Earlier this year, Canadian start-up Koho unveiled a dystopian short film urging people to take back their dreams from big banks.
Shot in Kiev, Ukraine in just four days, ‘Dream Thieves’ stars a woman raging against a corrupt system that sells us dreams – but actually gives us nightmares.
‘Dream Thieves’ premiered at Toronto Film Festival before launching in cinema and online. It promotes Koho – a suite of mobile-only suite of financial services, accessible via the Koho app.
Koho began beta testing in Canada in late 2015 before launching in 2017. It belongs to a breed of rebellious fintech start-ups that are specifically targeting millennials with a no-fee model and anti-establishment stance. With the tagline, ‘Restore balance’, Koho says its mission is to “make people’s lives radically transparent, easy to manage, and empowering”.
“Savings accounts that don’t help you save should not be called savings accounts. We’re just building something simple and honest that helps people get ahead,” explains Koho’s Co-Founder, Daniel Eberhard.
Koho makes money by splitting merchant fees with Visa, which are paid by retailers each time you use a card in their shop.
You still need a traditional bank account to reload your pre-paid Koho Visa card. Where it differs is by using technology to change behaviour. By predicting what you’ll spend next week, you’re more likely to spend less.
According to Koho, its average customer reduces their spend by 15% and saves nearly CAD$500. Rapturous testimonials on Koho’s website describe the app as “life-changing”, which suggests rebellious fintech brands are likely to thrive in other markets, too.