Aspiration, a Financial Partner for the People
Aspiration is not your typical financial partner. As reputations of traditional, big banks are in decline, financial institutions like Aspiration are disrupting the industry. And it looks like it’s working. A recent study found that if customer attitudes do not change, the top 10 retail banks like Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, Capital One, etc, stand to lose 11% of its customers, $344 billion of retail deposits and $16 billion of revenue.
Aspiration hopes to gain some of that market share. The company was built with people, not profit, in mind. Shunning the greed that seems to be pervasive within the banking industry, the founders of Aspiration set out to build a company that brings the best solutions to everybody, not the just the wealthiest few. The company has another unique and consumer-friendly feature: customers determine the fee that they pay to Aspiration for financial services, even if that number is zero. Best of all, Aspiration gives 10 percent of every dollar they earn to charity.
Aspiration offers streamlined, profitable banking services and features, all done online. Their “Summit” account offers:
- 1% annual interest (up to 100 times higher than other banks)
- No ATM fees worldwide
- No minimum balance
- Identity fraud expense reimbursement
- Cell phone protection insurance
- Joint accounts
- Bill pay support
- A Customer Aspiration Impact Measurement feature
There are absolutely no hidden fees. Any small fees, such as the $0.82 outgoing wire fee, charged by Aspiration are clearly communicated to customers. There are no monthly fees or minimum monthly deposits.
The company considers itself “socially conscious”; it does not use customers’ funds to “fund oil pipelines” or turn fees into “campaign contributions to the politicians that work against” consumers. In fact, it provides customers with access to other socially conscious companies so that customers know where they are spending their money. The Summit account provides users what’s called an AIM feature which allows customers to see their own Sustainability Score – the impact they’re making on the planet and its people based on where they spend their money every day. The “People score” for a company reflects factors like employee pay, access to healthcare and diversity. A “Planet score” takes into consideration greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, and renewable energy use. Armed with this type of knowledge, consumers can use their money wisely to truly make the world a better place.
A bank that puts consumers and the good of our planet first definitely earns two “fins” up from our Sharks.