Smartest Payment Innovation Based on Simple Existing Tools: Qapital for Millennials


Many a time, I have come across a situation where I had to cut my spending on something very essential because I had spent my savings on things which were not very necessary. As millennials, we don’t save money; we live paycheck to paycheck. Here are some of the challenges which we face when it comes to personal finance management:

  • More than 50% of Americans don’t have a budget at all, and 20% of Americans don’t have an idea on how much they spend on housing, food and entertainment.
  • Likewise, managing multiple bank accounts, credit and debit cards, bills, taxes and insurance payment is a cumbersome job for all of us.
  • Each payment has different due dates, different penalty amounts, and different terms and conditions. So managing everything at the same time is a difficult task for Americans.
  • Most Americans do not set up a budget for each area of their spending (like rent, food, travel and clothing), which results in overspending.

There are services, such as Mint, which allow users to track/manage finances and also help in creating and managing short-term and long-term goals. However, it has issues, like synchronization. Furthermore, some personal finance apps have a cluttered interface while some apps/programs have too many expenditure tracking features.

To address the above problems, Swedish startup Qapital has launched a new app for US customers. The company has followed the concept of “don’t reinvent the wheel.” The app integrates an already existing app/platform/algorithm (IFTTT: If This Then That) into itself to create saving triggers which help users to save money for potential spending. With this app, users can set up savings triggers to automatically put money aside towards the savings goal. Earlier this year, the company had launched a personal finance manager (similar to Mint) which has now been shut down. However, Qapital plans to launch its new app in Sweden and other European countries.

The app is currently available for iOS users alone but will soon be on Android by the end of the year. Setting up a goal on the app is simple; users have to name a goal, set a financial target and choose a photo (emotional connection). The next step is to set up a rule (conditional statements) to enable a deposit towards the goal where users will have to choose “actions,” which once accomplished would in turn trigger a money transfer from the debit account to the user’s Qapital account.

In the coming weeks, Qapital will partner with Intuit which will expand Qapital's dynamic IFTTT “recipe” features to user accounts at over 20,000 small banks across the US. By the end of the year, Qapital aims to release its own branded Visa debit card through the bank that backs all Qapital accounts.



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