- US-based fintech Charlie has launched new PFM features amid increased consumer interest in finance-focused fintechs.
- And it should consider a freemium model and discounts to existing customers to boost acquisition efforts.
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US-based fintech Charlie has revamped its services to roll out a host of money management features targeted toward reducing US consumer debt, per Finextra. Charlie started out as a chatbot in 2016, analyzing customer transaction data to provide savings insights, and its chatbot service accumulated half a million users.
Consumers’ interest in fintechs that can help better budget their finances continues to grow.
As part of the latest launch, users can connect their bank accounts to the new personal finance management (PFM) app, and Charlie then calculates and presents a holistic view of their total debts. Charlie also helps users visualize when they will pay it off with minimum monthly payments.
Additionally, it aims to drive debt reduction by infusing gamification into savings: Users can choose certain scenarios, like when they order fast food, to automatically generate a predefined savings amount that goes toward the monthly savings total. Users will be charged a $4.99 monthly subscription fee for the new PFM offering.
The expansion of Charlie’s PFM services is timely, given consumers’ swelling interest in fintechs that can help them better budget their finances. Fifty-nine percent of US consumers are more frequently using fintech apps to manage their finances than before the pandemic, and 69% have outlined the importance of fintechs as a financial lifeline during the economic downturn.
This has fed into the growth of PFM apps like Albert, which has grown its user base by approximately 3 million since 2019, and likely encouraged Charlie to expand its services and take advantage of this trend. Moreover, as unemployment rises in the US, consumers will be increasingly focused on better managing their finances to address the growing financial uncertainty that many will be facing.
Charlie is entering a crowded market, and it should consider free services alongside discounts to incentivize existing chatbot customers to embrace the PFM offering and drive customer acquisition. Charlie’s gamification tools and debt-specific focus might help it stand out, but the US PFM market is crowded with large players, such as Cleo and Albert, that also set smart saving goals.
While Charlie isn’t a new fintech and already boasts 500,000 chatbot users, a combination of the intense competition and the $4.99 subscription might stymie customer acquisition at the start of its launch as a fully fledged PFM app. So, Charlie should consider rolling out a freemium model: It could offer basic services for free—like the total debt calculator—to lure users to its platform, and charge for premium services, such as the gamification features.
Additionally, Charlie should strive to convert its chatbot users to its new PFM services by offering them discounted monthly subscription prices, which would also give Charlie’s new services a customer acquisition boost.
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