Last updated December 30, 2022
Welcome to Betterment.
Table of Contents
- What does Betterment do with your personal information?
- How do we use and share your personal information?
- Who we are
- What we do
- Key definitions
- Information We Collect and Why
- How We Use Your Personal Information
- How We Share Your Information
- Opt-out Information
- How to Request Deletion of the Personal Information We Collect
- How Your Personal Information is Protected
- How You Can Access or Change Your Personal Information
- Anonymized Information
- Other Important Information
- Your Rights as a California Resident
- Your Rights as a Vermont Resident
- International Visitors
What does Betterment do with your personal information?
Financial companies choose how they share your personal information. Federal and state laws give consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing. Federal and state laws also require us to tell you how we collect, use, share, and protect your personal information. Please read this notice carefully to understand what we do.
The types of personal information we collect and share depend on whether you are a visitor to our website or a customer and, if a customer, the product or service you have with us. Information we collect from customer includes, among other information:
- Full legal name, date of birth and social security number
- Information about your financial status
- Account balance, assets and transaction history
- A selfie for securing your account
When you are no longer our customer, we continue to retain and share your information as described in this notice below.
All financial companies need to share customers’ personal information to run their everyday business. In the section below, we list the reasons financial companies can share their customers’ personal information; the reasons Betterment chooses to share; and whether you can limit this sharing.
How do we use and share your personal information?
|Does Betterment share?||Can you limit this sharing?|
|Reasons for sharing personal information|
|For our everyday business purposes|
|For our marketing purposes|
|For joint marketing with other financial companies|
|For our affiliates’ everyday business purposes - Information about your transactions and experiences|
|For our affiliates’ everyday business purposes - Information about your creditworthiness|
|For non-affiliates to market to you|
Questions? Contact our customer support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (646) 600-8263
Who we are
Who is providing this notice?
- Betterment LLC
- MTG LLC doing business as Betterment Securities
- Betterment for Business LLC
- Betterment Financial LLC
What we do
How does Betterment protect my personal information?
To protect your personal information from unauthorized access and use, we use security measures that comply with federal law. These physical and electronic safeguards are described in further detail below and include but are not limited to encrypting data, restricting access to sensitive information solely to employees who need to use that information for a business purpose, and entering into contractual agreements that are intended to protect the confidentiality of any customer information shared with third-parties.
How does Betterment collect my personal information?
We collect your personal information, for example, when you:
- Open an account
- Input your financial information and goals in our platform
- Make a deposit, withdrawal or transfer
- Use your Betterment Visa® Debit Card
We also collect your personal information from other companies. For example, if you elect to link an external account, holdings, or liabilities (such as a bank account, a non-Betterment brokerage account, or a student loan) to your Betterment account, we also collect personal information from your linked account.
Why can’t I limit all sharing?
Federal law gives you the right to limit only:
- sharing for affiliates’ everyday business purposes—information about your creditworthiness
- affiliates from using your information to market to you
- sharing for nonaffiliates to market to you
You should be aware that Betterment does not collect or share information for these purposes.
State laws and individual companies may give you additional rights to limit sharing. See below for more information if you are a resident of California or Vermont.
Affiliates - Companies related by common ownership or control
They can be financial and nonfinancial companies. Our affiliates are:
- Betterment LLC, a registered investment advisor, is the primary entity with which you interact. Betterment LLC maintains Betterment’s website, provides financial advice and goal recommendations to customers, and markets and advertises to customers and prospective customers.
- Betterment Holdings, Inc. is Betterment’s parent company. Betterment Holdings does not interface with customers.
- MTG, LLC d/b/a Betterment Securities is Betterment’s registered broker-dealer affiliate. Betterment Securities does not directly interface with customers and does not conduct any marketing activities.
- Betterment for Business LLC is Betterment’s unregistered affiliate that offers administrative services to employer-sponsored retirement plans. You interface with Betterment for Business if you have a Betterment 401(k) account.
- Betterment Financial LLC is Betterment’s unregistered affiliate that makes available a Betterment Checking Account and Betterment Visa® Debit Card through a partnership with nbkc bank, Member FDIC. You interface with Betterment Financial if you have a Betterment Checking account.
- Argonaut Asset Management, Inc. (Makara), a registered investment advisor, is Betterment’s affiliate.
Nonaffiliates - Companies not related by common ownership or control.
Companies not related by common ownership or control. They can be financial and nonfinancial companies.
- Non-affiliates we share your personal information with include service providers and vendors, banking partners, other financial institutions, data processors, identity verification services, and advertisers.
A formal agreement between non-affiliated financial companies that together market financial products or services to you.
- Our joint marketing partners include our banking partner, nbkc bank, our student loan management services partner, Spinwheel Solutions Inc., and other financial services companies.
Other important information
If you are an account holder of a joint account, you have individual rights with respect to our use of your personal information.
Information We Collect and Why
In order to provide a high-quality service, Betterment collects various types of information when you visit the website or mobile app, sign-up as a customer, or otherwise engage with Betterment.
We collect various types of anonymous information about visitors to Betterment, such as device-related information (including browser type and IP address) and server log information (including the date and time of day of your visit, average time spent on the Betterment site, browsing activity, and any site that referred you to Betterment). We also collect information that you input into our website, such as your name, phone number, or email address when you begin the account application process or comment on the Betterment blog. We use this information to better understand our visitors and our business, facilitate site navigation, provide the services or information you request, and enhance the Betterment service. To the extent you enter identifying information as part of the account application process, we are required by law to store that information to comply with federal regulations.
When you choose to create an account with Betterment, we will also collect certain personal information, including your full legal name, email address, permanent address, date of birth, social security number and information about financial status. We are required by law to collect and store this information to provide you with financial services. If you do not wish to provide this information, you cannot become a Betterment customer.
If you open or maintain a Betterment Checking account, you authorize MX Technologies, Inc. ("MX") to collect information about your Betterment Checking account transactions. You acknowledge and agree that the information collected, and the services provided to you, by MX are subject to certain terms and conditions (currently located at https://www.betterment.com/legal/transaction-data-enhancement).
Retirement Plan Sponsor and Participant Information
We collect information from companies, including retirement plan sponsors and plan participants, that use the Betterment at Work platform. When a company creates an account with Betterment as a retirement plan sponsor, we will collect information on both the company and its employees as plan participants, including but not limited to, the company’s name, the company’s employer identification number, details about the company’s existing retirement plans, an email address of the company’s contact person and other relevant plan information. We will also collect certain personal and financial information about the plan participants, including, but not limited to, names, social security numbers, dates of birth, annual incomes, addresses, length of service with the company, gender, marital status, dates of hire, email addresses and other contact information, occupation, industry, personal interests, bank account balance, salary information, contribution rates and tax bracket.
We collect information from advisory firms that use the Betterment for Advisors platform, as well as from individual advisors, including but not limited to advisory firm and advisor names, email addresses, and other relevant information pertaining to advisors’ businesses. We also collect certain personal and financial information about advisory firm customers, who are Betterment customers, as described above in the “Customer Information” section. Additionally, we collect information from advisors who are considering partnering with Betterment.
Other Ways We Collect Information
Apart from through the account opening process and from visitors to the site, we may collect various other types of personal information if you or a friend engages with Betterment. We collect your email address as part of our customer referral service or if you subscribe to the Betterment blog. We may also collect personal information if you enter it into our live chat program or contact us or otherwise give it to us (e.g., in an email, phone call, or live chat with a member of our customer support team). Further, we may collect information regarding your browsing activity when you visit Betterment’s websites and actions you take within your Betterment account while logged in to your Betterment account.
Cookies and Pixels
Cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on your computer, mobile phone or any other device used to access the internet. Pixels are small code blocks on a website that allow for another server to measure viewing of a webpage and often are used in connection with cookies.
Cookies, pixels, and similar technologies are not required for site functionality. You are not required to accept any cookies or pixels to use this site. However, refusing to accept cookies or pixels will make the use of Betterment more cumbersome and less accessible.
Betterment and third-party advertising companies may use the data collected to provide you with ads relevant to you and personalized content while you are on Betterment or other sites. If you prefer to not receive targeted advertising, you can opt out of some network advertising programs that use your information by visiting the NAI Opt-Out Page. You may also contact these third party companies directly to opt out of targeted advertising from Betterment and/or any other firm. Please note that even if you choose to remove your information by opting out, you will still see advertisements while you are browsing online.
We use third-party analytics tools, including “Google Analytics” (such tools collectively referred to as “Analytics Services”) to collect information about the usage of this site. The Analytics Services collect information about how often users visit this site, what pages they visit when they do so, and what other sites they used prior to coming to this site, among other information. We use the information we get from these Analytics Services to improve this site.
How We Use Your Personal Information
Betterment uses your personal information to provide financial advice and other services; enhance your customer experience; improve our products and features; provide customer support; open, operate, and maintain your account in accordance with US law; investigate and understand how Betterment is used; monitor and protect the security and integrity of Betterment; and better market and advertise Betterment’s services. If you link external accounts to your Betterment account, we may use transactional data from those accounts to provide you with financial advice or to recommend additional Betterment products and services to you. You understand and agree that Betterment will compare your identifying information with government-provided lists of suspected terrorists.
As part of this process, we may from time to time include, compile, or aggregate some of your personal information in certain data analyses, reports, or other interpretations of investment trends for both internal and external purposes. When including, compiling, or aggregating personal information for such purposes, we make sure that the information is anonymized such that it is not identifiable to any particular customer.
Additionally, we, or our service providers, may use your personal information to contact you regarding Betterment's services, resources, or Betterment job openings that we think may be of interest to you. Please note that if you hold an account with Betterment, you cannot opt-out of certain communications related to the administration of your account, including communications related to billing, statement and trade confirmation delivery or certain regulatory matters.
If Betterment is unable to contact you over email because your email address returned an undeliverable message (a "bounceback"), you understand and agree that Betterment may make alternative attempts to contact you via phone, SMS text, mail, or other communication means.
If you provide your phone number to Betterment, Betterment may contact you by phone regarding opening and/or funding an account. You may request to be put on a "Do Not Call" list maintained by Betterment.
How We Share Your Information
We do not sell, rent, or trade your personal information with any third parties other than with your consent or as required by law.
In order to provide financial services and in connection with our everyday business purposes and activities, we may share your personal information with third parties who perform services on our behalf. Examples of these third parties and services include consumer identification verification services, public accounting firms and other professional firms, and certain other vendors and service providers who perform marketing, advertising, research and analytics services on our behalf. We have entered into agreements that require that these third parties keep this information confidential. We may also disclose your information to other third-party financial institutions, e.g., if you ask to transfer assets from Betterment to such financial institutions or if you make student loan repayments using Betterment's student loan management services. If you choose to use Betterment’s charitable giving feature, we will share your name and email address with the recipient charity, which the recipient charity may use to contact you.
We may also disclose personal information in response to service of legal process, such as a court order, summons, or subpoena, or as permitted or required by law when we reasonably believe it is necessary or appropriate to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud (including identity theft), frontrunning or scalping, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person, or suspected violations of our Terms of Service or customer agreements. We also may disclose information about you if necessary to determine your eligibility to recover compensation in connection with class action lawsuits.
Furthermore, we may disclose personal information in specific other cases with your consent.
If you conduct business with us through Betterment for Advisors, we may exchange information we collect with your investment professional or with others they may authorize.
If you open a Betterment Checking account, Betterment will share information with nbkc bank and/or its agents for purposes relating to your account.
If you use a Betterment Visa® Debit Card, Betterment will share the transaction information described above with Dosh, Betterment’s cash rewards partner, and/or its agents for purposes of generating cash back rewards offers for your account. Dosh is prohibited from selling this data. Dosh also may not use this data for any purpose other than providing cash back rewards or another authorized purpose. If you do not wish for this information to be shared, you may disable cash back rewards by emailing email@example.com. Betterment also will share information about your location with Dosh if you allow Betterment to access your location through your phone. If you do not wish this information to be shared, you may choose not to enable location services on your phone.
If you open a Betterment Crypto investing account, Betterment will share information with Gemini and/or its affiliates for purposes relating to your account.
In order to provide workplace services to employers or plan sponsors through the Betterment at Work platform, such as retirement savings plan services, recordkeeping services, and student loan management services, we may exchange any information received in connection with such services with the employer or plan sponsor or others they may authorize, such as an employer-selected investment professional. We may also share information, including but not limited to account positions, contributions, distributions, and cash flows, with a third-party financial institution that serves as a directed trustee to 401(k) plans serviced by Betterment for Business and its affiliates.
How we share your personal information for marketing and research analytics
As disclosed above, we use certain vendors and service providers who perform marketing, advertising, research and analytics services on our behalf.
These include platforms that monitor and provide analytics on our systems, applications that support automated emails for marketing efforts, applications that allow us to build personalized social media campaigns, and tools to record customer communication and interaction history. We use these service providers to comply with regulatory requirements, provide financial services, enhance your customer experience, improve our products and features, and provide customer support. These vendors and service providers with whom we share your personal information are bound by agreements with us to keep your personal information confidential and we never rent or sell your information to anyone.
We use reasonable efforts to limit the sharing of personally identifiable information with vendors and service providers when it is not reasonably required for the service and share anonymized or hashed information in lieu of personal information when it is practicable. Certain experiences on Betterment's website and applications may entail engaging directly with third-party service providers. In such situations, you will be presented with terms and conditions that apply to the use of that service, which may include authorizing such service providers to use anonymized data from your engagement to improve their own products or services. For more information about anonymized information, see details below.
You may opt out of promotional or marketing emails by clicking “unsubscribe”, which appears in the footer of such emails. If you no longer wish to receive text messages, please type "STOP" in response to any such text. You may also opt out from push notifications from the Betterment application on your iOS or androidOS device. Lastly, you may opt out of the sharing of your Betterment Visa® Debit Card transaction data with Dosh, our cash back rewards partner, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that you cannot opt out of administrative communications, such as emails that contain account statements, notify you regarding changes to your account or contain updates to our terms and conditions.
How to Request Deletion of the Personal Information We Collect
Betterment allows you to close your Betterment accounts. You can review our help center article on deleting accounts for instructions on how to do so. Closing a joint account works in the same manner, and either joint account holder can delete a shared joint account. Please note that we retain information on deleted accounts as required for legal, regulatory and security purposes.
How Your Personal Information is Protected
Betterment works diligently to protect your personal information. We employ several physical and electronic safeguards to keep your information safe. We use the strongest available browser encryption, store all of our data on servers in secure facilities, and implement systematic processes and procedures for securing and storing data. We limit access to your personal and financial information to only those employees with authorized access who need to know the information in order to perform their jobs, and we require third parties who perform services for Betterment to agree to keep your information confidential.
Furthermore, if you choose to close your account or your account is terminated with us, we will continue to adhere to the privacy policies and practices outlined here. If you maintain a Betterment account that you access through our website or mobile apps, you are responsible for protecting and maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password and restricting access to your computer.
How You Can Access or Change Your Personal Information That We Have Collected
Once you have registered with Betterment, you can access your profile, review the information that is stored, and revise that information. If you have any problems, you may also contact us at email@example.com. Due to US regulatory requirements, we do not delete residual copies of outdated information and must preserve all customer data for a minimum of three years.
We may share anonymized information that is summarized or derived from information you provide to us with third parties. Anonymous information is information that does not include any personally identifiable information. From time to time, Betterment performs analysis on investing-related topics using anonymized and/or summarized insights from customers. Such research reports, blog posts or findings may be shared with external publishers or published by us on financial topics of interest.
Other Important Information
If you are a former customer, these policies also apply to you; we treat your information with the same care as we do information about current customers. We preserve former customer data in order to comply with regulatory obligations.
How We Respond to Do Not Track Signals
Online tracking is the collection of data about an individual’s Internet activity used to deliver targeted advertisements and for other purposes. Customers using certain modern browsers have the ability to activate a “Do Not Track” signal. Betterment does not currently respond to the “Do Not Track” signal.
How You Accept This Policy
Changes to the Policy
Our service is not directed towards anyone under the age of 18. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that their child under the age of 18 has created an account with Betterment and/or provided us with personally identifiable information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if we become aware at any point that a child under the age of 18 is using our service, we will terminate their account.
Your Rights as a California Resident
Detailed information about your rights as a California resident, including under the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, as amended by the California Privacy Rights Acts of 2020, is available in our California Privacy Notice.
Your Rights as a Vermont Resident
We do not share nonpublic personal financial information we collect about Vermont residents to non-affiliated third parties except for our everyday business purposes or as otherwise permitted by law. If you wish to revoke any authorization to share your nonpublic personal financial information, which you have provided to us by entering into our Customer Agreement, please contact us at email@example.com.
Please note, however, that we will not be able to provide you with services through Betterment without the ability to share this financial information.
8 W. 24th Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10010