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Digital FinTech & Credit Card Issuer Woos Canadians

Living in Canada, we often hear complaints about industries that need a shake-up.

Airlines, Telecoms, and credit card companies are a few that seem to lack innovation, leaving the consumer to pay the price. Corporations walk a fine line between creating bigger profit margins, while also creating services that actually work for the consumer. It’s entirely disheartening to learn that airlines are now charging for a carry-on piece of luggage or financial institutions are devaluing the value of consumers’ hard-earned points.

Enter Brim Financial – the brainchild of Rasha Katabi. With previous stints at Merrill Lynch, CIBC, and TD Bank, Katabi is no stranger to the banking industry as well as the many institutional structures in place that have defined the global financial landscape for the past 20 years.

Seeing all of the things that weren’t working, Rasha began to imagine a financial experience that would actually match her lifestyle – and simply one that she wanted to use. This, paired with her mission to build something with massive positive impact, has turned a vision into a truly transformative platform and experience that matches consumer demands of today. Sometimes you don’t really know how much value you’re missing out on if that’s the status quo. Below are a few key differences we saw when using a bank centric credit card vs. a consumer centric credit card and what we realized we were missing out on.

Mobile First

Bank Centric: Many banks have outdated legacy systems they need to adhere to and maintain, and this is why the digital experience with so many can seem clunky and disconnected. It is a massive undertaking to implement any sort of change in a legacy system, which is why is takes so long to improve. Trying to redeem rewards, or doing anything beyond transferring funds from one account to another can seem like an insurmountable task. We’re starting to see some new changes and features in the banking world and while these might sound nice, they’re ultimately a small surface improvement to the same legacy systems.

Consumer Centric: A card like Brim Financial is integrated with five mobile wallets: Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. You can lock your entire card from the app or choose to only lock online or foreign transactions and continue to use your card in person. The entire process is made incredibly simple and intuitive with everything you need right in your pocket – including budgeting tools, Brim Marketplace with partner offers, and real-time rewards redemption. Brim also helps put you in control of your account with instant purchase notifications and fraud notices.

Even better? Say goodbye to your wallet of annoying loyalty cards. With Brim, you earn uncapped reward points automatically and real-time when you pay using a Brim card so you can earn amplified rewards without even “opting in”.

Travel Perks

Bank Centric: Did you know that you get charged an additional fee every time you use your credit card in a foreign currency? Most Canadian banks charge up to a whopping 4% of your total purchase amount, whether you’re shopping online or travelling abroad.

Consumer Centric: What do you need most when you travel? No foreign transaction fees to start. In fact, Brim is the only $0 annual fee, no FX fee card available in all provinces in Canada. Brim also offers free global Wi-Fi on all cards at over one million hotspots around the world. For the avid traveller who wants to upgrade for travel insurances, they offer a World and World Elite option.

Brim covers all of this plus, flexible payment options embedded right in the credit card. For example, with Brim Install Pay, you have the option to pay for any transaction in smaller monthly payments. Whether it’s your trip package, flight, or a purchase made abroad, you can pay on your own terms wherever you go.


Bank Centric: Cashback, travel or rewards? There are countless rewards credit cards but they fall into these three main categories. If you’re like the majority of Canadians, you end up with up to 7 credit cards in your wallet trying to maximize reward value, yet not one of them is optimized for our changing lifestyles. We also experience limitations on earning potential, for example just 2% or 3% in set categories, such as grocery and gas.

If you think you’ve been able to maximize reward earning with a wallet full of cards, let’s consider the burn. Often, consumers have no choice but to redeem more points than equivalent cash value when booking a flight or redeem points towards an item from a set catalog. In addition, points are even being devalued altogether. Canadians love our rewards – but are these actually ours?

Consumer Centric: Imagine if you could have the best of all cards and categories. With a card like Brim Financial, the model is entirely different where consumers are at the heart of the business. Consumers earn unlimited and uncapped points, and are rewarded for using their credit card responsibly. You even earn more points when using your card at participating Brim partners with a rewards platform that is seamlessly integrated in your credit card & designed to match your lifestyle. Reward levels are based on how frequently you visit or how much you spend with a merchant. What’s more, once you have the points you can redeem them on anything, anytime. From a cup of coffee to a flight to Rome, make the purchase using your Brim card and redeem using your points – right in the app. Or use your rewards as cashback when the time is right for you.

With the current shift in technology advancement and increasing consumer demands, financial institutions must meet their consumers where they are if they want to remain relevant. It’s quite clear that the bank centric approach is leaving many unsatisfied – especially millennials who love rewards, embrace technological change and expect to be in complete control.  Brim’s approach is fresh and innovative and speaks to the massive changes occurring in the Canadian banking landscape.

Click here to find out more about credit card options with Brim Financial.

P.S. – As a fan of our Notable Life community, Brim Financial is extending a bonus of 1,000 points when you apply using the code NOTABLE.

Carla Bragagnolo

Carla is in constant pursuit of the extraordinary; she is based out of Toronto due to its proximity to great food, its diverse music scene, and because it allows her to catch a flight to pretty much anywhere. Follow her adventures at @carlabrags.