KOHO touts a “new era” in banking. The company offers something similar to a chequing account that provides the benefits of owning a credit card, without added fees or interest rates. It also allows clients the opportunity to manage their money, without worrying about credit card debt in an effort to reach financial goals that much sooner. Rather than dealing with credit card interest and unexpected fees, as well as overspending concerns, KOHO offers the KOHO Standard Prepaid Visa Card to customers. This service provides tools to help with saving, budgeting, and spending.
Here’s how it all works. Clients place their money in a KOHO account, much like they would in a traditional chequing account; however, as the KOHO card given to customers also acts as a Visa and debit card, clients gain access to rewards and added perks. Customers can add funds into their KOHO account via e-transfer or direct deposit (e.g. work payroll or government benefits). Clients can also use their KOHO cards online or in-person to make a purchase, much like a debit or credit card.
The major difference is that the money spent from a client’s KOHO account is not “credit” or borrowed, it is already money “prepaid” and placed on the card. Therefore, no interest is paid, and there’s no worry about racking up credit card debt or added fees. Once all the money is spent within the account, a client cannot make any added purchases unless they place more money into their KOHO account.
Working hand-in-hand with the KOHO app, which can be downloaded on smartphone or tablet devices, saving and spending on the account can be easily tracked. The app showcases features like “Goals” and “RoundUps”. The “Goals” function helps clients work towards saving for items they want in the near or distant future, while “RoundUps” provide an opportunity for KOHO customers to ‘round up’ each purchase so that they can “stash” some savings away.
There’s also a function on the KOHO app where clients can track all their spending habits, and see where their money is going. Additionally, whether money is added to, or spent from the account, notifications pop up on a customer’s device in real-time. Clients can also instantly “lock” or “unlock” their cards via the app, to help with spending. KOHO prepaid Visas can also be added to Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay wallets.
According to KOHO’s website, over 280,000 Canadians have opened accounts with the company. On average, clients save about 7% of the money they place into their KOHO accounts.
Below is an overview of two prepaid Visa options.
KOHO Standard Prepaid Visa Card
The KOHO Standard Prepaid Visa Card is issued when clients open up their KOHO account. Customers receive 0.5% cash back on all spending, and there are no added account fees. Clients receive extra cash back bonuses at selected retailers. These are known are “Partner Powerups”. Some of these “powerup” brands for added cash back include Baskin Robbins, Sunwing, Pizza Pizza, Mary Browns, Chef’s Place, Reebox, and Indigo, just to name a few. Cash-back bonus rewards for these “Partner Powerups” range anywhere from as low as 1% to as high as 4% on purchases made.
KOHO Premium Prepaid Visa Card
The KOHO Premium Prepaid Visa Card offers clients even more rewards. For a fee of $84 annually, or $9 each month, customers get all the perks highlighted above, plus they receive 2% cash back on spending done at restaurants (take-out and delivery, included), grocery stores, or for transportation expenses (with 0.5% cash back on all other purchases, and “Partner Powerup” bonuses).
Premium Visa card customers are also given one free international ATM withdrawal each month, and financial coaching is available via the app. Price matching on the KOHO app is provided to those who own a Premium Prepaid Visa too. A 30-day free trial is offered for those who are undecided about whether this Premium Visa can fit well with their spending habits.
All customer service is conducted seven days a week via the KOHO app, and clients can also email the company with their questions, comments, or concerns. An account can be opened in mere minutes online, simply by visiting their website. KOHO offers both personal and joint account options.