Financial well-being brand, Qapital, threw a one-of-a-kind launch event at NYC’s Daredevil Tattoo.
Qapital is celebrating their new banking and investing products that empower consumers to put their money where their heart is.
Qapital uses a “rules” and “goals” approach to personal banking. It enables users to create short-term goals, then decide on rules to automatically fund these goals, like sending a sum to the goal account each time they swipe their Qapital Visa Debit Card or a linked credit card.
The app has helped hundreds of thousands of people save more than $500 million, as well as set meaningful financial goals and develop smart spending habits to get the most out of their money.
Launching the event at Daredevil was a no-brainer for Qapital, as tattoos are one of the most popular savings goals set by Qapital users.
While the launch of their new app is the perfect excuse to give out free tattoos, the best news, is that Qapital is the best way to get your future financial savings, and current financial standing, actually on track.
INKED sat with CEO and co-founder of Qapital, George Friedman, to find out how.
Qapital isn’t your everyday financial technology company. Friedman explains that Qapital focuses on delivering a mobile-first next generation retail bank, that leverages behavioral science and user friendly design to help people save money.
“Everything around us is designed to help us spend more. The world is engineered that way. So, how can we reverse that and change that environment?” Friedman said. “That’s what Qapital is all about.”
Friedman highlighted that Qapital finds your “sweet spot” for discretionary spending, because “the key to capture more savings and living happier, is actually finding that balance between everyday spending and savings.”
Friedman said it’s not enough to layer savings assistance tools on top of existing accounts. Separating the funds, by virtually placing them into "jars" marked “tattoo” or “motorcycle” or “vacation”, moves the vision one step closer to reality.
The Average Qapital Member Saves $1,500 Within the First 12 Months. So, How?
Qapital recommends a portfolio for you, based off of your personalized profile that outlines your money spending habits, your goals and their timelines, your investing personality and familiarity, and risk profile. You can start investing with as little as $10.
“We help you by letting you set up concrete goals," Friedman said. "It’s hard for us to accurately achieve these goals without knowing them, so that is the starting point.”
These goals are anything from gadgets you want to buy two weeks out, to your full leg sleeve, to retirement.
“By having the right goals set out for you, and being emotionally connected to them, makes it much more realistic to reach them,” he said.
After making these goals concrete, the next step is to make them automatic.
“You set up these savings rules that are connected to your goals, to tap into behaviors, both financially and outside financial transactions, which allows saving behaviors to transfer to your goals.”
A good example of this, as Friedman outlines, is the round-up feature. This Qapital feature rounds up your transactions to the nearest dollar—purchases like Uber, Dunkin Donuts, what have you—to better understand where your money is going to most.
“Thirdly, to help people reach their goals, we make it fun and engaging,” Friedman said. “You have the option to automatically move money towards your goal when Trump tweets.”
Qapital is different because it acknowledges that people are different.
As investments are often emotional investments, as well as financial investments (like tattoos!), Qapital is great for your different short and long term goals.
Qapital Researchers found that tattoo investments were in the top 10, which stood out to Friedman and his team. This gave insight to not only how more people are spending their money, but how Qapital could be most effective to their users.
“With our behavioral science approach, we have looked at the research and talked to the best in the field,” Friedman said. “So not only do they have designers and users saying what they want from the features, we also look at the behavioral science, which is the core to our differentiation from other investment apps.”
Friedman Started Qapital as a Frustrated Saver
“I used to spend a lot of time with my wife on what to do with our money, and what priorities we had as a couple," Friedman said. "And also, where the hell is our money going?”
So, nine years ago they decided to set up 13 different savings accounts that they named, like "Trip to Kenya," "Wedding," etc, and connected their banks to make manual transfers.
Friedman said that while that worked for them, it "was a clunky experience."
"So we thought, how can we build something that is goal-based, works, and is a smooth experience?” he said. “After we launched, we realized short-term savings was not the finish line. It’s doing that for the entire paycheck.”
Best Advice for Saving?
“I would say try to set up five to eight goals, short and long term, that make the most sense for you, and try to do the automatic transfer on each pay day. Pay yourself first.
Qapital’s Payday Divvy feature “allows you to divide your money on pay day.”
Friedman said, “It’s so smooth and takes care of the savings before you have the temptation to spend. It still leaves you enough money to enjoy each week, but with the feeling that you’ve already contributed to your goals, instead of hoping there will be money left over at the end of the month.”
Qapital’s Save Small, Live Large Approach
“Our approach is our way of saying, do you know what 5 cappuccinos, two less visits to your local restaurant, and six less Ubers per pay period really means in 20 years? It’s a big amount. That’s a very hard translation,” Friedman said. “Taking those small decisions and turning them into Big Wins long-term is what we do.”
To Date, Over 420,000 People Have Used Qapital
Friedman noted how planning for a vacation is more fun when you can pay up front, and really anticipate the excitement. "That's 90% of the happiness versus the actual trip itself," Friedman said. "Anticipation is a really powerful driver, so how can we drive financial success and individual happiness?" Qapital.
After all, as Friedman says, “Being able to save is a really nice feeling.”