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Betterment Adds Another Perk for Retail Clients

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In its latest offering to become the central financial partner of its clients, digital advisor Betterment is offering cell phone insurance to any client that has a Betterment checking account and uses their Betterment Visa debit card to pay their monthly phone bill.

Betterment is partnering with insurance technology company Sure, whose platform, according to its website, offers personal (renters, collectibles and art), business and travel insurance.

“Our goal is to provide a product that helps customers make the most of their money, so they can live better,” said Mike Reust, president of retail operations at the firm. “It’s yet another way we’re looking out for our customers’ financial health and stability, in the pursuit of our mission.”

“Offering a perk like this is about giving consumers a reason to select Betterment’s bank account products over other providers,” said David Goldstone, manager of research and analytics for Backend Benchmarking, which publishes The Robo Report. “This feature itself probably does not move the needle much as far as the quality of the product but is a perk that might nudge a consumer to select their product suite over a competitor’s like Wealthfront.”

Betterment, along with Wealthfront and other digital advisory firms, has continued to add services for clients, which can help solidify relationships. When those clients amass enough assets to qualify for a personal financial advisor at other firms, they can choose to stick with Betterment instead. Its premium product provides access to financial advisors for a 0.4% annual fee and minimum $100,000 in assets.

(Related: Robos Are Now Everywhere, Luring Away Your Future Clients)

Betterment also has an investment platform for advisors to use to service their clients. The platform, known as Betterment for Advisors, added DFA funds, a favorite asset manager among advisors, this quarter.

(Related: Betterment for Advisors to Add DFA Funds)

Betterment’s cell phone insurance offering follows its April launch of Betterment Checking, a no-fee checking account and Visa debit card provided by nbkc bank, an online FDIC-insured bank. Last July the digital advisor introduced a high-yield FDIC-insured savings account, now known as Betterment Cash Reserve, with an APR over 2%. As of Sept. 8, the APR was 0.4%, according to the Betterment website.


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