The news: JPMorgan Chase has acquired Frank, a college financial planning platform for students.
More on this: Frank’s various solutions, currently used by over 5 million students in the US, will become available to Chase’s clients:
- An online portal that enables a more efficient FAFSA application process for students
- Financial aid advice
- Curated scholarships
- A marketplace of college-level courses for eligible credit
Trendspotting: Several neobanks have found targeting a younger demographic is an effective strategy.
- Current started out offering debit cards for teens, and has since tripled its user base to over 2 million after broadening its demographic focus.
- Step, a banking service that provides teens with FDIC insured bank accounts and a fee and interest-free credit card, raised $100 million this April, and grew to more than 1.5 million users just six months after its debut.
- Since launching a debit card for kids in 2017, Greenlight has added over 3 million parent and children accounts.
The big takeaway: By offering actionable and valuable solutions to younger consumers, JPMorgan Chase’s acquisition could engender long-term loyalty and retention.
- Education costs or paying down student loans are one of the leading barriers to achieving retirement savings goals for self-directed active investors ages 25-34. Products aimed at alleviating such financial roadblocks would be uniquely valuable to the 17- to 24-year-old age bracket that Frank serves—and it could also help tie these customers more closely to the bank.
- Data from Bankrate suggests that the average millennial keeps their checking account for just over nine years. With Frank’s value-add solutions, JPMorgan could make a lasting impression on a young customer and ensure they remain with the bank for years to come.