Banking for Thrill Seekers: The Financial Future of the Gig Economy


Archie Ravishankar, co-Founder and CEO of Cogni, saw a hole in the world of retail banking. An entire generation of the workforce was suddenly made up of freelancers, skill-traders and gig-workers, creating an evolving and independent global market.

No surprise, traditional banks simply can’t keep up with today’s world of “people who have irregular incomes [including] the whole segment from Lyft drivers, to journalists, and creative independent people, which is roughly over 60 million people in America,” Ravishankar observes.

A freelancers’ best ally is a bank that can outmaneuver today’s market and continually adapt. And this growing work force of freelancers is made up of individuals, not corporations, those who need a bank that is really looking out for their interests. Those driving the new economy have earned the right to live the lifestyle they’ve worked so hard to build…on their own terms.

So, a whole new digital banking platform was surely necessary.

“We don’t want to call ourselves a ‘bank’; we want to be called Cogni,” Ravishankar affirms. “Cogni meaning cognizance, intelligence, smart and relieving problem solving.”



Ultimately freelancers, who have rejected traditional offices for working at home or in WeWork spaces, need a financial tool that enables and simplifies their lifestyle – as the model of banking has changed from lump sum investments to constantly fluctuating flows of commerce. The investment world agrees; to date, Cogni has closed $1.5 million in seed round, and is finalizing their Series A.

But this isn’t just a “challenger bank” that claims to be different without backing it up. Ravishankar is a 33-year old who personally knows who the new professional is in a global economy. He also knows what they need. Rather than attempting to be a better, different or easier version of a traditional bank, Cogni has broken the mold by making their own rules.

To be sure, when you focus on parity and table-stakes features, the benefits with relevant value creation are instant. Ravishankar has known all along that Cogni needed to be as innovative as its clients. From an account opening process that clocks in at 5-minutes, to free checking, freelancers need a financial tool that fits into, complements, and simplifies their lifestyle. Business health is what makes their lifestyle possible.

Here are five reasons to seriously consider Cogni.



Debit Card Perks

Up to 40% cash back on hotels “The minute you book your flight, and add that to your calendar, Cogni knows you’re traveling to Boston, Chicago, wherever, and it tells you based on your account balance what hotels give you the maximum cash back,” Ravishankar explains. Spend smart and know your options. 

Cash Back

Up to 12% cash back on most everyday purchases. Liquid assets always matter and the more you spend, the more you receive. Cover student loans and overhead costs by investing in your own projects.

Multi-Currency Wallet

Have you always craved the freedom and perks of working internationally, but can’t worry about fluctuating exchange rates? Everyone knows what a pain it is to negotiate converting euros to dollars without knowing what you’re going to get. Kind of like a casino where the house always wins. A multi-currency wallet allows customers to swap and hold currencies and exchange when they prefer.



Personalized Savings Buckets

Analytical tools are more important than ever! Use your own data to guide savings towards relevant purchases, big or small. Live chat functions make sure any questions are answered in a timely manner.

Personal Finance Management Tools 

Your bank should crunch the numbers so members can focus on what they value: innovation. Harnessing the power of data analytics, which take spending habits into account, takes the guesswork out of predicting future cash flow and spending.



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