HoneyDue Tackles Major PFM Challenge: Collaborative Spending

Managing a relationship is stressful enough without introducing unnecessary miscommunications about day-to-day spending. This is one reason why many couples maintain separate spending accounts with pre-defined responsibilities (e.g. you pay the rent, I’ll pay the utilities, etc.). But that doesn’t alleviate the need to communicate, especially when one person has more “discretionary” funds. And separate accounts can lead to more trouble if one person is more of a free spender than the other, or if one has more trouble avoiding overdrafts and/or tapping out accounts well in advance of payday.

Joint accounts have the advantage of keeping funds in a single bucket which is statistically easier to keep above zero compared to stretching funds across two or more accounts. And joint accounts by definition require the couple to work together as a team to manage spending. But many couples, especially early on, aren’t entirely ready to cede “control” over their paychecks. Overall, it’s an area ripe for disagreements and resentment.

That’s why we love Simple’s best-of-both-worlds solution, the Simple Shared plan which offers 3 accounts: an individual spending account for each person, along with a joint account for the pair. While that’s a great foundation, it still doesn’t address the day-to-day communications necessary to keep both partners on the same page.

Enter the newest PFM player, HoneyDue (formerly WalletIQ), currently toiling away in Y Combinator’s summer class (S17). After a stint as one of Apple’s favorite apps in May, the company already has 20,000 registered users, 60% of which are female. The app debuted on Product Hunt two days ago, and was the most popular product of the day (currently 820 upvotes) and so far is fifth highest of the week. You’ll be hearing more about them in two weeks when they officially debut at the incubator’s demo days (Aug 21-23).

HoneyDue uses Yodlee (probably) to aggregate transaction accounts across multiple FIs into one mobile app. Then it provides tools to make it easy to annotate expenses and communicate with each other about what they were.

Bottom line: Collaborative spending tools are an attractive account management option that absolutely should be offered by every bank, credit union, card issuer and PFM provider. HoneyDue is a good example of how the UI can work. And banks, consider joining the company’s seed round, if only as an R&D effort (strategic seed investing).

Feature Friday: Editing Transactions in Online/Mobile Banking

One basic feature missing from most online and mobile banking services is the ability to edit/annotate transactions. Some banks, BMO Harris for example, support transaction and/or category editing in their PFM modules. But it’s very rare to see it within basic digital banking.

One exception, is BBVA Compass’s Simple banking unit. Simple allows full editing of the transaction name, category, and goal. And users can add a memo and an attachment to individual transactions. Clicking on a transaction brings up the detail section along the right (see screenshot below). The feature is functional on the desktop, but it’s easier to use, and more robust, on a mobile phone where the built-in camera aids photo attachments. And the transaction is visually more appealing after editing on mobile (see After mobile screenshot).

Thoughts: While it’s a little harder to use than I’d like, it feels wrong to complain about UX issues at Simple, when the vast majority of FIs don’t allow any editing whatsoever. But my job is to whine, so I’ll make this suggestion. The best user experience is to edit directly within the transaction record rather than following commands over to the right. And on mobile, voice editing should be supported.

Bottom line: While Simple’s transaction editing may not quite live up to the digital banking pioneer’s name, it’s head and shoulders above the competition. And that’s no simple feat.


Transaction editing on the desktop

Step 1: Select transaction on left; if desired, change category (#1), or funding source (#2), then press “edit”

Step 2: Annotation options (1) Edit name, (2) Add memo, (3) Upload image, (4) Add location


Transaction editing on mobile

Before edits                                                             After edits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Jim Bruene is Founder & Senior Advisor to Finovate as well as
Principal of BUX Advisors, a financial services user-experience consultancy. 

 

 

Banking Opportunity: Synced Joint Accounts

simple shared account

One thing we are looking forward to this year is the launch of Simple’s (part of BBVA) Simple Shared checking account. When the beta was announced last September (2016) and the company said it would be launching “some time in 2017.” See screenshots above.

The account promises to help users track their individual purchases, while also maintaining a shared transaction area and goal(s) that includes an Our Safe-to-Spend number across both users. Users would be able to simply transfer money to each other as well. And interestingly, it appears that any two people (and maybe more?) will be able to sync their Simple accounts together, it won’t have to be an actual legal joint account. That’s exactly how it should be.

Innovating in the Deposit Business
The deposit business is relatively straightforward. There are checking accounts, debit cards, and savings accounts (most paying a negligible amount of interest). So how does a bank differentiate itself in this absurdly low interest-rate environment? Branding, trust and location have been the traditional drivers and are still vital. And every decade or so a new technology comes along and there is some jostling along the way until everyone offers it (ATMs, VRUs, debit cards, online banking, mobile banking, etc.).

But even in a world where every FI offers the same basic product lineup, there are still ways to add value and increase market share and/or margins. Synced joint accounts, like Simple’s Shared Account. Married couples are the biggest opportunity, but there are other segments as well: Parents that need to sync with their kids. adults that need to sync with their aging parents, employers with employees, advisors with their clients, and so on.

There has been progress on this front. Many (most?) business accounts offer ways to enable third-party accountant/advisor access. Person-to-person transfers make it easy to send money to kids at college. And PFM solutions such as Mint, allow money-tracker couples to keep an eye on their spending across multiple accounts.

Bottom line: Existing solutions are often difficult to use, missing key features, and not fully integrated within big-name financial brands. Simple, which already offers a state-of-the-art checking account with Safe to Spend balance forecasting, natural-language search, and overall great UI, is expected to raise the bar considerably when Shared Accounts launches. I look forward to using it.


Author: Jim Bruene is Founder & Senior Advisor to Finovate as well as
Principal of BUX Advisors, a financial services UX consultancy. 

Simple’s Annual Disclosure Will Be the Only One You’ll Read This Year

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When it comes to annual disclosures from financial services companies, I’ll be honest—I never read them. When they arrive as direct mail, I shred them. When they arrive in digital form, I file the unopened email into a folder.

All of this changed last week when I received an email from BBVA-owned Simple (FF11) titled Lint, floss, Regulation E. (Required legalese inside). Here’s how the email began:

Today’s the wonderful day! We’re legally required—and freely excited—to send you these very important Annual Disclosures of Regulation E Guidelines for Electronic Fund Transfers and Privacy Practices.

Encouraging expressions motivate readers to continue, saying, “Don’t sleep too soon!” and “Let go your reluctance!” Following these energy-inducing phrases, the email launches into “lines of regulatory poetry,” otherwise known as Regulation E, (a siren song to fraud).

To reward users for reaching the end of the disclosures, the email concludes with a “Museum of the Mundane.” In case you aren’t a Simple customer and don’t have the luxury of reading the most entertaining regulatory disclosure email ever created, here are the features from the “Museum:”

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Simple concludes the entertaining email with mundane wishes:

Give thanks, Julie! Today’s a bigger day than you thought. Pull out a blanket, pop some champagne, and gather your friends for a reading of this caring, protective, regulatory gift. Regulation E! Yes, please!

There you have it. From Team Simple to you and yours, bidding you mundane wishes this holiday season.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Nutmeg Closes $14.6 Million Series D Round”

Around the web

  • Taulia reaches supply chain finance into aerospace sector.
  • The New York Times highlights Credit Karma and Mint.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Fintech Favorites

mastercard_innovation

Featured

  • Mastercard (FD14) launches its developer portal (again). Having originally launched its dev platform in 2010, Mastercard this week announced an expansion of its platform that provides third-party developers single-location access to more than 25 updated APIs in categories such as payments, data, security, and financial inclusion. The platform also features an experimental category with APIs for bot commerce (think chatbots, VR, and augmented reality), and developers will be able to use six different coding languages (Java, Javascript, C#, Ruby, Python, and Node.js).

Mastercard says it has seen a 4x increase in API usage in 2016, which encouraged the company to expand its portal to include open APIs for all of its products. “The APIs are built to be open, flexible and available through a single doorway,” SVP for APIs at Mastercard Oran Cummins told ComputerWorld. “It’s our front door and we’ve been cranking up the volume on this.”

If the latest dev news is at the top of your daily agenda, then join us October 18 & 19 for FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. Our developers conference features two days of the latest in developer tools, platform, and case studies, along with hours of high-caliber networking with fintech developers, VPs of engineering, CTOs, and more. Visit our registration page and pick up your ticket today.

Trends

  • Look out London! A new report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) suggests that Singapore’s fintech industry could be a major beneficiary of rising regulatory restrictions and political uncertainty in the U.S. and Europe. “Singapore … is benefiting from a supportive regulatory framework and extremely high digital capacity, which means there is a potential for her to become the regional hub for Asia-Pacific and beyond,” said Joseph Alfred, head of policy and technical, ACCA Singapore.
  • Manulife unveils new “Lab of Forward Thinking” location in Singapore. This is Manulife’s third location (the other two are in Boston and Toronto). “We are using emerging technologies and platforms such as blockchain and artificial intelligence to build competitive advantages,” Greg Framke, EVP and CIO for Manulife said.
  • Mastercard launches its first B2B mobile app to connect small business buyers and suppliers in Hong Kong: the Mastercard Commercial Network App. Hang Chong, Mastercard’s division president for Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, said, “Small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of a thriving economy. To maximize the success of these enterprises, we will continue to innovate and develop a broad range of solutions that address evolving business needs.”
  • And speaking of Hong Kong, don’t forget that FinovateAsia 2016 will be in Hong Kong, November 8th. For more information, check out our FinovateAsia registration page.

ICYMI

  • “Gimme That Old Time Navigation!” Mobile UI takes a look at Capital One Wallet and its new, old-school user interface

Milestones

  • Samsung Pay celebrates its first anniversary in the U.S.
  • Under PayPal (F12), Braintree (FD16) transactions grew 25x.
  • Dash is the first digital currency to cooperate with a blockchain-compliance platform.

Tech

  • Monzo integrates with Siri on iOS to enable sending and receiving money using voice commands.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • WealthForge to Raise $2.5 Million in New Convertible Note Offering

Around the web

  • Green Dot unveils Visa credit card for thin-file consumers.
  • First National Bank of Pennsylvania upgrades its mobile banking and payments platform from Fiserv to enable debit card management.
  • Martech Advisor interviews Radius CEO and co-founder Darian Shirazi.
  • PYMNTS.com talks with Hyperwallet VP Tomas Likar about the challenge of payments in the on-demand workforce. See Hyperwallet at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016, October 18 & 19.
  • Radius announces the Radius Customer Exchange (RCX), a solution to advance co-marketing for B2B marketers.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Interactions Garners $56 Million in its Largest Funding Round Yet
  • Automobile Title Lending Platform Finova Financial Raises $52.5 Million
  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.

Around the web

  • Kontomatik’s Konstantin Rabin shares his thoughts on successful lending in The Paypers.
  • Forbes features Jon Stein, Betterment CEO and cofounder.
  • San Diego Business Journal names eMoney Advisor one of the “Best Places to Work in San Diego.”
  • Envestnet | Yodlee launches Transaction Data Enrichment to offer transparency into transactions.
  • TradeRiver Finance reaches milestone of lending GBP100 million to U.K. businesses.
  • Portland Business Journal takes a look inside Simple’s new office.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • MoneyHub Teams Up with Unbiased to Help People Manage their Finances
  • Expensify Unveils ReceiptBurner and Price-to-Beat
  • Finovate Debuts: Walletron Helps Brands Build a Presence in Digital Wallets

Around the web

  • Concur to deploy SilverRail API to enable European travelers to search, plan, and schedule travel by rail.
  • CSI globalVCard moves global partnership-operations team to Dallas; Nan Dawson promoted to SVP of partnership operations.
  • Lending Club announces new Chief Capital Officer, Patrick Dunne.
  • CoinTelegraph names Braintree, Chain, and Ripple as three companies that will shape the future of money.
  • Sberbank Capitalizes On Pokémon Go Marketing Opportunity
  • Over the last year, 50 new customers added Guardian Analytics Wire to protect their customers from the Business Email Compromise scam.
  • Simple celebrates its 7th anniversary, now with 300,000 customers and a little over 300 staff.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

The Art of Mobile Banking Engagement

Customer engagement word cloudIt’s been fascinating to watch mobile banking take hold. The path has been much the same as online (desktop) banking a decade earlier, but at about double the pace (at least in the parts of the world that are highly banked).

Modern online banking started 21 years ago this month, when Wells Fargo began web banking in May 1995. It took 12 years before Mint came along and made it all look good and introduced the masses to more advanced concepts such as account aggregation, goal-oriented online budgeting, and expense tracking.

Mobile banking, which got its start in the post-iPhone App Store era (2008), took only about five years before it was “Minted” by Simple and then others. And in fewer than eight years mobile banking is already far better than desktop by almost every measure. From touchID access, to location awareness, to that very useful camera for depositing checks, there is just no way desktop online banking can compete.

But we have just barely scratched the surface of its biggest advantage: the always-on, always-with-you benefits. Account and transaction security is one of the first features having huge impact both on consumers (peace of mind, less hassle) and financial institutions (fewer false negatives, lower fraud costs, less customer-service expense).

Another area where huge benefits exist? Proactive communications about finances. Simple, Moven and Capital One’s Level Money are on the forefront with tools that help mobile customers know where they stand BEFORE they drop another $12 for a fancy cocktail or $35 on Uber.

And while monitoring spending in real-time has big theoretical benefits, it’s universally loathed by most consumers as the ultimate buzz-kill, kind of like having your parents hovering over you at point of sale. A more exciting always-on benefit is guidance to achieve bigger aspirations, like replacing your aging vehicle, trading up from your dinky apartment, or buying a house.

Take home buying. Many of our readers have been through this multiple times. But do you remember how little you knew about it back in the day? It’s a daunting task today even forHip_Pocket_Art0 the financially savvy.

That’s why I love tools that help people understand all aspects of the home-buying process: the mortgage, the purchase, and dealing with all of the ancillary expenses. We’ve seen a number of companies working on various aspects of the mortgage process. And next week at FinovateSpring, you’ll be treated to demos by two of the new breed of mortgage startups: Blend Labs which powers mortgage processing on the back-end and Roostify which helps consumers through the process.

And as luck would have it, last week Mark Zmarzly from Hip Pocket visited Seattle to present at a CU event, and was able to spare a few minutes to meet me for coffee. Mark wowed the crowd when he demo’d at FinovateSpring last year. Hip Pocket’s first product is a mobile app that allows anyone to input mortgage rate and monthly payment to see how their company stacks up against its peers (see inset).

The Hip Pocket mortgage app is a compelling value-prop for users, and potentially a great lead-gen tool for banks and credit unions. While Hip Pocket has had some great traction since then, it is still looking for additional seed funding to build more tools and fine-tune its customer-acquisition model. Hip Pocket is in a sweet part of the market—mobile mortgage (MoMo)—and is at a point in their company arc where relatively small dollars can make a big impact. They are a great candidate for “bank strategic seed funding.”