Fintech Focus: Apollo

How Apollo was able to launch live debit cards in three weeks and virtual cards in days with Treasury Prime.
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Daisy Lin
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November 17, 2022
Fintech Focus Apollo

Fintechs are leading the way in launching innovations in financial services. We're showcasing companies that are breaking new ground in the industry, and how they're using embedded finance tools to make an impact. This month we profile Apollo, a debit card program that rewards users with stocks with every purchase.

Innovative edge: 

Apollo helps its customers build passive income and long-term wealth by offering shares of stock as rewards. Users can earn up to 5% back and invest in fractional shares of top companies like Google, Disney, AMC and more with the Apollo debit Mastercard. They can use the Apollo mobile banking app to earn, auto-invest, save and spend their money. Users also get a fully guaranteed FDIC-insured bank account. Most debit cards do not offer any points or cash back, but Apollo is a way to build wealth while users spend. 

Consumer pain points they’re addressing: 

Apollo was originally conceived as a financial advisory app for millennials and Gen Z, but the founders realized that people had a hard time following financial advice. They pivoted to the debit card model so that they can start by optimizing a specific part of users' finances that was low-risk and automated – their reward points – and eventually build on that foundation. 

“There's a churn and burn strategy with points where you get some cool hotel rooms. While that's great, at the end of the day, if you use your points to invest in your future, then those points could be worth a lot more in the long-term,” says Josh Wright, co-founder of Apollo.

How they’re using embedded finance:

Treasury Prime matched Apollo with one of the banks in its extensive banking network. Plugging into Treasury Prime’s banking APIs, Apollo was able to integrate with the bank quickly to open bank accounts and stand up a debit card program. 

Wright, who is also a software engineer, previously worked at another fintech company that tried working with a bank directly to build an integration from scratch. It took four years just to launch, and by that time the company ran out of money and it was too late to pivot when the product failed to get traction. 

“We were working with a bank directly. And their API's were developed in the ‘90s and just never updated and lots of things didn't work and it was just really painful,” Wright says. “We had to build out a lot of features ourselves, like our own ledger and Nacha files.”

When Wright became a founder of Apollo, he chose to utilize Treasury Prime’s pre-built API instead of building out his own bank integration, and Apollo was able to launch live cards in 3 weeks.

“It’s so amazing to be able to launch a fintech product with Treasury Prime so ridiculously fast. And compliantly of course,” he said. “In terms of tech, there wasn't a whole lot to build up just because Treasury Prime handled all of that. So it was super easy.”

Apollo also partnered with a brokerage provider to enable the purchase and sale of stocks. 

Embedded finance products built with Treasury Prime:

  • Retail Checking Accounts
  • Know Your Customer (KYC)
  • Physical Debit Cards
  • Virtual Cards 
  • Digital Wallets 
  • ACH (Same day and standard)
  • Wires
Want more insight into embedded banking products for B2B SaaS companies?  Download our ultimate guidebook.

Results with Treasury Prime:

Wright says Apollo has been able to set up specific banking features at a speed beyond his expectations. For example, if you want to issue virtual cards for an app - part of the process is making sure you’re PCI compliant, a complicated and time-consuming process.   

 “At my last company, we had to hire a chief security officer and go through an audit and it was a multiple-months long process. With Treasury Prime it was much quicker, since they have an integration with a compliance partner that provides a solution. We spun up virtual cards in two days,” Wright says.  “It saved time and allowed us to focus on our top priorities.”

Key strategies for the future:

With interest rates rising, Apollo is looking to offer a high-yield savings account next year to round out their vision of being a central financial and investment hub. 

“The nice thing is we don't have to go find a bank to support these savings accounts and spin up our own software. It's all there. If we get bank approval, we could set it up in days with Treasury Prime,” Wright says.

Start your embedded finance business in weeks instead of months. To find out how embedded finance can help you increase revenue streams and customer loyalty, contact us

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