Gas, Electricity, Water, Sanitation, Telephone, Cell phone, Internet, TV…the number of bills that you have to keep track of and pay every month is never ending. Of course there are apps such as Pocketbook, Mint and Slice to help you manage your finances but security is usually a concern among consumers. BillGuard, a personal finance security company, announced that it is launching an update to its iPhone app that would also enable users to manage their finances whilst defending against fraudulent attacks on their debit/credit cards. This essentially kills two birds with one stone!
BillGuard was founded in April 2010 by Yaron Samid (CEO) and Raphael Ouzan (CTO). The company has received total funding of $13 Mn through investors Founder Collective,Bessemer Venture Partners, SV Angel, Social Leverage,IA Ventures, Yaron Galai,Saul Klein,Innovation Endeavours, Joe Lonsdale,Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures and Amir Orad.
This is a Video that shows what BillGuard is all about:
Some features of BillGuard’s Platform:
- BillGuard utilizes Big Data Analysis in conjunction with reviews/insights from thousands of users to identify harmful or potentially fraudulent transactions in a user’s bank and credit card financial statements.
- It is an algorithmic, crowdsourced approach to saving user’s some money. The end result being peace of mind and savings, two things that have proven to drive user engagement according to Yaron Samid.
- The latest update of BillGuard’s iPhone app comes with the addition of two new features – Spend Analytics and Smart Savings.
- Spend Analytics offers personal finance management tools that will provide a wide range of analytics. This will enable users to compare their current spending to earlier months.
- Smart Savings seeks to serve users by helping them save cash in their everyday lives. It notifies users about discounts and coupons that could help in their purchase of a product.
- As an example, if you regularly shop at Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks or any other big retailers, the app will provide you relvant coupons and discounts.
- Users can also approve all their recent transactions with a single swipe via BillGuard’s upgraded, Streamlined Inbox.
When BillGuard was founded initially, its main focus was helping consumers save money by providing a way for them to track and dispute billing errors or fraudulent charges on their debit/credit cards. Later, the company moved on to address the issue of ‘Grey Charges’. These are weekly/monthly/yearly subscription charges that consumers signed up for either without knowing, or have completely forgotten about it.
According to a report on Grey Charges by BillGuard, ‘hard-to-understand service agreements’ that confuse consumers about fees and charges, have cost around $14 billion in 2012 to American credit card holders. “The reality is that very few of us have the time to read, track and understand most of these billing practices and deceptive sales,” explained the report.
3 Months ago, BillGuard released an MVP version of its iPhone app that saw most KPIs increase five fold according to Samid. The app has grown to over 250,000 registered users over the last 3 months only. This is rising at an amazing 3,000 users a day says BillGuard’s CEO. The app has received a 5 star rating and is currently ranked No. 1 in the Finance Essentials & Money Management categories.