Community banks in the US could get a technology boost from German fintech Raisin

A German fintech started a service in 2013 that helps Europeans shuffle their money around the continent to the highest-yielding savings account. Now, the company plans to bring its technology to the US within the next six to 12 months, which could provide a boost to community banks by connecting them to a bigger pool of savers around the country.

A few years back, a key market for Raisin was the German saver stuck with a 1% or lower interest rate on savings, but who could grab a better return in Portugal, or even more outside the eurozone in Bulgaria (3% or more). Its service highlighted a lack of integration in Europe’s banking market, which was still mainly run along national lines. Raisin now has 175,000 customers across Europe and more than 75 bank partners.

US savers can chase the highest-yielding online savings account from state to state, but they often don’t—either because they don’t realize better options are available, or it seems like too much trouble to open new accounts. The Federal Reserve’s benchmark overnight rate is now 2.25% to 2.50%, but the rate traditional banks pay on savings deposits can still be chintzy. Commercial banks hold some $8 trillion of cash, paying an average of just 0.10%, according to Bankrate. Moving their money around could help savers obtain interest rates of 2% or more.

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