Monotto Mentioned in ABA Banking Journal

ABA Banking Journal evaluates the most impactful ways financial institutions are enhancing account holder engagement. The article, written by Even Sparks, looks at 4 mobile app solutions Banks are turning to in this pursuit. The ABA article highlights Monotto’s automated savings tools as a key aspect to improving personal finance offerings within mobile apps.

“There are plenty of personal finance tools, but every one of them place the burden directly on the shoulders of the users. If we could create a platform that set out the process of how to do it and completely automated it to where the individuals didn’t even have to make [savings] decisions, then more people would stick with it.”

-Christian Ruppe, Monotto co-founder and CEO

Read The Article

Make sure to take a look at the article here.

 

 

The Millennial Guide to Honeymooning on a Budget

Your wedding- it’s the day you’ve been dreaming of since you were a little kid. You’ve had a Pinterest board dedicated to planning it years before the proposal (or perhaps even the special someone) came along, and have had the dress picked out since you first saw Kate step out of her carriage at the royal wedding. The one thing you haven’t fantasized about? The budget. While there are plenty of decisions that you are sure to go back and forth on, let the honeymoon be as stress-free as possible. These 5 tips will allow for the getaway of your dreams without hurting your budget.

  1. Honeymoon Registry

There are many claims to the title “Humankind’s Greatest Invention,” I motion to nominate the Honeymoon Registry to that impressive slate. In true millennial fashion, newlyweds are opting for experiences over things and their registries reflect just that. Say “ta-ta” to Mom’s traditional Cuisinart wedding gift, and “hello” to a sunset sail for two on the waterfront of your honeymoon destination. That’s right, the latest matrimonial craze has brides abandoning the classic Crate and Barrel wish list in favor of honeymoon registries such as Honey Luna. If romantic excursions are a honeymoon-must for you, creating a honeymoon registry is the perfect way to create special memories while both staying within your budget and allowing your loved ones an opportunity to give a special gift.

  1. Shoulder Season

If an exotic adventure is a must-have for your honeymoon, traveling during your destination’s shoulder season or off-season is a key money-saver to consider. You may find this time desirable for a few reasons, just one of them being cost efficiency. Traveling in shoulder season ensures smaller crowds; this is ideal for a private honeymoon setting. You may also find that the restaurants and activities you hope to enjoy while on your honeymoon are more readily available and more affordable since you aren’t battling the crowds.

  1. Use Those Miles

Airfare is often a big-ticket item while planning a trip. In the midst of the other many expenses you are sure to incur in this fun but pricy season, go ahead and cash in on any flight miles you have accumulated. This will alleviate some of your wedding expenses and is a great event to save your miles for.

  1. Stay Close to Home

As a rule of thumb, the closer you are to home, the less you are going to have in travel expenses. If pampering is important to you, but you couldn’t care less about an ocean view, you can still have a luxurious honeymoon nearby without much of the additional cost of long distance travel. Look into finding spa resorts that are a drivable distance and avoid much of the stress that can accompany the logistics of travel. The best part of creating memories close to home- you may find yourselves revisiting a nearby destination for special occasions and anniversaries more frequently than you would with a location abroad- make it a tradition!

  1. Shout it from the Rooftops

Everyone has a soft spot for weddings, especially those in the hospitality and service industries. Don’t be shy- tell everyone you speak to while planning your honeymoon about the special occasion. You may find especially generous service comes with being newlyweds. Hotel room upgrades, a special table reservation at dinner, even champagne and strawberries are typical gifts that can come from simply letting the person you are making the reservation with aware of your special circumstance.

 

5 Steps to Avoid Overdraft Fees for Good

Overdraft fees can really sting; they pop up when your account is already hurting and place even more of a strain on your wallet. Here are 5 ways to protect yourself from those pesky fees.

  1. Just say no to overdraft protection
    • The double-edged sword of personal finances. Some people love it, some people hate it, but almost every account holder that opts in to this line of credit has been burned at one point or another. Overdraft Protection is a service offered by many banks that kicks into effect when an account holder makes a transaction that brings their balance below $0, automatically supplying credit for the remaining balance not supplied by the account funds. This may sound like a godsend, but in addition to repaying the amount exceeded, there is almost always an additional fee of around $30 added on to the transaction. Those fees can hurt, especially if they are being accumulated unknowingly for multiple transactions. The solution? Opt out of overdraft protection services. It may be uncomfortable to have your card declined in front of a cashier, but at the end of the day, you’ll be happier having been saved of the additional expense.
  2. Keep an eye on your balance
    • This may seem like a no brainer, but those lingering delayed transactions can sneak up on you. Being mindful of incoming charges and watching your balance will help you avoid dropping below your balance when a transaction catches up to your account. It’s also always a good idea to keep a little bit of extra money in you account as a buffer. By making the decision to never dip into those determined cushion funds, you’ll ensure that even unforeseen expenses don’t leave you with insufficient funds.
  3. Get alerts
    • Another firewall against a surprise insufficient funds notification is the use of mobile alerts. To assure a declining balance doesn’t catch you off guard, use your bank’s mobile app to set up alerts that send notifications whenever your account balance dips below a specified amount. This will bring a low balance to your attention and may prompt you to adjust accordingly.
  4. Connect to another account
    • Tying your checking account to another account, such as a savings account, can come to the rescue. In the event that your checking account is overdrawn, the remaining balance is then moved from the savings account to the checking account. You may face a transfer fee, but that expense is typically minimal compared to other penalty fees you might incur otherwise.
  5. Link to credit card
    • Link your credit card to your checking account. Again, you may encounter a transfer fee, but if the idea of having your card declined is just too much to bear, this fee is minimal compared to the hefty overdraft protection fee you will meet otherwise.

 

Checking the Pulse of Millennial Financial Wellness

This post appeared first on BAI.

In a world of avocado toast, themed yoga classes and “athleisure apparel,” it would seem “wellness” stands at the forefront of millennials’ minds. But how far does the definition of wellness span for these individuals? While some argue that Fitbit doesn’t go quite far enough to digitize the pursuit of complete physical wellness, few notice that financial wellness represents an aspect of millennial life that is far from, well … healthy. Likewise, financial institutions can do more to aid millennials in taking those first important steps. The question is, how?

First, the basics. Millennials have not yet mastered the fine points of financial wellness, albeit for many reasons: lower employment rates, smaller income and towering student loan debt among them. As to that last factor, the total figure now surpasses $1.3 trillion, while the average Class of 2016 student carries $37,172 in student loan debt. To put that in perspective, a graduate who wants to dedicate $400 a month to paying down that $37K figure will need ten years to do it, assuming a 5 percent annual interest rate. With that kind of albatross, who would expect millennials to have any funds to invest, let alone buy bank products?

Though the challenges millennials face are often cited in the media, the financial fallout from them is too often ignored—as well as the stress they create, which can create a troubling feedback loop with physical wellness.  What sets finances apart from other challenges faced by this group is the lack of innovation in remedying the problem. That is: Financial institutions can step up their efforts to guide millennials to financial health. But they can also take a cue from an unexpected source—millennials themselves.

Millennials have significantly changed the playing field across innumerable facets of industry. Consider, for example, the sharing economy behavior that shows millennials making a sharp break from their parents. With so many others “uberizing” merely to play to their millennial consumers, it’s a wonder why banks have moved so slow towards catering to these individuals.

Millennials are famous (or is it infamous?) for their high-tech affinity. And while this might sound superficial to some, it is nonetheless true: Effective engagement with these consumers begins when institutions meet them where they are. They can accomplish this by offering relevant tools that seamlessly integrate into their day-to-day lives. Financial decisions are made constantly, every day, so this convenience is essential to assure they actually incorporate these tools into the decision-making process. By simply being present with user-friendly, high-tech resources, financial institutions have the potential to positively impact a financially at-risk demographic.

Beyond user friendliness, the millennial consumer expects an element of automation; it’s no longer enough to simply present them with half-baked options. For a millennial, saving money needs to be as simple as opting in and allowing an automated platform to do the saving for them. With 34 percent of Americans reporting not a single penny in savings, institutions must recognize that to best assist their account holders in achieving financial wellness, they should offer a product that shoulders some of the money management burden.

A tailored experience is the final piece of the proverbial puzzle. A millennial is fluid in form, so recognizing the different behaviors and needs of each consumer is paramount. No one-size-fits-all solution works for this group. Fortunately, in today’s age of advanced technology, machine learning can provide this tailored experience automatically. Consumers want their tech to be increasingly smart and those smart features applied towards improving their everyday lives. In a culture that celebrates individuality, a personalized platform goes far.

The financial challenges faced by today’s millennials aren’t just repeated historical patterns but rather unique to this generation. What’s more, the ways in which this demographic interacts with the industry are new and evolving. While some industries thrive in this new business mode, banking has so far fallen short, with 91 percent of millennials pointing to at least one personal finance benefit they would like their financial institution to provide via mobile.

But the hesitancy of some financial institutions to jump into the brave new world of millennial interaction is not a kiss of death—nor is the uncertainty of just exactly how to do so. Fortunately, banks can take strides to better accommodate this demographic. While they may be late to the party, financial institutions are starting to explore ways to better equip account holders in achieving financial wellness.

This assistance has the potential to better position and empower an entire generation, despite the formidable challenges they face. And at some point, millennials will inherit a tremendous amount of wealth from aging baby boomer parents. Financial institutions that sit on the sidelines and wait to reap the rewards of that historic transfer should not assume millennial loyalty is guaranteed. There is an imperative to connect now, while there is time to cultivate trust and help struggling millennials reach for, and realize, the full benefits of financial wellness.

Atlanta startup Monotto joins Advanced Technology Development Center’s ATDC Signature Program

 

 

 

Atlanta, GA (July 21) — Monotto, an Atlanta-based financial technology (FinTech) startup, has been promoted to the Advanced Technology Development Center’s ATDC Signature program.

 

Monotto is a white-label personal finance API solution that helps banks attract, keep, and de-risk millennial account holders. This program allows financial institutions to provide much-needed tools that tailor and automate their customers’ pursuit of personal financial health. Utilizing mobile and web banking integrations, Monotto sits natively within financial institutions’ existing offerings.

 

A state-funded program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, ATDC is Georgia’s technology incubator. ATDC works with entrepreneurs across the state and startups designated as ATDC Signature, which undergo a rigorous vetting process, are those deemed most ready to succeed, get investors, and thrive as stand-alone enterprises.

Prior to becoming an ATDC Signature company, Monotto was a member of ATDC Accelerate, the incubator’s portfolio of early-stage companies that have developed a minimal viable product (MVP) and have begun refining product-market fit. Once companies in ATDC Accelerate meet set metrics, they can apply for acceptance into ATDC Signature, which is the incubator’s top tier program.

“We are incredibly proud and excited to be a part of the ATDC community,” said Christian Ruppe, Monotto’s CEO and Co-Founder. “We are eager to take advantage of our exposure to the vast resources offered by ATDC’s program. Being connected to Georgia Tech and having access to extremely talented developers is an amazing asset. Additionally, being surrounded by passionate mentors and successful entrepreneurs has helped grow, not only our company, but each of us individually as entrepreneurs.”

 

About Monotto:

Monotto assists financial institutions and account holders alike. Monotto improves the technological footprint of financial institutions by offering them white-labeled products that engage and de-risk their millennial account holders. The services provided to financial institutions such as Automated Saving Transfers, Goal Oriented Saving, and Bank Product Cross-Selling work to promote financial literacy and wellness amongst account holders. For more information, please visit monotto.com.

 

About the Advanced Technology Development Center:

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the state of Georgia’s technology startup incubator. Founded in 1980 by the Georgia General Assembly, which funds it each year, ATDC’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies. Since its founding, ATDC has grown to become one of the longest running and most successful university-affiliated incubators in the United States, with its graduate startup companies raising $3 billion in investment financing and generating more than $12 billion in revenue in the state of Georgia. To learn more, visit atdc.org.

 

For information about Monotto, contact:
Christian Ruppe
Chief Executive Officer
803.412.5686
Christian@Monotto.com

Monotto in Copenhagen for Money 20/20

June 26-28, our Co-founder and COO, Jared Kopelman, will be in Copenhagen for Money 20/20. This event helps us to keep a pulse on the industry and ensure that we are always on the front lines of innovating bank technology. Additionally, Jared will be meeting with many European banks to discus how Monotto can help them increase savings.

Money 2020

Contact Us

If you are interested in meeting with Jared while in Copenhagen, please feel free to reach out to him at jared@monotto.com.

Monotto Wins Plug and Play Expo Day

Plug and Play's Summer Summit

The Program

This March, we took part in the 5th cohort of the FinTech vertical at Plug and Play. The entire program was 3-months long which then lead to Expo day. Plug and Play, on of the most well known accelerators in Silicon Valley, introduces hot start-ups to banks looking for innovative products.

Christian Ruppe accepts Plug and Play award

The Victory

Monotto pitched in front of some of the biggest banks in the world as well as many investors. Plug and Play facilitated voting in order to determine the crowd favorite. Once the voting was complete, Monotto came out on top. Although the award was great, it was not the only exciting news that came from the accelerator. Be on the look out for a huge announcement in the next month.

Monotto Mentioned in Bank Director

The June edition of Bank Director takes a deeper look into where our company came from, what it does, and what our vision of the future is. The article, written by Naomi Snyder, looks at the founders of 4 companies changing the landscape of FinTech. Bank Director’s June edition focuses on the FinTech which has been one of the hottest topic in the banking industry. 

Read the Article from Bank Director:

Make sure to check out the article yourself by downloading the Bank Director app and checking out the June magazine. Read the article here.

What your financial institution needs to know to attract millennials

Millennial: one of the greatest buzz words to ever rock the industry. It excites some people, while striking fear in the hearts of others. There are a lot of articles out there explaining millennials, but they are typically very broad. I am a millennial with experience working with financial institutions. So, I decided to put together a list that explains the quirks of millennials that are relevant to banks.

1. ) We want convenience

This may be a no-brainer, but that doesn’t make it any less true. We want the least amount of friction for every part of our lives. It explains the rise in popularity of order-ahead apps and Amazon Alexa. The same sentiment goes for financial institutions. We prefer online statements, easy to use mobile banking and automated technology. When we do have to walk into branches, because we only walk into branches when we absolutely have to, we want the process to be efficient and convenient.

2.) We want advanced technology

Millennials are by far the most interested generation in automated technology. According to a study done by JD Power, 56% of millennials trust self-driving cars while only 41% of Generation X trust them. That number is almost halved for baby boomers and pre-boomers (23% and 18% respectively). So how does this translate to banking? Invest in your technology! Almost 70% of millennials are using mobile banking while only 34% of people between the age of 45 and 59 are according to a report by the Federal Reserve. The number will only increase in the upcoming years, so make it a top priority or your institution will find itself behind the curve.

3.) We are open to engaging with financial institutions

When asked, “Do you trust banks?” millennials, not unexpectedly, will answer no most of the time. However, when you dig into what millennials are actually doing, it is a different story. Millennials are 4 times as likely to use a personal finance tool through their primary financial institution as opposed to any other source (FIS consumer banking pace index). Additionally, 75% of millennials say they don’t receive too many offers from financial institutions, but 2 out of 5 complain that the offers they do receive are not tailored to their needs, showing that we are open to banking products if they are personalized. (The Financial Brand).

4.) We go through life at different paces

What makes millennials so hard to read is that each millennial is so different from the next. If you think about the stereotypes you have heard about millennials, it is likely that there are just as many millennials on the opposite side of that stereotype. This means that personalization is key. However, since only 26% of millennials go to bank branches more than once per month, personalization will need to be automated and facilitated by highly advanced artificial intelligence, like what we are working on over at Monotto.

Ultimately, the industry is moving in the right direction. Most financial institutions are investing in technology and seeing great returns. If your institution is considering new technology but you aren’t sure where to start, check out my post on how to work with FinTech companies. If you want to take one lesson away from this post, let it be this: millennials want advanced technology that is automated, personalized and convenient. When you are able to provide this, we will flock to your institution.

 

Originally posted at CBInsight

Let’s dance – The 3-steps for financial institution and fintech collaboration

So you work at a Financial Institution and you are tired of being called a dinosaur, right? Don’t worry, we understand! Being innovative isn’t easy when there are billions of dollars in fines being thrown around every year from regulators. A huge success gets you a pat on the back, but any failure could lead to huge fines or even the pink slip. The key to innovation for financial institutions (FI) is choosing the right startup companies that fit your FI’s needs. These are the 3 steps to do just that:

1.) Determine your Goals

Innovation for the sake of innovation is never a good idea (shoe umbrellas anybody?). Instead, seek to use innovation as the solution to the many needs that your FI has been struggling with. Look down your list of needs and start your research from there. If you have had issues with engaging millennials or increasing long-term revenue from low-value account holders, look to Monotto. Have a slow and outdated underwriting platform? Check out Akouba. If you find regulatory reporting to be a pain, Hexanika can help. Whatever struggles your FI has had, chances are high that a startup company has seen that struggle and created a solution.

2.) Find the Right Fit

It isn’t a question that working with startups can be on the risky side. However, this doesn’t mean that you should keep from using them. It just means that you need to choose the best companies in order to decrease the risk. In fact, there are many groups that are doing the research for you to determine which companies are FI friendly and capable of supporting your needs. Any company that has the gold seal from ABA or is a part of the FinXTech ecosystem is worth considering. Additionally, making sure that the startup can work with your technology is a must. Depending on the type of technology, it is always a wise decision to check with your core provider or mobile technology provider to make sure the relationship can happen.

3.) Review and Act

Once you have gone through the due diligence process and begin to work with a startup company, it is then imperative that you review how well the new product is doing. You can prepare for this from the start by making the expected outcomes very clear. An example would be “We expect your product to decrease our regulatory fines by 25% this year”. This will help both sides understand what is expected. Assign someone to review the relationship to be sure that the relationship is working as planned. It is also in your interest to be on the lookout for when a product has benefited your FI in ways that weren’t expected. You may find that regulatory fines were only decreased by 20%, but you were also able to cut labor expenses in half. Ultimately, you need to act based on what you see in your review. If the product doesn’t perform even close to what you expected, attempt to find why that is. If you are unable to remedy the situation, cut the product. However, if your partnership has performed way above and beyond what you expected, ACT! Increase your usage of the product or have your parent company invest in the startup. Great innovation should always be celebrated and supported.

When you are open to innovation, not only will it help you solve the products you are currently facing, you will also get to have a say in the next line of banking technology. Consider the high focus being put on APIs, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and scaling technology. The financial institutions that are on the front lines of this innovation will have a huge advantage. In the long run, FIs that innovate correctly will win, and FIs that refuse to innovate or do it incorrectly will fail. Those that actively seek it and become a part of the startup ecosystem will be able to find the best companies that will fulfill their needs and increase their profits. So, the question is, what startups will you be working with this year?

Originally posted at CUInsight