Student loan turned online investments and loans company SoFi released the details of their cash management account partnership with mobile giant Samsung. And, revealed some more information about the success of their retail online investing product, driven by fractional share trading.
Taking the latter issue first, SoFi CEO Anthony Noto went on CNBC Wednesday and revealed that the company’s investing platform has seen a strong increase in users this year. SoFi Invest was launched just over a year ago, in January 2019, and has been very successful in adding new users. Noto told CNBC’s Squawk Alley program that SoFi Invest has seen the number of people using it double already since the beginning of the year.
Driving the product’s success in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, Noto said, were younger investors who apparently have sensed opportunity during the recent market downturn. That certainly matches the experience of a number of other online brokers whom have also said that they have seen a spike in new accounts so far this year.
Noto in particular touted the success of SoFi’s fractional shares trading offering, attractive to young traders with (on average) less money to put into stocks. Noto noted that 40% of equity trades on SoFi Invest are through fractional shares. Fractional shares have been another recent (and successful) innovation of the slew of next-gen online and mobile-focused firms such as Robinhood and a number of Robinhood competitors which have taken the retail trading world by storm. After being launched by Robinhood, which shook up the retail brokerage world with its no-commission business model, fractional shares trading has also been introduced by Fidelity and will be launched in June by Schwab.
As to the Samsung partnership, SoFi released more details about Samsung Money by SoFi which the company said will be available later this summer.
Samsung Money by SoFi is planned to be a mobile-first money management experience that brings a cash management account and a Mastercard-branded debit card along with exclusive benefits to Samsung Pay. The account is secure, has no account fees, and rewards saving with an interest rate exceeding the average national savings rate. At a time when more of us are leaning on technology to take care of essential tasks, Samsung Money by SoFi puts your primary financial tools right at your fingertips in the Samsung Pay app.
Owners of Samsung Pay-enabled Galaxy devices can access the benefits of the account immediately upon approval: Users will be able to search transaction history, flag suspicious activity, freeze (or unfreeze) their card, change their PIN, and many other account actions, all within the app and without having to leave home or contact a representative. Users will also have access to in-network ATM fee reimbursements at more than 55,000 locations across US. The funds in Samsung Money by SoFi are protected by Samsung Knox mobile security and FDIC insurance for up to $1.5 million (six times that of a transactional account at a typical financial institution).
Samsung Money by SoFi members can also enroll in the Samsung Rewards program to earn points for every purchase they make using Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay users with 1,000 or more Samsung Rewards Points will be able to convert their points into cash and have them deposited directly into their Samsung Money by SoFi account.