Liza Landsman CEO of Stash, left, is interviewed by Rebecca Kaden, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures on the keynote stage at Fintech Nexus USA2023 at the Javits Center. | John K. White, Fintech Nexus
While some firms are designed to pursue the ultra-wealthy, many are carving a niche in serving the investing needs of the rest of us. Two experts shared how it’s done properly at Fintech Nexus USA 2023 today.
Stash CEO Liza Landsman and Union Square Ventures partner Rebecca Kaden discussed Investing for the 99% this morning. Landsman, a Stash board member for a year, was named CEO in early February. She drove growth and consumer engagement at Jet.com, Citigroup, BlackRock, and E*TRADE.
Why USV backed Stash
Kaden is a big Stash fan. She’s known the founders since the beginning and credited them for serving the needs of those who traditional banks and investment firms often leave behind. It meshes with Union Square Ventures’ thesis of partnering with trusted brands that leverage platforms to broaden access to knowledge, capital, and well-being. That’s why they backed Stash.
What made Stash most appealing was not just the massive opportunity, Kaden began. Investing is also essential to provide economic security to low- and middle-income Americans.
How investing fintechs can bring equality
Fintech helps democratize that access, Landsman said. Stash helps by providing guidance and education to less-confident investors. Not only do customers have confidence in Stash, but they gain it in themselves.
Stash is uniquely positioned to gain that trust, Landsman explained. Its subscription model, which provides as much as 85% of revenue, is disruptive in this sector. Stash doesn’t need to prod its customers to transact to provide fees but only to do what is best for their financial health.
Reducing investing anxiety, restoring a sense of control
The current climate provides fintechs with some unique opportunities, Landsman added. There’s room to get faster and align products with consumer needs. With Americans’ trust in banking even lower than during the recession, there is an opportunity to seize market share for those who can earn and maintain that trust.
The perfect illustration comes not from fintech but from pizza, Landsman said. Domino’s invented a pizza tracker to reduce calls into its call centers, where the top reason was to find out where their dinner was. They don’t get their pizza any faster, but their minds are at ease, and have a sense of control over their fate. She wants Stash to bring that calm to its customers.
Landsman has big goals for Stash. She believes 85 million Americans could benefit from its services. That’s a massive leap from the current two million-plus subscriber list, but she sees a tripling within five years as realistic. Also in the works are new channels, including B2B opportunities.
Landsman said many Americans, including some with higher incomes, live check-to-check. Stash wants to see them escape that cycle with investing nudges designed to generate long-term financial health.
“What we’re trying to do is to see them follow these habits for a lifetime and not just for the moment,” Landsman said.
Tony is a long-time contributor in the fintech and alt-fi spaces. A two-time LendIt Journalist of the Year nominee and winner in 2018, Tony has written more than 2,000 original articles on the blockchain, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, and emerging technologies over the past seven years. He has hosted panels at LendIt, the CfPA Summit, and DECENT's Unchained, a blockchain exposition in Hong Kong. Email Tony here.