One of the most interesting companies I have covered in fintech is Galileo, a company powering payments and operations for many fintechs. Some of that appeal comes from their different approach to technology development, and that approach comes from founder and CEO Clay Wilkes, who is as insightful as any executive I have interviewed over the past eight years.
Galileo’s latest offering is Galileo Money+, a mobile-only banking service only available through financial advisors. Galileo Money+ helps financial advisors access the estimated $10 trillion in low or no-interest bank deposits by offering their customers white labeled accounts for spending and wealth accumulation. Those accounts offer market-based interest rates tied to the Effective Federal Funds Rate, online and in-store shopping, access to 32,000 no-fee ATMs, a mobile app for moving money (including bill payment) and FDIC insurance.
Carson Group is the first set of companies to offer the service, beginning this summer.
“Last year Americans paid billions in bank fees while getting the bare minimum rate of return on their deposits. How can that still be happening?” Mr. Wilkes asked. “In partnership with financial advisors, which have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients, we’ve launched a scalable, sustainable banking solution that puts people before profit and offers market-based interest rates. We’re ready to begin this journey with Carson and, together, to make a real impact on people’s lives.”
“Every decision we make—and every partner we consider—must always bring us a step closer to doing what’s right for our clients,” said Ron Carson, CEO and founder of Carson Group. “By extending our menu of services into cash management solutions with Galileo Money+, we’ll offer our advisors–and their clients–an instant alternative to low-interest, high-fee bank accounts, positioning them for more optimal returns and reducing the risk of underperforming assets. It’s a value-add for our advisors, an added benefit for their clients and it furthers our mission to make the complex simple for the more than 25,000 families we serve.”
Galileo Money+ customers will automatically have two types of accounts, which will be custodied with Galileo’s program partner, The Bancorp Bank. The Galileo Money+ Spending Account, which currently offers 1.24 percent APY interest, is for everyday financial activities, like purchasing groceries or a cup of coffee, paying bills, getting pocket cash from ATMs and transferring money to friends and family. The Galileo Money+ Reserve Account,currently offering 2.00 percent APY interest, is for wealth accumulation.
“The average high net worth household keeps $450,000 in bank checking, savings and CDs, and keeping those accounts with brick-and-mortar banks is leaving money on the table,” added Mr. Wilkes. “That money should be under the financial advisors’ guidance. With Galileo Money+, financial advisors can offer white-label services to finally compete with brick-and-mortar banks in a meaningful way.”
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