One common pain point faced by most credit card users is remembering to pay our dues at the end of the month.
It gets more frustrating when you have multiple credit cards with different deadlines to keep track of. Missing a deadline means getting hit with late payment fees.
Kee is someone who has 5 credit cards that he actively uses for different purposes, which means he has 5 due dates to track. Not an easy task.
So, he wanted a consolidated place where he could view all his transactions, credit card statements, and be reminded of each due date every month.
He later came across an app in China called 51 Credit Card that could remind users to pay their bills on time and show the details of their statements too.
They’re able to do so by having its users link their cards to the respective bank accounts.
However, this model was one that he felt Malaysians weren’t quite ready to accept, but more on that later.
Using 51 Credit Card as an outline, he then built a version that he believes Malaysians would be more comfortable with using.
See All Your Statements In One Place
The result was Finory, a credit card management app that allows you to oversee all your credit cards in a single app.
When you sign up, all you have to do is add your cards and forward your credit card statements to an email generated by Finory.
It will then parse your information and remind you to pay up a total of 3 times before your due date.
Previously, Kee would keep PDF files of his credit card statements on his desktop, naming each one after its due date and amount for easy reference.
“I know some people would recommend setting up a mobile reminder, but the issue is not always about the time, it is also checking the amount and transactions that were made,” he said.
So, he made this accessible on the app too.
When you click on a card you’ve added, you can view the statements that were linked and analyse your monthly spendings with the app’s transaction report.
I think the app’s reminder feature is helpful in ensuring that you never miss a deadline in paying your debts.
It’s also nice to be able to crosscheck the amounts with transactions made from your statements.
The catch is, you would still need to forward your credit card statements to their email every month as they don’t have access to your online banking transactions.
The lack of automation here can be a put-off, but Kee told us that it’s part of their security assurance.
Security Assurance Was Their Biggest Challenge
Where Finory differs from China’s 51 Credit Card app is in how they don’t require users to link their bank accounts via open banking API.
Dictionary time: Open banking is a banking practice that provides third-party financial service providers open access to consumer banking, transaction, and other financial data from banks and non-bank financial institutions through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs).Investopedia
Kee stated that this is because the open banking environment hasn’t matured enough in Malaysia to support this approach.
Personally, I’m not comfortable linking my bank accounts to third-party apps either, especially when they’ve yet to establish a name for themselves.
To assure users of their privacy, Finory will not go through any sensitive and Personally Identifiable Information (PPI).
These include your CVC code, expiry date, full name, address, and 16-digit card number.
“We purely parse the credit card statement for account summary and transaction data. Then, it will present the result to users on our app,” Kee said.
After a successful inspection, each PDF statement is permanently deleted from Finory’s system. Their system is also fully automated and doesn’t require any human involvement.
“We took inspiration from 51 Credit Card in China, but built it in a way that every Malaysian will feel comfortable using,” he said.
They’ve Gained 500 Users In 3 Months
E-commerce is growing due to the pandemic combined with the nature of Malaysian buying behaviours, and therefore so is credit card usage.
Kee wanted to ensure that the problems he was trying to solve through his app were ones that every credit card holder faces, and not biased from his own struggles.
“We started to talk to some friends from various aspects of the financial spectrum. We did a small survey in a public Facebook group to understand more about the problems,” he said.
They asked various questions that included how many cards people had, what banks they’re from, and what common pain points they had.
“All our doubts evaporated in the last 3 months when we officially launched and started to see people joining, sending their statements, providing happy feedback, and reusing it the following month.”
“This cemented our belief that these are the common problems faced by most credit card users,” he said.
Since launching in June, Finory has over 500 unique users and has processed more than 3,000 credit card statements.
Currently, they’re mainly acquiring customers via Facebook and Adwords marketing.
Dictionary time: Google AdWords is a marketplace where companies pay to have their website ranked right with the top organic search results, based on keywords.Tutorials Point
They’re also trying to score a potential user base from the younger market by advertising through TikTok.
As one of Finory’s missions is to help users increase financial literacy, they aim to launch a personal finance management and budgeting app in the future.
Featured Image Credit: Kee, founder and CEO of Finory