Highlighting FinTech Leaders: Katherine Salisbury (Qapital)

“Despite all of the tech and communication tools, nothing works quite like old fashioned in-person quality time to generate a real community”




Katherine Salisbury headshot



Americans are facing a savings crisis, reports CNBC. 41% of working adults set aside 5% of their annual income or less for emergencies or financial goals. Fintech to the rescue! Technology plus the nudge of behavioral psychology combine in app form to help people reach banking nirvana.

The mobile-first banking app Qapital is in a league of its own. Split between Stockholm and NYC, the company landed a somewhat recent $30M Series B to grow the company. The company is making big waves with new offerings, such as a Qapital Visa debit card and investing with Qapital.

This week, we’d like to introduce you to Katherine Salisbury, Co-founder, and Chief Strategy Officer. Previously a legal force of nature, Katherine divides her time between her elite sports management agency, soccer fandom, her family, and personal finance stardom. Goaaaaaaal.

Grab your chips and chair and join us for our interview with Katherine…


Tell us about Qapital in a few words?

Qapital is a financial app that uses behavioral economics to help people become masters of their money.


What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I majored in Slavic Languages and Linguistics in college but I can’t speak any slavic languages.


If you could pick any job in the world, what would it be? Aside from your current hustle.

Maybe an economist or a doctor.


What (other) bank, FinTech, or VC do you have the most admiration for and why?

Lemonade is one of my favorite fintechs at the moment. It’s an app that is making home and rental insurance easy and accessible. Just as we’re doing with saving, Lemonade flips the old insurance model and makes the entire process simple and transparent – and happy, too. There’s a cause-based component to Lemonade that shifts insurance from something groan-inducing to something happy.

Plaid has been a massive gamechanger for financial services, and Visa’s recent acquisition attests to this. Our team met Zach and his team at Web Summit in Dublin when we were both seed-stage companies, pre-launch. It’s been incredible to see the impact they’ve made over the years in enabling millions of people to connect their money to valuable tools for effectively managing it.


How do we make the FinTech community even stronger?

I think events like Money 20/20 where people can meet and get together are key. Despite all of the tech and communication tools, nothing works quite like old fashioned in-person quality time to generate a real community.


Why did you decide to start or join your startup?

Qapital was born out of frustration. George and I tried time and time again to save, but it was too difficult to keep track of everything through a single savings slush fund. After turning to multiple banks, one finally allowed us to open different accounts for each of our savings goals. It was a better way to visualize and control exactly where our money was going.

However, the frustration of manually managing 17 different accounts eventually got to us, and we realized that there had to be a better way to integrate and streamline the system, to make savings self-driving and automatic. Through our partnerships with our CTO and co-founder, Erik Akterin, and behavioral economist Dan Ariely, we created Qapital, an app that aims to help people save more effectively and chart their own course to money happiness. Through goals, tips, and tools rooted in behavioral psychology, Qapital helps users become masters of their money.


Why/how will your company win? What’s the unique edge?

Qapital is powered by behavioral psychology and modeled around an individual’s specific goals – its about how to visualize, organize, automate our money but also about how to take the emotion and weaponize it to our own advantage rather than it being a hinderance to financial success. Most money apps focus on accounts but we believe we need more than traditional banking products in app-format. We need a whole different way to relate to and engage with our money. Many self-improvement tools when it comes to money lean on shame-based approaches around spending and saving, but Qapital believes a happy relationship with your money starts with the ability to put it towards what brings you lasting contentment and financial peace of mind.

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