Acorns Transforms ‘Cash Back’ into ‘Cash Forward’

canstockphoto12989533Acorns is bettingthat millennials will prefer “cash forward” to the old-school “cash back” rewards on their purchases.

Earlier this week, the micro-investing app launched Found Money, a program that allows brands to “invest in their customers’ future” and automatically invest the cash-back rewards into customers’ Acorns accounts. With this move, Acorns aims to “transform the customer rewards paradigm from “cash back” to “cash forward,” and we hope this sets a new standard for the industry,” CEO Noah Kerner told Bank Innovation.  

Acorns started by helping customers automatically invest their own money. Now, we’re helping them find new money — investment rewards from brands just for being a loyal customer. We know that it’s important to millennials that they do business with companies that take a vested interest in their well-being. There’s no better way to do that than to invest in their future — literally.

Currently five companies are signed up with the new program  — Hotel Tonight, JackThreads,,, and Dollar Shave Club. Acorns users will receive ‘Found Money’ directly from participating brands when they complete transactions with cards linked to their Acorns accounts, Kerner said. The startup expects more companies to sign up with the feature soon.

We are in conversations with various brands that see the unique value of investing into the future of customers instead of just providing discounts or cash back. One of our main goals is to bring on brand partners that our customers already love, so that our customers can continue growing wealth automatically in the background of life, just as they do by investing their spare change every day. We would love to see great brands like Starbucks, Amazon, and Whole Foods as partners. If you’re reading this, please give us a call.

Found Money and Grow, a media site that features millennials and financial experts discussing personal finance that launched in January, will be the startup’s main focus for now, according to Kerner.

The notion of “no investment is too small” has been center-stage lately. More established players like Acorns and Robinhood face the continuing entrance of niche players such as Trigger App or Lawnmower, which is focused on bitcoin investments, all working toward seamless and engaging investment experiences.

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