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Betterment Launches Gift Registry Service to Make it Easier for Friends & Family to Fund Longer-Term Goals

image Betterment, a simplified  investing platform, launched a gift registry last week that is super slick. Betterment customers can set up a custom page where friends and family can pitch in to fund a goal. It takes just two or three minutes to set up a basic page and publish it to the web at <>. See sample below.

Visitors can choose which gift/goal to fund, add it to their cart and checkout by paying with MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover. The funds are placed into the Betterment investment platform where users can track their progress (see screenshot #3). According to Betterment’s terms, gifts must be held for at least 90 days.

The best-use case is weddings where it is customary to help your guests figure out how to give meaningful gifts. The startup lists other gift-giving events such as birthdays, house-warmings, retirements, and so on. But for most of those, it would be presumptuous to ask your friends to pitch in to buy you a trip to Bermuda. 

At first, I was surprised that a gift registry made it into Betterment’s roadmap so soon in the company’s life. It seems a relatively narrow niche. But I can see the appeal to the company’s 20- and 30-something customers as they plan weddings. Or maybe the startup is just showing off its design chops. It’s an elegant template that creates professional-looking results.

Relevance for banks/CUs: This would be a nice little tool for banks to provide for parents. Not just for weddings, but for high-school graduations, bar mitzvahs, major birthdays and other events where family members typically send paper checks. The money is housed in special savings accounts with various parental controls (note 1).


Wedding registry at Betterment (link; 20 Sep 2012)


Checkout using Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover


Betterment goal tracking UI

1. For more on family/youth banking, see our last summer’s Online Banking Report(subscription).
2. We also looked at Betterment, Simple and Personal Capital, last fall in our True Virtual Banking Has Arrived (subscription).