Cogni, a digital banking platform, is set to launch on March 20th, 2020. The company aims to complement a user’s finances with a straightforward account and no hidden fees. Cogni’s goal is to connect a member’s banking with their lifestyle, evolve with them as their needs change and overtime will combine banking, commerce, and lifestyle on a single platform.
Despite the fact that Millenials and Gen Z continue to play a greater role in the economy and more financial transactions take place digitally, the banking industry has been slow to respond and still offers the same legacy products created over 100 years ago. The main changes to most brick and mortar bank’s offerings have been increased complexity to fees and minimum balance requirements.
By starting with a simple account opening process ready for immediate use, no hidden fees, U.S.- based customer services where members can easily reach a human being to assist with any issues related to Cogni, and a plan to grow with members as their needs change, Cogni is the banking platform for the next generation. Future iterations will evolve into the hub where finances, commerce, and lifestyle come together.
“We are excited to share Cogni with our first members,” said Archie Ravishankar, Founder & CEO of Cogni. “We’re taking a phased approach in building Cogni. Learning from our members is key as we continue to develop our offering. We’ll launch with banking features and then expand to integrate commerce and lifestyle options into our ecosystem.”
Upon launch, Cogni will offer no-fee digital banking accounts with no account minimums, free cash withdrawal at over 55,000 ATM’s, free peer-to-peer transactions, virtual and physical debit cards, the ability to create single-use debit cards to protect from fraud and hidden recurring fees, and multiple funding options: cash deposit through Visa Redylink, in-app check deposit (available the first week in April), direct deposit, ACH Transfer and P2P.
Shortly after, the platform will easily integrate with Apple Pay, Venmo, Cashapp and other payment systems, a feature missing from a majority of digital banks.
According to a recent study by Moneyrates, overdraft and ATM fees continue to rise, costing consumers hundreds of dollars per year. When combined with excessive interest rates from credit cards and student loans, being young and starting out can be an expensive proposition. Ravishankar and the entire Cogni team believe they have the answer: A banking platform that provides only the features you need, without the fees and a plan to grow with their members.
“Ultimately, we want Cogni to be the operating system for lifestyle and we see banking as the first step in this journey.” Said Ravishankar. “Lifestyles are changing and consumers want a better digital experience.”
The team behind Cogni is diverse, represents every continent, speaks 15 languages, and brings expertise in banking, design, technology, and customer research. Most importantly, they understand the financial hurdles faced by younger generations because many members of the team are facing them personally.
Cogni will compete based on personalized services and offerings. Instead of “ focusing purely on pushing financial service, Cogni is designed to understand our member’s needs and offer them products and services that meet their unique, individual lifestyle through Cogni’s ecosystem,” said Ravishankar.
To date, Cogni has raised $6.6 million in funding. Investors include The CXO Fund, Scott Minerd (Co-Founder, Chairman of Investments, and Global Chief Investment Officer of Guggenheim Partners), Hanwha Investment & Securities, Extol Capital, WorldQuant Ventures, Barclays, Gregg Kidd of Hard Yaka and others.
The company also recently made three senior-level hires. Liam Scanlan, formerly Group CFO of Tanda as VP of Finance; Scott Leff, formerly of Fiserv, who serves as Head of Platform; and Dion Davis, a former customer experience leader with Citi, has been hired as VP of Member Services and is building a U.S.- based team to manage this essential function.