Sydney-based fintech startup Douugh, who is taking an artificial intelligence (AI) first approach to banking through Sophie (a personal money assistant), has announced an ‘Open Banking’ partnership with Choice Financial in the USA. Choice has also made a strategic investment to support Douugh’s roadmap, bringing the company’s total seed funding to $2.5 million.
The partnership will see Douugh launch an integrated bank account and debit card, giving it deposit taking and payment capabilities – and has forged Douugh’s path in reimagining banking and breaking the traditional mould.
Douugh is on a mission to make the world financially healthier by enabling financial wellness for a new generation of consumers. With a grand plan to disrupt banking, in the way Amazon has done to retail, Douugh is building a smart bank through a mobile based platform powered by Sophie, an AI 24/7 personal money assistant.
What does this partnership mean for Douugh?
Founder and CEO of Douugh, Andy Taylor says, “The partnership solidifies our ability to build out our platform in the USA prior to launching in Australia and beyond through open banking partnerships.
“Choice Financial is a perfect fit for us. We share the same values and beliefs that the future of banking is about platform, data and identity, and fostering financial wellness via a seamless mobile experience that harnesses AI and machine learning.
“As partners, we unanimously agree that the traditional banking model is flawed. From their legacy systems, to over-priced and complex compounding interest credit products designed to keep people in a debt cycle.
“But Douugh is here to break the mould. No big banks are truly putting customers first through fear of change and risk of cannibalisation but we are.”
Customers will soon be able to sign up for guidance from Sophie on how to get on top of their credit card debt, manage their budget, and save money.
Sophie’s role is to empower customers to make the best financial decisions based on their unique situations by offering:
- A personalised experience that helps customers manage their money and fast tracks them to financial freedom.
- Collating, organising and informing customers about their spending habits all in the one place.
- Coaching and guiding customers to a better understanding of their financial status, and helping users get to where they want to be financially.
- Sophie also provides deep insights that are designed to help customers stay financially fit and healthy in the long term.
- Users can also use Sophie as their very own personal banker to perform transactional tasks – like paying and splitting bills, requesting money, automatically saving, tracking and management of spending and savings goals, all through Douugh’s own bank account and debit card product.
Douugh is now accepting beta pilot registrations, which is being rolled out on an invitation-only basis. Interested banking customers can visit the website to request access and become part of the foundation community that will help shape its services moving forward.