NEW YORK, NY, July 25, 2017 –A compelling path to helping Americans streamline their increasingly complicated financial lives was unveiled today with the launch of the Feedback Card concept. Powered by the expertise of nonprofit behavioral design firm ideas42, the Feedback Card is a financial concept that combines a trusted payment platform with the technology of a smartphone app and behavioral science to make it easier than ever to stay on track with spending.
The Feedback app, currently in working prototype form, will use a straightforward formula to securely scan your bank accounts and transaction history in order to generate a simple budget. It will add income streams together, subtracts recurring bills, and use the leftover to create a daily, weekly, and monthly “safe to spend” amount for discretionary expenses.
After a simple two-minute on-boarding process, the budget will be accessible on the app. In a novel twist, it is designed to use secure near-field communications (NFC) technology from the smartphone app to display up-to-date information on the Feedback Card itself – a functioning physical payment card. Tapping the card to your phone will sync it with your latest financial information. Pressing the button on the card will instantly display how much you have available to spend that day, week, or month – putting the information at your fingertips at the moment you need to make a purchase.
“Traditional budgeting tools are made by people that really like to do budgeting. And as finances get more complicated, with more bills with different due dates and more credit cards and accounts, budgeting and financial tools just add more complex features and options to deal with,” said Hyunsoo Chang, a leader of the team that developed the concept and a Senior Associate at ideas42. “We built this concept as a tool for the other 99 percent of us – people that want some feedback on their finances, but won’t spend hours a week making and managing a detailed personal budget.”
Working concept versions of the Feedback Card and app have been user-tested in New York and California, with overwhelmingly positive initial reception among consumers.
“Tools that actually help make people’s financial lives easier to manage should be available to everyone,” said Will Tucker-Ray, a leader of the concept team and a Managing Director at ideas42. “In user tests, people were really enthusiastic and asked when and where they could buy a Feedback Card before we had even finished showing them all of the card and app features.”
Unlike most new innovations in the financial services world, Feedback is making the physical card and app concept and its development open-source and available to any bank, credit union, card issuer, or other financial services organization interested in bringing a version of the innovative tool to their customers.
“We’re not out to make a buck off of this – we want to help millions of people have more control of their own bucks,” Josh Wright, Executive Director of ideas42. “This type of product is a core part of our mission of improving lives through behavioral science, and we’re eager to partner with anyone who wants to help their customers simplify their financial lives.”
Feedback app accounts are linked only to a unique chip on an individual Feedback Card, safeguarding personal information. An available, easy-to-use security mode ensures personal information is protected at all times.
The Feedback Card and app build on recent findings from behavioral science and economics, including a 2014 study showing that providing people with feedback on receipts can help them take control of their finances. The team leading the development of the concept was advised by leading behavioral scientists, including Eldar Shafir of Princeton University, a co-founder of ideas42.
“Many well-intentioned financial products are complicated, require careful attention from consumers who are already overwhelmed, and can make problems worse,” said Shafir. “The Feedback Card and tools like it can harness the moment of choice and help people make better spending decisions and improve their financial lives.”