Populus Group Financial’s newest addition to its brands, mobile banking app Porte, allows customers to donate to partner charities—think Save the Children, The Humane Society of the United States, GLAAD, and National Park Foundation—without spending an extra dime.
Populus Financial Group, formerly known as ACE Cash Express, launched Porte in September 2020 to reach a new demographic of Gen Z and Millennial consumers who have not yet planted their banking roots.
“It’s really about being able to earn more for yourself and learn more about your financial picture,” Melanie Few, chief marketing officer of Populus Financial, said. “So, that you can make better decisions down the line.”
Along with Porte, Populus Financial provides financial services through its brands ACE Cash Express, ACE Flare Account by MetaBank, and ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card.
Porte’s features include a three percent annual percentage yield savings account, financial insights and educational resources, access to direct deposit paychecks two days faster, and the #DoortoChange Giving Program. Its accounts and services have been established with MetaBank.
Few said through Porte’s focus groups, they found that customers want and need help with basic budgeting to manage student debt and save for big purchases in the future, like a house or a wedding. Consequently, they found that customers do not have a strong emotional connection to their bank, but a connection driven by functionality.
Porte differentiates itself through its newest giving program #DoortoChange, launched this month, which allows Porte to donate on behalf of the customer to the partner charity of his or her choice. Porte’s goal is to donate $100,000 by the end of 2021.
Initially, Porte partnered with Save the Children and The Humane Society of the United States, but has since added on GLAAD and the National Park Foundation to the platform, according to Few.
“Our goal is to have a deeper relationship with these charities and not just have a laundry list of charities for people to choose from,” Few said.
Populus Financial donates 0.05% of each purchase made by customers through the Porte debit card to the charity selected. On the app, customers can track how much money he or she has donated. Likewise, there is flexibility to change the charity of choice each month.
“At Populus, it is one of our key principles to be really involved in our communities and give back to the communities that we serve,” Few said. “I think it’s an actionable way to get people excited about it. And it doesn’t cost the customer base anything, which was really important to us as well.”
Porte was built with a modular system with third-party integrations to make the app faster and more secure, Few said. She explained that this also allows Porte to get feedback from customers and make adjustments quickly.
Porte’s built-in tools like Budget Tracker and True Debt Calculator were created to meet customers’ desire for more financial resources. In the future, Porte plans on launching a tool to help manage student loan debt, per Few.
“One of the things that we have committed to the core with is continuing to get customer feedback and letting customers drive our product development,” Few said.
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