Hello, Finance World
We’re just going to come out and say it: managing your finances sucks.
Most people won’t argue that point. Finances are complicated, confusing, and downright stressful. And the finance industry as a whole isn’t helping the situation. Existing incentives encourage predatory behavior (minimum balance fees, anyone?) and the proliferation of intimidating legalese. Infrastructure and bureaucracy, dating as far back as the 1960s, prevent most financial services from keeping pace with modern technology.
We can launch a rocket into space and bring it back, but excuse us for wanting to see something more intelligible than
DEBIT PIN PURCHASE CHEVRON/CSI-371534/2220FAIRFIELD CAUS00155
on our credit card statement, or — dare we suggest it — have a way to see the actual place we made a purchase. On a map.
Needless to say, there’s plenty of room for improvement.
And we’ve suffered because of it — most Americans are not in good financial health. They may be carrying debt, living paycheck to paycheck, or not on track to live comfortably in retirement, to name a few. Millennials aren’t bucking the trend, either: debt from student loans is at an all time high and their average savings rate is negative [WSJ].
In building Penny, our goal isn’t to solve every problem that people have with their finances — certainly not right off the bat. We have a much more modest (albeit still lofty) one in mind: to make finances a little less intimidating for people that don’t enjoy thinking about them.
With Penny, we want to take the stress out of managing your money.
That’s no easy task. If you’re like most people, you don’t actively keep track of your finances right now. You might check your statement once a month, but that’s about it. To overcome that status quo, we want to start a conversation (pun intended) around your finances.
The way Penny works is pretty simple. You link your bank accounts or credit cards and your transactions are automatically imported. Every time you chat, Penny will crunch the numbers and share insights with you about your spending: where your money has been going over the past week or month; specific merchants you frequent or general trends in your spending; upcoming bills and paychecks; expenses in the past or future.
Our goal is to cut through the complexity and tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it.
Thanks to Penny’s conversational nature, there’s no limit to what Penny can help you with. If you want to save money, Penny can share actionable advice on how to do that. If you want help getting out of debt, Penny will guide you through that process.
Best of all, the content is tailored to you. If you don’t need help in an area, you’ll never hear twice about it. No debt? That’s awesome. Penny will talk about something else.
We’re not there yet, but we’re making good progress.
We’re already generating insights from millions of transactions, and are helping thousands of people with their finances. More importantly, the feedback we’ve received has been both actionable and encouraging. Penny gets smarter, faster, and funnier every day.
Late last year, we raised $1.2 million from Social Capital to carry our vision forward. We’re thrilled to be working with them; they share our passion for the space and our drive to make it better.
We have a long, difficult road ahead. We know that. But we also know that the light at the end of this tunnel — making finances more approachable, reducing your stress, and helping you improve your financial health — is well worth the journey.
So give Penny a shot, and let us know what you think. We love feedback! After all, we’re building this for you 😉