Betterment, SoFi Expand Services | ThinkAdvisor

April 13, 2021

What You Need to Know

  • Betterment's retail platform has launched a no-fee joint checking product for couples, roommates and other groups.
  • Betterment 401(k) announced a partnership with the employee benefits startup Bennie.
  • SoFi has launched an auto loan refinancing service.

Over the past week, the digital advisory firms Betterment and SoFi have expanded their offerings in their continuing efforts to attract more clients and capture more market share.

Betterment has launched a no-fee, FDIC-insured joint checking product for couples, roommates and other groups looking to share recurring expenses, about a year after it introduced its first checking account. The new joint checking account includes a universal debit card that all account holders can use and covers ATM costs. Users do not have to have a Betterment investment account to open a Betterment banking account, according to Mike Reust, Betterment president.

“We’re looking to deepen relationships with customers to better serve them … [and to] keep expanding into the most potent areas customers are clamoring for,” Reust said. He added that banking products help the independent robo-advisory firm “better automate, provide better financial advice and ultimately help customers achieve their long-term financial objectives all on one platform.”

Betterment offers savings and checking accounts, and investment services for retail clients, but it doesn’t offer credit cards. “The reward credit card space is tough to compete in,” Reust said.

The company’s 401(k) platform, Betterment 401(k), announced a partnership with the employee benefits startup Bennie, which helps midsize companies create a healthier workplace. Bennie’s customers can now access Betterment’s low-cost 401(k) plan and other financial benefits. Last month Betterment 401(k) entered into a similar partnership with Zenefits, an HR, payroll and benefits platform for small businesses. Betterment now has more than 700 plans on its 401(k) platform.