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Among other things, Stake1 is designed to track a tenant’s financial activity with the intent of using on-time payments as a mechanism to improve credit rating, the company said in a statement. It also provides cash-back on common purchases and free banking services. Property owners are charged $12 per year, per door, to offer Stake1 to tenants.
Stake CEO and co-founder Rowland Hobbs said in a statement that too many proptech innovators with an altruistic bent aren’t considering how their fees impact the tenants that use them.
“Renters and property owners and operators share one thing in common right now: They are overwhelmed with too many apps charging too much,” Hobbs said. “By bundling these banking services into one app, we increase renter engagement and build renter wealth, while reducing property owner costs.”
The company’s plan is a hit-list of common needs within the renter community: access to cash when needed, credit improvement and simpler banking.
Stake1 offers a Visa debit card and a tiered cash-back program that offers five percent during the first three months after move-in, two percent when the debit card is used to pay rent and one percent every time its used in perpetuity. Users get an FDIC-insured checking account with direct deposit, paycheck advancement and credit reporting services through Stake1’s “Credit Builder.”
The company said landlords who implement Stake1 will realize a “$2.11 return on every dollar spent.”
Stake is used by tenants in 30,000 homes, according to the statement, and 65 percent of renters have more money in their Stake account than in any other banking account.
Banking services are resold from Blue Ridge Bank N.A..
Stake closed a Series A funding round of $12 million in June of 2022. It also became the technology partner to a national non-profit, Enterprise Community Partners, helping it roll out “a first-of-its-kind innovation designed to provide renters the wealth building opportunities traditionally limited to homeowners while preserving up to $1 billion in affordable and workforce homes,” according to the non-profit.