Koho Sets Out To End Bank Fees For Canadians
“We started with the assumption that Canadians deserve better” says Daniel Eberhard, speaking with a frustration that is palpable.
“It’s actually a bunch of individually not-so-bad factors that taken together, contribute to a banking climate in Canada which hurts consumers. First, Canadian banks are centralized and protected from competition. Second, we pay some of the highest bank fees in the world and third, in order to access no-fee banking at any of the Canadian big 5,
you need three to five thousand dollars. It’s just a statistical fact that most millennials can’t afford no-fee banking in Canada, including many of my friends and the people we’re building this for.”
This is the origin story for Koho, a frustrated millennial who has since attracted the attention of some of Canada’s best and largest investors and partnerships with organizations like Visa and Peoples Trust.
“It’s really simple” says Daniel Eberhard. “We took what is best about the Canadian banking system, namely that money is held securely, and improved on the places we felt needed work, like the cost and the tech.”
With a Koho account, you get a Koho mobile app and a Koho Visa Card. The account lets you use direct deposit, bill pay, ATMs, transfer money, all of the core features. The company then offers a slick mobile app, access from anywhere (less than 5 minutes to setup an account), real time updates, chat or human customer support, automatic savings and categorizations and insights into your spending behaviour. The money is held by a Peoples Trust, a regulated financial institution which already holds $7 billion dollars for Canadians. Best of all, they don’t charge fees; no monthly fee, no fee to sign up, no fee to cancel.
“It’s not a bank account, because we’re not a bank.”
It’s a message that seems to be resonating. Since announcing their goal late 2014, in addition to working with the likes of Visa and Peoples Trust, Koho has raised two rounds of funding, won the NASDAQ award for Best Fintech Company and added almost 10,000 Canadians to a pre-launch waitlist. The company is currently live in a closed beta and plans to launch to open public early 2017.
Anyone interested can sign up to the prelaunch waitlist at www.koho.ca or text Koho to 76000.