Fintech Startup Cushion Faces the Bank and Credit Card Fee Industry Head On

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Fintech Startup Cushion Faces the Bank and Credit Card Fee Industry Head On

October 17
02:00 2020
Fintech Startup Cushion Faces the Bank and Credit Card Fee Industry Head On
To date, Cushion has refunded its customers more than $3 million in bank and credit card fees.

Cushion is on a mission to help alleviate the financial stress suffered by millions of consumers throughout the U.S., starting with automatic bank and credit card fee negotiation. The San Francisco-based web app was the first company to leverage artificial intelligence, advanced fee-detection technology, and bank-level encryption to programmatically launch negotiations — for overdraft fees, ATM fees, credit card interest charges, and more — on consumers’ behalf.

Bank and credit card fees are a $200 billion industry in the U.S. annually. In 2019, U.S. banks collected more than $11 billion in overdraft fees alone, according to the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau. Cushion reports that the average fees per person per month has only continued to grow throughout 2020.

According to Cushion, the average combined bank fees and interest charges per person per month decreased from $106.70 in March to $90.60 in April, but since rose to $130.60 in August — the highest average that Cushion has seen since launching its web app in 2018. For overdraft fees alone, the average fees more than doubled, from $34 per person per month in April to $71 in August.
Negotiating bank fees is a time-consuming, exhausting, and sometimes frustrating process. After signing up, safely securing a bank, and selecting one of three negotiation packages, consumers hand the hard part over to Cushion.

Cushion’s advanced algorithms continuously monitor users’ accounts for fees and will calculate the best time to negotiate a refund with their bank. The system can analyze fees months after they’ve occurred, and will kick off a negotiation for the ones with the highest likelihood of being refunded. Negotiations take place via secure email, chat, or traditional mail, but Cushion keeps users updated on the progress of their negotiations along the way through email, SMS text, and notifications within their personal dashboard.

The company operates with the highest security standards — using 256-bit SSL, bank-level encryption and an external server trusted by Fortune 500 companies, banks, and some departments of the federal government. The company has invested in top-tier security partnerships and in-house technical expertise to ensure that its product is secure and efficient for users, and Cushion will never sell users’ personal information.

“We started Cushion many years before ‘self-driving money’ became a buzz phrase with the idea that people need — and cannot afford — help managing their finances beyond downloading a hodgepodge of niche finance apps,” says Paul Kesserwani, Cushion’s founder and CEO. “So we set out to build a digital CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of sorts.”

Fee negotiation is only the first step in Cushion’s long-term goal to help consumers safeguard their money. The company strives to provide consumers with fundamental tools to help them take control of their finances, such as how to bounce back from a late credit card payment and common checking account fees to look out for. Ultimately, Cushion plans to arm consumers with a tool that can manage their finances for them even better than they can.

Media Contact
Company Name: Cushion
Contact Person: Brooke Vaughan, Content
Email: Send Email
Phone: 415-741-1667
Country: United States

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