Our mission at Petal is to make lives easier with access to credit that is honest, simple, and accessible. With that mission in mind, the Petal team has been creating features that help members stay on top of their finances since our early days. A few highlights:
- We offer an interest calculator on our app’s payment screen that shows the estimated future interest change associated with paying less than the full balance — easily understood in dollars, not percents.
- We launched Spend Planner, a feature in the Petal app that discourages overspending by empowering members to set a monthly budget for themselves and then track their spending against that budget. This might not sound particularly revolutionary, but consider it against the context of traditional credit card companies and their orientation towards overconsumption, overspending and ultimately over-borrowing. At Petal, we made the conscious decision to align our interests with those of members and intentionally side with transparency and long-term financial success.
- To see a full list of Petal app features that enable members to be more aware of their finances, click here.
Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new section in the Petal app that will further increase the transparency around members’ financial lives. We call it Insights, and it is composed of three new widgets: Spend Chart, Top Merchants, and Top Categories.
With Spend Chart, members can more easily track the total amount they spent each month over time. Similar to how the Health App has made users more conscious of their daily activity, we believe that Spend Chart will make members more aware of of the months in which they spent more than, less than, or at their respective budgets.
The Top Merchants and Top Categories widgets reveal to members the merchants and spend categories they spent at most in the selected month. Seeing their spend data organized in this way makes members more aware of where they are spending and also more conscious of how they can find opportunities to allocate or reallocate their budgets. For instance, seeing a ride-sharing service as a top merchant could influence a member that is looking to decrease discretionary spend to use public transportation more often.
Typically, a new product launch announcement might end there — with a description of the final deliverable, and how this helps our ultimate end-user. In our case, we think it’s just as important to share how Insights came to be, because we want our community to know that we’re not just your typical credit card company. We have the advantage of being technology-first, which enables us to apply data to make quick decisions to enrich the customer experience.
In December 2019, we held a 2-day hackathon, a semiannual tradition. At the end of 2 days a passionate team composed of 4 engineers, 1 designer and 1 product manager demonstrated a working version of all three Insights widgets to the company. The Petal team was thrilled to see the progress made during the hackathon and foresaw the value that the Insights features would bring to members; immediately, the project was prioritized for launch. And now, just a few weeks later, it’s been released to thousands of members!
Here at Petal, our product development mantra is “Move Fast and Iterate”. While the possibilities to enhance Insights are endless, we prioritized and built only the minimum set of features that would be most valuable and impactful to members for the initial launch. Now, with Insights in the hands of members, we can leverage usage data to make continuous improvements to the product experience.
For the Insights section and for Petal at large, this is only the beginning. We have a long product roadmap for 2020, much of which includes new features that assist members in making healthy financial decisions. We are so excited to continuously launch these features and make the financial lives members a little bit easier every day.