FinTech startup Koho recently launched a new feature and website to help Canadians find hidden bank fees.
The initiative, entitled What The Fee, allows people to connect their bank account to the site and scan bank statements to see how much they are paying when it comes to additional fees.
“This is really about making it easy for Canadians to be informed so they can make the decisions.”
Toronto-based Koho, which looks to provide an alternative to traditional banking, and noted that the average Canadian pays around $159 in bank fees per year. It also pointed out that is some of the highest fees in the world, and more than most savings accounts (with a $12,000 balance) would earn in annual interest.
“Canadians need and deserve true financial transparency,” stated Daniel Eberhard, CEO and founder of KOHO. “Bank fees are a simple but important part of the equation. This is really about making it easy for Canadians to be informed so they can make the decisions that are best for them.”
To create and launch its new tool, Koho teamed up with Flinks, a Montreal-based financial data company that works with businesses to connect users’ bank accounts to gain financial insights into their customers and provide better risk products.
Flinks itself closed a $1.75 million seed funding round in July, using the funds to help it expand its product platform. The funding was led by Luge Capital and National Bank, with participation from Innostart Capital, Panache Ventures, iNovia Capital, and Conconi Growth Partners.
The Montreal company has previously partnered with UK-based Transferwise, and online lender, Merchant Advance Capital.
“The open banking enablement technology we provide can give consumers full power over their own financial data,” said Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf, CEO and co-founder of Flinks. “We’re thrilled to be part of an initiative that delivers a real-life example of the benefits of open banking for all Canadians.”
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Earlier this year, Koho launched joint account feature, allowing users to share finances with their partner, family member, or friend using a joint prepaid Visa card.
In 2017, the company raised $8 million from Portag3 Ventures, after securing funding from Power Financial Corporation and other angel investors a year before. In 2015, it also raised $1 million seed round and earlier that year partnered with Visa, Peoples Trust Company, and Galileo Processing in preparation for launching its banking service.
Regarding What The Fee’s launch, Paul Desmarais III, the executive chairman of Portag3 Ventures noted that Canada has the opportunity to join other countries and become a North American innovator in open banking.
“Canadians have the right to transparency in their interactions with their bank account and people living pay cheque to pay cheque are paying very high fees relative to their means. They deserve more access and innovation at the lowest possible cost,” he stated.
Feature image courtesy Koho