What Is Aspiration?
Aspiration is a financial firm with a conscience. It began as a way to help people and do good, and to help people start trusting financial institutions more, especially when it comes to online banking. Andrei quotes that “Only 8% of Americans say they trust the financial industry”, and to him, that’s scary.
Andrei feels that Aspiration is really set on making money when a customer succeeds, vs. when the customer fails. Instead of making money when a customer overdrafts or uses an ATM, Aspiration decided on a different business model.
What Is Aspiration’s Business Model?
Andrei and Aspiration believe the customer should pay what’s fair. In other words, the customer decides what they want to pay Aspiration. If a customer wants to pay $0 for online banking, investments, or really anything, they can. Aspiration is all about building customer trust.
Over 90% of Aspiration’s customers are choosing to pay Aspiration on their investments on a consistent basis. To Aspiration, this shows them that although their customer could pay $0, their customers trust them enough and their products to pay them something consistently.
Aspiration also gives 10% of the money they make towards charitable giving. They give micro-loans to people in the U.S. to help them establish their businesses and grow the economy.
Tell us about more about your bank accounts.
Aspiration is one of the best online banking options. Not only are they FDIC insured, so you’re money is safe, but they also offer a 1% interest rate on their checking & savings account. Plus, they don’t have any monthly fees, and you can use an ATM in the U.S. (or overseas) for free.
What is AIM?
Aspiration launched the AIM project last month, and the goal was to show each of their customers their personal sustainability score. Every time a customer makes a purchase with their debit card, Aspiration will show them their impact on people and on the planet, and show them a score based on where they are shopping and spending their money.
Each company has a rating based on how they treat their employees and the planet. With these scores, Aspiration can then show you how you are doing as a consumer. Aspiration is giving consumers an opportunity to see how they are voting with their money, by being transparent and showing customers how ethical a company is.
Even Aspiration’s investing is as ethical as possible. They never invest in the DAPL, as well as other unethical practices, because they want to grow sustainable and moral companies and funds. Another perk to investing with Aspiration is you can start with as little as $100, which means even the new investors can get started.
Do you have plans to offer any other products?
Aspiration is constantly working to develop their app (for Apple & Android phones) as well as offering more development for their online banking. They hope to offer options for lending, credit, and insurance to round out their services. Andrei, and Aspiration, hope to start changing the views of the financial industry, as well as changing the industry itself, to serve people better.
What is one financial tip you have that could help the readers improve their finances right now?
Personally, Andrei doesn’t want you to pay for fees when you don’t have to, especially when it comes to online banking. He also throws in a bonus tip and says to start investing today. He believes in compounding interest and that the younger you are, the more benefits it can offer you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t invest as you get older, it just means that you will have more catching up to do if you wait. Andrei believes anyone can start investing, no matter their financial situation.
How do you make money your honey?
Even though Andrei runs an online banking and investment company, his biggest motivator in life is not having a lot of money. He wants to provide for his family and be able to live a good life without worrying about money. As the child of immigrant parents, he knows what it’s like to struggle. But he makes money his honest by living a sweet life and not letting money be his master.
Where can listeners go to find out more about you?