Wealthsimple Launches Savings Account to Compete with Big Banks

Saving money can be tough, but one of Canada’s top fintechs wants to make it a bit easier.

Wealthsimple has introduced a new account they’re calling Smart Savings. It acts as a way for Canadians to save money outside of the major banks while also enjoying a steady interest rate, all without any risk that may come from investing.

The Smart Savings account boasts a 1.7 per cent interest rate for accounts up to $100,000 that will never expire, unlimited and free transactions, and no additional fees on top of it all. Customers can get started with just one dollar as there’s no minimum or maximum, and any size of account can be fully insured.

“Savings accounts are an important tool in any good financial plan, and our clients were asking for a saving option with the same simple, intuitive experience as their investment accounts,” said Michael Katchen, CEO and co-founder of Wealthsimple. “Our purpose is to help everyone reach her or his financial goals—no matter what they are. And I’m really happy that now we’re able to help clients achieve shorter-term savings goals, just like we’ve been helping them with longer-term goals through our investing products.”

Existing Wealthsimple clients had access to the beta of Smart Savings in January, but now the feature is rolling out to both new and old customers. The fintech has said customers use the new account feature in three main ways: emergency savings, big life expenses, and personal unique purchase goals.

The new feature from Wealthsimple draws on the idea that a huge number of Canadians use savings accounts and may want to explore a new option that could be easier to navigate and offer more rewards. In Canada, 35 per cent of all financial assets are held in savings, amounting to over $1.1 trillion.

In total, Wealthsimple manages over $2 billion in assets spread over their 65,000 clients in North America and their recently launched U.K. service. The fintech has also reported that more than 80 per cent of people who use digital investing in Canada use Wealthsimple.

Wealthsimple has seen a lot of growth over the past year, picking up a new $65 million investment from their institutional investor Power Financial just this past February. They have also joined other financial institutions to help with robo-advising.

Finally, Wealthsimple also took home the coveted Startup of the Year award at the Canadian Innovation Awards in February.