PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Step, the all-in-one financial solution for the next generation, today announced a waitlist and unveiled plans for its new crypto and stock investment product, becoming the first financial app that will allow both teens under 18 and young adults to buy, sell, hold and receive crypto. With this new product offering, Step customers will soon be able to invest, trade and accrue rewards in both crypto (with access to a wide library of vetted crypto tokens) and stocks.
“Over the past year and a half, we’ve been able to help more than 3 million customers establish a strong financial foundation and begin to think about their long-term goals,” said CJ MacDonald, Founder and CEO at Step. “As a natural next step in their financial journeys, we’re thrilled to be able to offer teens the ability to budget, spend, save, build credit and now invest for their financial futures directly within the Step App.”
Today, access to crypto and many other types of investment products remain gated (and expensive) for teens under the age of 18. However, as Gen Z continues to lean into the “DIY culture” with increased financial curiosity as they turn their side hustles into full-time gigs, they’re looking for an immediate way to start becoming active contributors to the economy and growing their wealth.
In fact, not only is investing one of the top-requested Step features, but a recent survey of Step teens revealed that 56% are bullish on crypto (with Bitcoin and NFTs at the top of the list). Additionally, 25% of teens said they believe investing is the single-most important skill to master before graduating high school. That being said, teens also acknowledged a hunger for more education about these newer types of investments.
Step has designed this new product responsibly, with teens’ safety top of mind as they make their first foray into investing. For example, parents will be able to oversee their teen’s access to the investing feature, determining when they’re ready for this next step in their financial journey. They’ll also have the ability to expand their teen’s monthly limits as they start to become more confident investors. The company will emphasize and integrate educational resources for teens who are looking to invest as an essential part of the app experience, and more generally, discuss the importance of saving and investing to build long-term value.
“At the end of the day, our goal at Step is to help improve the financial future of the next generation by providing them with access to affordable, modern financial tools and education in a truly Gen Z way,” said MacDonald. “We’re excited to be bringing teens and their parents a revolutionary way to start investing at an earlier age so they can reap the long-term benefits and create generational wealth.”
On the crypto front, Step’s new investment product will be powered by the digital assets infrastructure and regulatory platform, Zero Hash, and provide each customer with access to a library of over 50 crypto tokens as well as their own crypto addresses (wallets) to deposit and withdraw on-chain. Customers will also be able to purchase NFTs and take advantage of staking and other tools to maximize the long-term value of their assets.
“We are excited to be partnering with Step to expand access to crypto investing by making it available to younger customers who want to get a jump start on investing for their future,” said Edward Woodford, Founder and CEO at Zero Hash. “Since our inception, we have helped dozens of leading fintechs and challenger banks meet growing consumer demand for these new types of investment products in dynamic and innovative ways.”
To join the waitlist, where new and existing customers will receive early access and education about Step’s new investment product, simply visit: www.step.com/investing.
Step was founded by financial industry veterans CJ MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko to provide teens and their families with financial tools for today’s modern-day banking needs and to promote financial literacy for the future. The founding team has 50+ years in combined financial technology experience from companies like Affirm, Block, Google, Gyft, Stripe and Wealthfront. The Series C company has raised more than $175 million in venture funding, backed by Coatue, Collaborative Fund, Crosslink Capital, General Catalyst and several other prominent investors. Step has more than 3 million customers and its financial products are powered by its bank partner, Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC and insured up to $250,000. To learn more, please visit: www.step.com.
About the Survey
The online survey was conducted via Typeform from March 22, 2022 to March 28, 2022, among a demographically representative sample of 1,359 Step customers, aged 13 to 18.