m-Banking: Zero Financial Raises $20M
- The American FinTech Zero Financial focuses on the market for credit cards making adjustments to Millennials’ needs. They just raised $20 million.
- Goal: This funding round was led by New Entreprise Associates (NEA) with SignalFire, Nyca Partners, Eniac Ventures and other investors.
- Offer: They launched a Beta version of their solution in November 2018 and intend to speed up the onboarding process for over 200,000 customers on their waiting list.
- Zero Financial was founded in San Francisco in 2016. They feature a mobile banking offer linking debit and credit card-related offers. They feature a Mastercard card called Zerocard, a checking account Zero Checking and a mobile app for streamlining transaction tracking processes through a single interface for their card and checking account.
- How it works
- Their entry-level offer consists in a Quartz card with 1% cashback (with no limit applied and valid for all purchases).
- When the customer sponsors a friend or relative, he gets a Graphite card, with 1.5% cashback.
- The second sponsorship level features the Magnesium card, with 2% cashback and the highest-level offer, the Carbone card, comes with 3% cashback.
- Zero Financial has partnerships in place with WebBank on issuing Zerocard. Deposited amounts are held by Evolve Bank & Trust and FDIC-insured.
- This FinTech doesn’t charge account maintenance or overdraft fees.
Assessed cash-back amount for $30,000 in yearly expenses and $30,000 in deposits: $1,425 with Carbone card (highest sponsoring level)
- A market first? This start-up claims they are the first FinTech featuring a credit card programme along with cashback offers and a checking account. In their opinion, typical bank accounts and credit cards lack these types of services.
- Their value proposition relies on an iOS mobile app, displaying all account balances in one place, and aggregating the amounts deposited to the checking account as well as card-based expenses. Also, they do not apply limits on their cashback offer, which might encourage customers to sponsor others.
- Favoured targets. Zero Financial plans to target Millennials, concerned with their creditworthiness, and seemingly disregarding credit cards for fear that they might end up caught in a spiral of debt. This same target is also interested in being rewarded for their purchases.
- In fall 2017, Zero Financial announced a $7 million funding series. This new investment lifts the total amount raised to $35 million.
- Two months ago, Apple launched their Apple Card along with a cashback programme and 1% immediate discount. Zero Financial intends to feature more advantages, as explained in the simulations they displayed.