You may recall that I wrote about a brand new online service for Canadians called Finizi a few months ago. I thought I would post an update today to let you know how they're doing. In just a few months, they've completed over $40 million in GIC auctions.
Finizi offers a new, easier way for Canadians to purchase GICs. Using their online portal, financial institutions can bid for your business and you can select the best rate for the GIC term of your choice. If you take a look at their top bids, you'll notice that the rates are significantly higher than those offered by Canada's largest banks.
Last week, I posted some GIC and savings account rates from a few mid-tier Canadian financial institutions. While these rates are higher than those of the big banks, they're not as good as those offered by Finizi. In fact, a few readers mentioned that you can get higher rates by using a GIC broker or shopping the credit unions – both excellent suggestions.
If you're looking for an easy way to buy a GIC at a higher rate, you may want to give Finizi a try. Their rates seem comparable to those offered by brokers and credit unions and you can handle everything online. Best of all, the service is free to use.
Finizi founder and CEO Daniel Shain recently sent this press release to me in order to provide an update on Finizi's progress since their September, 2011 launch, so I thought I would share the information with you here:
CANADA’S FIRST AND ONLY CONSUMER GIC AUCTION WEBSITE
EMPOWERS INVESTORS DURING RRSP SEASON
Finizi.com introduces new features including instant auction results, customer rewards and
Canada’s most comprehensive credit card comparison and recommendation platform
Since launching its live online GIC purchase engine across Canada in September 2011, Finizi Corp., the company behind the revolutionary online platform www.finizi.com, has been hard at work planning for the hectic RRSP season, the busiest time of the year for GIC sales.
Finizi offers an online platform where financial institutions bid for customers’ business in live and fully transparent GIC auctions. Through the online portal, consumers view the top rates, make their selection, and complete the GIC purchase electronically without stepping foot into a bank. Also, since Finizi collects a finder’s fee from the financial institutions using its platform, the service is completely free for consumers.
The company recently finished its three-month pilot test of the website, during which it generated millions of dollars in GIC sales and provided the absolute highest GIC rates in the country. “Customers have been providing us with rave reviews and have recommended our service to their friends and family,” says Finizi Founder & CEO Daniel Shain. “The three most frequent comments we’ve received have been ease of use, love of its simplicity, and reaffirmation that this is a service that people want.”
“While we are pleased with our progress to date, in the online world, we are in a constant state of improvement, driven always by real time customer experience” says Shain. “Users wanted, and we responded with better auction mechanics.” For GIC auctions less than $100,000, consumers are now able to view the top bids within seconds. For auctions greater than $100,000, financial institutions have until the end of the day to bid. The company has also expanded their product offering with the introduction of TFSAs and monthly payout GICs.
For a limited time during RRSP season, Finizi is rewarding customers for using its service. Users that start an auction and complete a GIC purchase through the website will be entered into a draw. After the February 29th RRSP contribution deadline winners will be selected to receive a $10 to $50 gift card from prominent Canadian retailers including Tim Horton’s, Cineplex Odeon, Sporting Life and Kernels Popcorn. Contest rules are posted on the company’s website.
Finizi also launches its first educational financial tool—the most comprehensive credit card comparison and recommendation platform in Canada. This smart engine allows customers to input and rank order their credit card requirements. From the hundreds of credit cards available in Canada, they receive a recommendation on which cards are most suitable for their usage. “What drove this development was simple,” says Shain. “Consumers want to apply for the card best for them, but who has the time or inclination to compare the different cards available from dozens of credit card issuers across Canada? At Finizi.com, consumers get to make an informed decision on what card is best for them with an engine that compares prices, reward programs, travel insurance and other benefits.”
(Disclosure: I have no financial interest in Finizi, nor was I compensated in any way for posting this update.)