Before we get into the nuts and bolts of it all, here’s the eagle-eye view of our Kickstarter campaign:
1. The product we’ve created is the Hip Money app.
2. The sole purpose of our app is to help you save smarter and pay off loans faster, without having to change your spending habits or your bank accounts. We estimate our average user will see $132 in interest savings per year.
3. The bigger goal is to enable everyone to be smarter with their finances and force the banks to care more about people than profit, and prove that there’s a better way to do things than just accept the status quo. We also call this the Fingers Up Movement.
And we believe all of this is possible – with a single app and, of course, a whole lot of people.
Keep reading for the juicy details.
The Hip Money team is building an app that we believe will become the go-to financial app for pretty much everyone who uses money. This app will help you pay back loans faster, reach your savings goals more wisely and efficiently, and ultimately save you thousands of dollars. Best part is, the Hip Money app watches your spending habits and creates realistic daily savings suggestions that are appropriate for you. So even if you think you don’t have the funds to save, you do.
Here's a little glimpse into the app and what it can do:
But exactly how does the Hip Money app work? Easy. Just do this:
Install Hip Money directly to your iOS or android phone, then securely link it to your checking, savings, banking, credit and/or loan accounts so Hip Money can understand your spending habits.
Set some goals, playa.
Establish why you’re saving and/or what you’re paying off – maybe you want to pay back a student loan quicker, or save for a down payment on a house, or go on a trip to Cabo or Provo, Utah. Doesn’t matter. All goals are good goals.
Show yourself the money.
Ping! Hip Money pings you once a day (or less if you like) to provide you a personalized daily savings recommendation. Based on your money coming in and going out, Hip Money will tell you what you could/should save that day. All you have to do is determine if that amount is low, high or just right. Then choose where you want to put your daily savings to work. (Notice how you can also see the added savings calculation or potential interest savings projection for each goal?)
Swipe it like it’s hot.
Now comes our favorite part. And this is very important. This is where you hold all the power. When you’re ready to make that move to save for your future, all you have to do is raise your finger with pride, touch it to the screen, and simply swipe to the right to save.
It's that easy. With a single finger, you can save yourself thousands of dollars over time. ... Did you just get chills? Cause we just got chills.
Feel like the balla you are.
In less than two minutes a day, with a simple swipe to the right, you have just changed your financial future for the better, forever. Which means you get to feel good about yourself every day. And who doesn’t like that?
If you're still not sure how Hip Money works, or if you just really hate reading copy, here's a demo of the app. Narrated by Hip Money's very own Mark Zmarzly.
Here's the best way we can put this:
We created the Hip Money app because we were inspired to help people save and pay back loans smarter. We created the Fingers Up Movement because the problem is bigger than you think.
Banks have a system in place that has worked for them for centuries. It makes them lots of money, but it’s at the expense of the customer.
For years, we watched friends and family members waste money on interest when we knew they could pay off loans faster and more efficiently. And that was frustrating. So we came up with the Hip Money app. (You may have heard of it.)
To say the least, we were pretty excited about the idea of helping people, so we reached out to banks and lenders to help us take this app directly to their customers. ... Long story short: they weren't interested. To paraphrase: "helping people be smarter about saving or prepaying loans would impact our bottom line."
Whelp, that fueled our fire. We knew then and there that things needed to change. The financial system's mindset needed to shift from short-term profit to long-term customer benefits. And fast.
So, that led us to the Fingers Up Movement.
Our goal now was to create a movement of people that forces our country’s banks and financial systems to rethink the way they do business - a movement that would force change with a single app and a million FU fingers.
What we’re asking of you is to not only help us get the Hip Money app out into the world, but also share this bigger message. Get others to join the movement. Change the system. Take back control. The more people, the better.
It’s powerful to think that, with a simple swipe of a finger, you can make a huge impact on your immediate and long-term future. But think about this: what would happen if everyone starting swiping to the right? When a million people do something, there’s no way it can go unnoticed. A gust of wind can create a ripple, but a windstorm can create some serious waves. And we want to create some serious waves.
Well, first and foremost, using the Hip Money app could help you save thousands of dollars. (Did we mention that? Pretty sure we mentioned that.) But more immediately, your contributions can earn you some pretty cool stuff, including helping us in the beta testing, getting access to the app before anyone else, and becoming the proud new owner of a shirt some people are calling the new Pablo Picasso:
More of a drinker instead of a shirt wearer? Then we got you covered, too, with 16oz Glass T-Rex Cans or Hip Mugs:
Plus, you’ll be part of the Fingers Up Movement, which will (hopefully) continue to grow. And that means you can say you were instrumental in making a difference regarding this very important, and often overlooked problem in our society.
We’re kind of at a unique point in the fundraising process, as we’ve already begun building the app and have demoed it across the country, funding it all ourselves.
In fact, we’ve even won some awards:
- Runner Up - Chase Bank Sponsored FinCon Startup Challenge
- Top 3 Most Promising Startups - Startup Voodoo
- Winner - Pipeline Pitch of the Year 2016
- Prototype Grant Award - Department of Economic Development
- Top 6 Global Finalist - Sony FinTech Innovation Challenge
So we know that people want the app; they see what it can really do. And that’s awesome for us. But we have more to do, and we need your help.
We said early on that one of our Kickstarter goals is to work directly with you – our earliest users – to build a kickass app that will help get you where you want to go financially, as well as make you happy.
By reaching out to the Kickstarter community, we hope to find a core group of our ideal users who have a collaborative spirit and who will give us direct feedback to improve the app as it grows.
On top of that ...
Raising our $15,000 goal will help us offset some of the initial integration and ongoing costs to move money from your checking account to your savings or loan.
Yeah, that costs money. Go figure. Now, we could just launch the app and pass the transfer costs on to the user, but that’s not really our style. So we’d rather get a core group of users to join the campaign, so we can work toward integrating with the payments partner that makes the most sense and has the lowest long-term costs for our users.
Last, but most certainly not least: why the hell are we doing all of this?
It’s pretty plain and simple. We want to help people.
Before there was Hip Money, there were dozens and dozens of interviews with people ages 22-36 about how they currently use money. They shared with us pitfalls in today’s current banking system, gaps in existing technology, good and bad stories about money, and on and on. It was basically 60% customer problem discovery and 40% therapy session (as people don’t often get the chance to talk about what scares them about money, or what they want to see happen with their financial futures). From there, we looked for common themes and one truism rang out:
"How can I get a better financial future without a lot of time, information, or having to sacrifice the things I like to do like go out with my friends?"
So that was where the core goal of Hip Money was born. From there, the Hip Money team really got the ball rolling. We set out to create an app that we believe will help make people’s futures better, without disrupting their present-day routines.
A lot of people make up our team, but here's the core group.
This is Mark. He has worked in banking for more than 10 years now. He's pretty much a financial wizard.
This is Ed. He’s got more than 20 years of technology experience under his belt. And he likes headphones. Obviously.
This is Jude. He's Mark’s oldest son. Dressed up as Mark. He’s currently a Kickstarter-video sensation.
There you have it. Our app, our movement, our motivation and our goals. And now we need your finger to make it all happen. (Yes, we know how that sounds.)
So please contribute to our Kickstarter campaign and please share it with your friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, enemies, doctors, mailman (or woman), whoever. The more people who join, the more everyone benefits.
Risks and challenges
Okay, let's take a second to take off the T-Rex Shirt and put on the finance and software hat.
In developing the Hip Money app, we’ve identified several key vendors for account integrations, security, and money movement. Each of these vendors has been around for years and has solid, successful, and well-financed histories in the financial services and payments space.
That said, FinTech is a dynamic and ever-changing/evloving industry, so our best researched plans to execute the integrations may change as newer, more innovative, or less expensive options arise.
Other challenges are the integrations themselves. Some of the APIs look extremely clean and usable and are testing well. Others may not be as straightforward as they seem. Time and tech will tell. We have a history with our first financial software products of integrating with several different banks and credit unions, mortgage pricing platforms, and other technology providers, so we’re not worried, but we are realists in expecting some delays. We built in more time for app delivery for those reasons. What we can offer is assurance that we’re intelligent, diligent, and passionate about working through anything foreseen or unforeseen as we bring you the best savings app possible.
If you have more questions, hit us up in the FAQ area.
Okay, now let's take off the finance and software hat and put back on the T-Rex Shirt.
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