So, you’ve committed yourself to getting your personal finances in order. Good on you, because proper financial management can empower you to more efficiently save for major purchases and meet your financial goals. While you could try out an old-fashioned savings account at your local bank, you should know that there are digital options out there that can better suit your lifestyle.
There are a bunch of financial service-oriented digital platforms available today, many of which are packaged into a convenient mobile app. While the market is awash with options, few have been able to match the accessibility and simplicity of an up-and-coming app known as KOHO. If your goal is to save money and avoid bothersome banking fees, KOHO will provide for you without compromise.
Though it may be new on the market, KOHO has positioned itself to take an industry-level lead based upon their current feature portfolio. KOHO has even made a concerted effort to maintain reliable interconnectivity with one of the most popular digital investment platforms out there, thus providing you with another pathway to future financial stability.
KOHO’s debit card system is also fairly innovative because it provides users with both a physical and digital card that can be switch on and off at will from the KOHO app. Taken together with this apps unique method of rounding up your card-based purchases, you’re sure to find KOHO exceptionally useful when it comes to growing your savings account and reestablishing your financial security in the coming years.
KOHO – A Quick Summary
Before we dive into the details of KOHO, let’s take a moment to examine its background and its core functionality. In essence, KOHO is a mobile-only collection of financial services geared towards servicing the financial needs of people in their late 20s and early 30s (so-called “millennials”). In other words, KOHO is designed to make saving easy and accessible while forgoing the costly fees that are associated with traditional banking accounts.
To be clear, KOHO is not itself a bank or a credit union. Instead, KOHO bills itself a providing “smart savings accounts” that are backed by an established and licensed banking institution. The idea of this type of modernized saving system came from Vancouver-based entrepreneur Daniel Eberhard, who had poured over $2 million into the project by the time its beta went public. Along the way, Eberhard picked up a respectable assortment of investors, including Shopify co-founder Scott Lake and Power Corporation of Canada.
As stated by its current management, KOHO has oriented itself towards an audience that is tired of being nickeled and dimed for the simple pleasure of keeping your hard-earned money secure. Moreover, KOHO has designed many of its core features (including its debit card system) around the core belief that saving and spending should match your lifestyle, rather than require you to visit physical locations to perform essential financial tasks.
KOHO has also kept the barrier to entry low by eliminating the sign-up fees and minimum deposits require from traditional banks. As such, more of its user base is able to take advantage of its specialized joint accounts and KOHO Premium, the platform’s enhanced suite of features for those who want only the best in digital financial management.
A Note on Availability
Also, folks who are looking at KOHO and thinking, “hey, that app sounds great!” should keep this in mind – KOHO is currently only available to people residing in Canada. In other words, if you live outside of the Great White North, you’re going to need to wait a little bit long to enjoy everything this modern savings platform has to offer.
That being said, KOHO has previously indicated that they want to expand and establish themselves in other markets where average banking fees have become a barrier to saving for average citizens. In particular, KOHO has identified Southeast Asia and Latin America as their next major targets for expansion, with the potential for US-based services later down the line.
As far as the app’s availability goes, most all Canadian smartphone users will be able to download KOHO at their convenience. Prospective users will simply need to search “KOHO” in the Apple App Store or the Google Play store to find the version appropriate for their iPhone or Android phone, respectively.
KOHO’s Core Features
For an app that has billed itself as the clear alternative to traditional banking for Canadians, it’s no wonder why KOHO has made such a big deal out of its feature portfolio. Each of KOHO’s core features works precisely as expected, all from the convenience of your smart phone or mobile device. Nearly all of these features also make it easier to save money for the long-term, such as through the use of automatic roundups and in-app goal setting.
All in all, KOHO’s core features are a sight to behold. If KOHO’s current feature selection is any indicator, KOHO itself will likely be one of the digital savings industry innovators that finally bridges the gap between structured financial management and the needs of contemporary Canadian citizens.
Spend in Store and Online with Reloadable Visa Debit Card
On both their website and in their print marketing material, KOHO’s most essential feature is always placed front and center. That’s because KOHO offers a reloadable debit card to all of its users that can be used at both in brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. This debit card is powered by Visa, thus ensuring that it accepted at almost all of your favorite stores, including Costco, Walmart, Best Buy, and more.
As a further result of its Visa partnership, KOHO debit cards can be used at thousands of ATMs across the country through the Visa Plus ATM network. This makes it particularly easy to withdraw money from your KOHO savings account without incurring almost any tacked-on ATM fees.
Almost immediately, you’ll notice that all KOHO debit cards come in a variety of vibrant and modern colors (such as “Gilded Cotton Candy”, “Sunkissed Skinny Dip”, and “Blueberried Caviar”.) But more importantly, all KOHO cards come with immediate access to a paired virtual card that can be used through digital wallets such as Apple Pay. This virtual card has become particularly popular new users who are looking to start spending and saving even before their physical card arrives.
Save for the Future with RoundUps and PowerUps
As with any bank-like institution, KOHO wants its users to feel as if saving for their future is within their grasp. But, rather than force users to do all of the heavy lifting required so save money from month to month, KOHO has simplified the process by automatically setting aside money from a user’s purchases into their digital savings account. When properly utilized, these RoundUps and PowerUps can help you grow a suitable savings account within just a few months of downloading the KOHO app.
Take KOHO’s Roundups, for example. When this feature is ticked on, all purchases made with the KOHO debit card will be automatically rounded up to a user determined threshold (often the closest dollar). Then, the resulting “spare change” is collected up and automatically deposited into the user’s savings account. Though many other digital financial management platforms offer a similar feature, only KOHO allows you to decide how to spend those savings without immediately investing it.
KOHO’s PowerUps, on the other hand, are fairly unique in the digital financial management industry. When engaged, KOHO PowerUps provide cashback credits to users looking to further enhance their savings capabilities. These cashback offers range all the way up to 0.5%, thus ensuring that users who regularly use their KOHO debit card to make major payments (such as for rent or a utility bill) will always receive a productive return.
Financial Planning Insight to Match Your Lifestyle
From the very beginning, KOHO has oriented itself to serve the evolving needs of Canada’s up-and-coming generation. In particular, they’ve created a platform that is eminently accessible so that users won’t need to jump through hoops or travel to physical locations in order to enjoy KOHO’s great savings accounts. In many ways, KOHO has fully accounted for its users’ lifestyles and empowered them to make the most of their financial potential, in turn.
One prime example is KOHO’s options for a joint account. KOHO has made it easier than ever for couples to take the first step towards a life together by providing joint accounts that including joint financial goals. At the same time, these specialized accounts don’t come with a minimum balance and can split reoccurring expenses succinctly within the app. Each user on the joint account also gets their own KOHO debit card, making it easier to spend your mutual savings without delay.
KOHO also knows that everyone could use a little extra help when it comes to analyzing their own finances. That’s why KOHO’s app provides monthly reports on how much you saved and spent, with the latter category being broken down into the quantities spent on groceries, shopping, restaurants, and more. These analytics balance after each and every use of your KOHO card, so you can always be sure of your financial standing by the end of the day.
Always Get the Best Price with KOHO Price Match
As online retailers have become more popular over the past couple of decades, competitive pricing has become a major point of contention for consumers. While direct-from-the-source purchases have traditionally been the most affordable, modern shipping methods have allowed mega retailers to reliably provide the cheapest prices. KOHO knows this and wants to ensure that you get the best price, no matter where you buy your favorite products from.
With KOHO Price Match, KOHO users will be able to earn refunds when a purchase made with their KOHO debit card is found to be cheaper at another location, either physical or digital. To activate this feature, users simply need to make a qualifying purchase and save their receipts. Should they find a more affordable price elsewhere, they can submit their receipt to KOHO in order to gain credit for the difference in the savings account.
KOHO hasn’t limited this Price Match feature by any means. In fact, most of the major commercial retailers in Canada now support Price Match for many of their regularly stocked products. So, if you regularly shop at Adidas, Home Depot, Old Navy, and many more, you can rest assured that KOHO is always providing you an opportunity to save your money by identifying the very best prices on your favorite products.
Interconnectivity with a Popular Investment Platform
KOHO’s developers also know that their core user base is looking for fresh opportunities to growth their wealth while maintaining their day job. While KOHO doesn’t offer any specific functionality to make this happen in-house, they have gone out of their way to provide interconnectivity with one of Canada’s leading digital investment platforms. To be specific, KOHO users will be able to easily and efficiently place their saved fund into their Wealthsimple account.
To do so, all users need to do is log into their Wealthsimple account from a desktop browser and register a new bank account within their “Funding” settings. After completing all of the necessary security checks, users will be able to move funds from their KOHO app into their Wealthsimple investment account, from which they can fund a variety of stock and security investments. Though individual results may vary, this may be one of the best ways to supplement your income using the money you already have lying about.
KOHO’s fee structure is a little unique, especially considering that they do not charge an up-front user fee (unless you opt for Premium membership). Those that do choose to upgrade to Premium membership will be charged $9 a month, which is higher than some competing digital savings platforms while still remaining cheaper than many traditional banks. Beyond this, though, KOHO charges fees for a variety of specialized transactions involving your savings account.
For example, KOHO charges a 1.5% foreign exchange fee on all non-Canadian transactions. While this may bother some prospective users who are interested in using their KOHO card while abroad, this 1.5% rate is still noticeably lower than comparable credit card foreign exchange fees. As a result, you’ll be more able to use more of your hard-earned money when you travel with your KOHO debit card in tow.
Of note, however, KOHO does not charge NSF (non-sufficient fund) fees. In other words, if you try to spend more than your current balance allows for, KOHO won’t charge you the exorbitant fees traditional banks routinely levy. Instead, they simply send you a reminder notification and cancel the transaction outright. While most users should avoid this situation in the first place, it’s good to know that KOHO won’t take more of your money when your funds are already running thin.
Security and Hacking Resolution
Even for a new tech startup, KOHO takes security seriously. That’s why each and every one of their savings accounts is federally regulated and insured through the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). When it comes to active security measures, though, KOHO keeps a lot of the power in your hands. For example, should you ever lose (or even misplace) your KOHO debit card, you’ll be able to instantly freeze your card from within the KOHO app. Should you find the card later on, you can also reactivate your card in much the same manner.
Meanwhile, KOHO continues to offer responsive support for users who believe that they have been hacked. After locking down their KOHO debit card, users will be able to immediately contact the company’s Support Team via the in-app chat system. From there, users can register a formal dispute to initiate the investigation and (if appropriate) refund process. Visa’s Zero Liability policy also comes into effect in these circumstances, providing further insurance against unauthorized debit card use.
The Final Word
So, at the end of the day, is KOHO the right digital financial tool for you? Well, there are several factors that should go into your personal evaluation prior to downloading KOHO and opening an account. For example, those looking to join KOHO should know that, as a fairly new startup, some of their current and upcoming features may take some time to perfect. So, it may not ever be your grandmother’s bank of choice… However, that said the benefits are awesome for Millennials!
But that aside, KOHO has a great number of high-performing features that Canadians across the economic spectrum can benefit from. While this platform’s automated RoundUp and PowerUp system can really boost your available savings overtime, features such as KOHO’s Wealthsimple integration makes it easy to position yourself for long-term wealth acquisition. Better yet, KOHO never short-changes you through its useful Price Match system and a debit card powered by Visa technology.
All in all, there’s a lot to like about KOHO. If you’re looking to make the jump to KOHO, now’s a great time to start saving and analyzing your daily, weekly, and monthly spending habits.
Important note: If you’re going to sign up, make sure you use a referral link. Either from this site OR a friend’s link OR from another site. Because if you do, you’ll get an extra 1% cash back to start. But if you just download directly from the app store, you won’t get the bonus.