gold admirers?

26% said they met their match through a dating app. Out of those, 10% said their partner’s financial profile played a role in their swiping decisions. 

If that’s not love…

Millennials are 13% more likely to have their own accounts, but they’re also more likely to connect accounts earlier in the relationship. 

Let’s talk money, honey 

80% of Americans feel fine talking about money with their significant others

It’s not you, it’s your unemployment 

11% see unemployment as a potential reason for splitting, and 40% would reconsider a relationship after not being employed for a long time, but only 8% have broken up because of unemployment 

Save the date – or just save

90% of surveyed couples are saving for something, with retirement and rainy day funds being the most popular savings goals. Only 3 in 10 Americans are planning big milestones this year.

What we’re writing

  • “Life is too short to not take a leap to do something that you love”: A day in the life of Dang Saengchanpheng, director of fintech development at VizyPay
  • ‘We’re trying to keep up with, candidly, a very diverse set of use cases’: Anchorage’s Diogo Mónica
  • Data Snack: Traditional banks outrank fintechs in SMB satisfaction
  • It’s really expensive to build a new core: Fiserv acquires Finxact
  • Tomorrow’s banking: The digital transformation of financial institutions

What we’re reading

  • Can challenger banks make it with DeFi in their DNA? (The Block)
  • Temenos’s new services meet the challenges of the challenger (Yahoo! Finance)
  • Getting to the heart of couples’ financial challenges – Coupl, a challenger bank for couples, launches in India (PYMNTS)
  • Fraud may be the real obstacle standing in challenger banks’ way (Sifted)
  • SoFi’s not your typical challenger bank, says Bank of America analyst Mihir Bhatia (MarketWatch)
  • BBVA has plans to onboard hundreds of new bankers for its investment-banking unit (Bloomberg)
  • SoFi’s new marketing campaign: Break up with bad banking (Yahoo! Finance)
  • Should stablecoins be regulated? (FT)
  • Loan growth means things ain’t looking too shabby for U.S. banks (Reuters)
  • Could a banking license in India be in the Revolut stars? (Business Standard)
  • Goldman Sachs strategists cut year-end target for the S&P 500 benchmark index to 4,900 points (Markets Insider)

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