Fintech Friday: Quber

Efma feature

02 November 2018

Venky Kulkarni, founder and director of QUBER, told Efma's Boris Plantier how the Canadian budgeting app helps users to stay focused on achieving their saving goals.

QUBER is a personalized digital financial assistant that makes banking customers’ goals a priority, anticipates their needs, and helps proactively manage their spending. It was created when its founders became frustrated with the lack of easy solutions in personal finance management. “We saw the erosion in digital customer experience at financial institutions and we decided to do something about it,” said QUBER founder and director Venky Kulkarni. “QUBER was born to make personal finance easy, fun and helpful. It took the proven and age-old concept of saving jars and made them digital.”

QUBER was designed to provide a relevant and easy-to-use personal finance experience to consumers. “Existing personal finance tools are frustrating,” said Kulkarni. “The current digital experience has customers digging through transactions, analyzing charts, and trying to figure out where their money is going. On top of it, they are bombarded with financial products they don’t need and it’s painful to get any type of personalized or helpful service. People are frustrated with paying fees for lack of service; loyalty with financial institutions is decreasing and new innovative digital banks are entering the market and competing for customers and their deposits.”

Kulkarni explained that QUBER makes personal finance easy and relevant for customers through personalization using intelligent merchant matching on aggregated data. “It provokes behavior change through nudges and recommendations; engages customers through gamification and challenges; and brings community back to banking by engaging family and friends. While there are other saving/investment tools on the market that round up change or find saving opportunities, QUBER is a true personalized digital experience focused on helping people reach their goals and anticipating their needs.”

Users logging into QUBER see a news feed with relevant images offering personalized recommendations for saving goals (referred to as saving jars) and best actions (saving rules) to meet those goals. “Our most popular saving goals are travel, kids’ activities, gifts, rainy day savings, home improvements and down payments,” said Kulkarni. “Tailored actions to meet those goals include, for example, a budget challenge at a certain grocery chain where the user spent $400 last month. QUBER presents a recommendation to spend less at the merchant. Should the user ‘win’ the challenge and spend only $350, the remaining $50 is moved to saving jar. Other recommendations include creating a holiday shopping jar, a 52-week challenge, fitness rewards, payroll deposits and so on.”

Users always have the choice to create their own goals or saving rules. “QUBER offers flexibility to create rules including percentage of payroll deposit, top-up all merchant spend, rewarding yourself for healthy eating or one-time boost,” said Kulkarni.

QUBER’s news feed has been designed to turn daily events into financial actions.  The news feed is truly customizable based on what’s happening in the world and what matters to the customer.  For example, save money based on results of an election or when your country wins the world cup.  It keeps customers motivated to do more with their money.  Kulkarni adds, “We show a number of different metrics to the user including the number of jars active and filled, the amount of money saved in the QUBER Vault, progress on challenges and monthly income/expense”. “Our customers login on average four times per week to see where they stand with their goals and find new triggers to save money. They also receive personalized, timely messages that span lifecycle and messaging channels: push notifications, email and in-app notifications.”

In addition to growing its user base in Canada, QUBER has an exciting product enhancement roadmap and geographic expansion plan. “Saving challenges are our most popular way to save, and we’ll add more gamified challenges to motivate our customers to do more with their money,” said Kulkarni. “We will continue to make it as easy as possible for our customers to meet their goals, including enhancement of personalized recommendations that will increase the chance of meeting money goals by the target date.”

Partnerships will also help enhance the company’s offering. “Partnering with retail businesses to direct discounts savings and rewards into QUBER saving jars is an active stream of effort,” said Kulkarni. “We know what our customers are saving for, or what they’ll likely be saving for in the near future, which enables retail partners to be proactive.”

And the QUBER community is a key area of focus. “Sharing success stories, social endorsements, and different ways people are using QUBER to achieve goals is important,” said Kulkarni. “We are working on improving our QUBER community on social platforms. We are also planning to introduce full French language support.”

With more exciting developments in the pipeline, Kulkarni said, QUBER is a company to watch.

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Keywords : Fintech , Digital marketing , AI/Robotics , Big data , Savings

Geography : Canada