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Betterment Now Wants Your Liquid Cash, Too

Betterment knows its clients are smart when it comes to saving for their futures. And with that well-established, financially savvy client base, the company launched a checking and savings platform this week.

The new platform is called Betterment Everyday (because what’s better than a user base that logs in every day?) and is aimed to help the company’s clients better manage their money today so that they can maximize earnings for the future.

Betterment Everyday offers savings and checking accounts, with customer deposits held at partner banks including Citi, Barclays, and Valley National. The savings accounts, available today, can earn up to 2.69% APY until the end of this year, after which will drop to 2.43% and be subject to change.

The checking product will be available later this year and comes with benefits typical of online-only banks. Users will receive a debit card issued by nbkc bank of Overland Park, Kansas, will be reimbursed for all ATM fees worldwide, will not be charged monthly maintenance fees, and do not need to maintain a minimum balance.

“As we launch Betterment Everyday, we’re starting to bring our role as your financial advisor into your everyday life, turning your daily choices and transactions into saving for the future,” said Betterment CEO Jon Stein in a blog post. “We’re building the framework for where we believe the industry can (and should) move. We believe the future is smart money management, and we’re leading the way.”

In addition to attracting new clients and refocusing existing users, the new account offerings also serve to compete with fintechs that have launched similar products in recent months. Wealthfront, SoFi, which offer high interest savings accounts boasting yields of 2.57% and 2.25%, respectively, and Acorns, which offers a debit card for a fee of $3 per month.

Last year Robinhood launched a checking account that boasted a 3% interest rate, but quietly rescinded the product after regulators from the SEC and SIPC cited lack of regulatory oversight. The startup had not consulted regulators before the proposed launch and is now working on a new version of the checking account. Today, Betterment may be in a similar situation. The company did consult regulators before this week’s launch, but, according to CNBC, has been asked to provide more information on the new offering.

Betterment CEO Jon Stein debuted the company’s MultipleGoals feature at FinovateFall 2011. Since it was founded in 2008, the company has raised a total of $275 million. Last fall, Betterment unveiled a Trust Account Opening feature that allows advisors to manage the entire process. And this year, the company was honored on the Forbes Fintech 50 list for the 4th year in a row.