If you live in Canada, it’s likely that you bank with one of the ‘Big 5’… and it’s also likely you inherited that financial relationship from your parents.
And whether you liked banking with them or not… how different were the other 4, really? For decades, there weren't any other meaningful options... but today? We may have too many.
From local startups to the biggest social platforms in the world… it seems like every day another tech company announces its bid to become our next bank.
Financial technology — ‘fintech’ — has been around for years… but it’s only in the last few, that we’ve seen mass adoption of third-party finance apps and services — from budgeting trackers like Mint.com to Robo-advisors like Wealthsimple. And now, ‘challenger-banks’ and ‘neo-banks’ are beginning to capture part of the market here in Canada.
And while slick, fee-free services are democratizing who can access financial advising, planning, investing, and even low-cost bank plans… without federal regulation and oversight of new players, some say our data may be at risk.
So — with an influx of new players, is the balance of power shifting away from the Big 5? And are these neo-banks disrupting the incumbents… or is this industry actually “too big to fail”?
Today, we’re cashing in on this reality cheque: We’re taking a look at the impact of Canada’s fintech darling, Wealthsimple, sitting down with KOHO’s CEO Daniel Eberhard, a Vancouver-born neo-bank, which is calling out big banks’ high and hidden fees… And we call the head of innovation at the country’s largest bank, to see what he thinks of it all.