What is UrgeTM? What is Tradeoff?
Have you ever thought to yourself, 'If I don't buy this then I'll save myself some money,' only to then spend that money later in the day. We make tradeoffs every day and sometime spend money that could have otherwise been saved toward a bigger goal, toward things that really matter. Tradeoff is the name of our company. We came up with the name because that's what we think life is all about.
Urge is the app that allows consumers to realize the benefit of making small tradeoffs of foregoing impulse (and most times unnecessary) purchases by enabling micro-transfers from a checking account to savings account. By making it easy to save, we help turn your good intentions into good habits.
Which devices does Urge work on?
At this time, Urge works only on the iPhone – all models including 3GS, 4 and 4S. Urge also works on the iPad.
Is Urge available on a website?
At this time, Urge is only available as an iPhone app. It is not available on a website or other mobile devices at this time. You can find information about Urge however at http://myurge.com
How does Urge work?
Three easy steps:
1) Setup a Goal
2) Create a PIN and register your bank accounts using your online banking credentials (Or, if your bank is not listed or you do not wish to transfer money, you need not register your bank accounts. You can still use Urge)
3) Start Urging
Tell me again how I save money using Urge?
Think about this. You buy a $4.35 coffee on way to work each day. You also want to take a Disney vacation in December or want to pay down that credit card debt or your car. What if with a few swipes you could transfer the $4.35 instantly to your savings account toward that goal and get that cup of free coffee from the office? It's not always the big expenses that get us in trouble, it's the nickel and diming we do every day that adds up.
One more: The two of you want to go on a date night. Movie tickets $22, popcorn & drinks $15, baby-sitter $30, pizza for the baby-sitter $15. You then decide you'd rather stay in and save the money. But do you really save it, or do you just forego spending that $82 until another day? Seriously, we tried it. We didn't go back to our bank account each time and transfer that money to our savings account.
We wanted a way to instantly act upon our good intentions to overcome the urge to spend on an impulse purchase so we created Urge.
By the way, $5 a day (or $20 a week) of impulse purchases if saved for 10 years at 8% gets you $16,271.
In 20 years, that grows to $51, 399*
* Calculation is a courtesy of: http://www.finishrich.com/free_resources/lattecalculator.php
Why two versions of Urge?
The first version is for consumers that don't have two accounts at the same bank or for consumers whose banks that are not listed in Urge either because they don't support OFX or charge high monthly fees to consumers. We'd still like to offer a way for consumers to save money, just not transfer money between accounts.
The second version allows you to transfer money from your checking to your savings account. Most banks allow such transfers at little or no cost to consumers. We highly recommend using this version, because if you didn't really transfer that money today then you're likely to spend it on another impulse purchase tomorrow.
Which banks are supported in Urge?
Here is the list of banks and credit unions currently supported.
Why isn't my bank listed in Urge?
At initial launch, we've provided access to banks that allow consumers to transfer money using OFX at little or no charge to consumers. Most big banks do not use OFX or charge a steep monthly fee to consumers which we think defeats the purpose. We will continue to work to add bigger banks, stay tuned.
I have more than one account at my bank. Why don't I see both of them in the initial setup?
You need to call your bank and ask them to link both your Checking and Savings accounts to each other as well as allow access to both in Online Banking. From personal experience, we've seen that for some reason, some banks do not automatically link two accounts unless you tell them to do so.
I'm unable to see my accounts in Urge; I know I have accounts at my bank. What do I do?
You need to call your bank and ask them to sign you up for Quicken (also try Direct Connect or OFX). Keep in mind, some banks charge a monthly fee, some don't depending on the bank or the type of accounts you have with the bank. You may be able to ask them to waive the monthly fees, if there are any.
Why don't you offer Urge directly via my bank? After all, wouldn't it be in their best interest to do so?
Yep, we think so too. Like any other business, we are always looking to form partnerships with banks or other financial institutions. We want to make Urge available to everyone who wants to save money. We have very high standards and frankly, the right opportunity just hasn't presented itself yet.
How are you able to transfer money across my accounts?
We use a banking industry standard called OFX (Open Financial Transaction). More details can be found here. This is the standard that most account aggregation companies use. It is also the standard by which most banks allow consumers to download account information to their computers or accounting software. We partner with a company called Buxfer Inc. to provide account discovery and facilitate transferring funds between your bank accounts.
Will my bank charge me a monthly fee?
Most don't. Some do charge a monthly fee to consumers that download data or use OFX to access their banking information. We don't like this either. While we think consumers' information should be free for their own access, banks are always looking for ways to increase their revenue by way of "fee income" and passing on those costs to customers.
My bank charged me a monthly fee. What do I do?
You may be able to call your bank and request them to reverse the fees. You need to tell them to reverse the Quicken fee. Why Quicken? Because, Quicken was one of the founding entities of the OFX standard in the late 1990s and customer service reps at the banks only understand Quicken (also try Direct Connect or OFX) – they may not understand Urge (yet). Some banks may be nice to you, others may not. In any case, Urge does not take a cut of this fee.
Will you refund the fee I paid for the app if I don't like the service?
At this time, Apple's iTunes service does not provide a refund mechanism. Secondly, a fee for the app is the only way right now that we make money in order to run the business. Therefore we are unable to refund the app download fee. However, you could choose to stop using the app and ask your bank to stop charging the monthly fee. In addition, we provide a listing of the banks supported on the app as well as on our website so you know what you're signing up for.
What about overdraft fees?
We think that consumers should be responsible for their own money decisions. Urge passes back messages returned by your bank in case of unsuccessful transactions. But, if for any reason your account goes under the minimum balance required by your bank as a result of using Urge, they may charge you overdraft fees.
Do you look at my account numbers or my personal details?
Urge does not look at your account numbers or personal details. All account information entered by you is stored in an encrypted manner on your device. We do not store your personal information on our servers beyond the short time that is required for the actual transaction call. Our APIs are stateless.
What do you recommend as best practices for securing my data?
Please, please do not select PINs like your 1234, your four-digit birth year or other easy to guess PINs. Create PINs that are hard to guess and you and only you are privy to. If you think your PIN has been compromised, change it instantly.
How do I change my PIN or my Banking information?
For security reasons, each time you need to change your PIN or your Banking detail, we ask you to create a new one and re-register your online banking information at the same time. That way, you have peace of mind.
I forgot my PIN? What do I do?
Same as above. Go to the 'Change my PIN' link on your iPhone and follow the instructions. You will be prompted to set a new PIN.
What do I do if I lose my device?
Very quickly, implement the following steps:
1) Go to your Bank website and change the password in your Online Banking section. You can also call your bank from any location and have them temporarily disable your Online Banking password, then reset it at a later time.
2) On your new iPhone of if you find your old one, click on the "Change my PIN" link on your iPhone and follow the instructions. You will be prompted to set a new PIN as well as re-enter your banking information.
What is the most damage that can happen if my device falls into wrong hands?
This is our favorite part actually. What can the unauthorized user do? Transfer money from your own checking to your own savings account?? First of all, the unauthorized user would need to know or figure out your PIN to use Urge. Beyond that, Urge does not show full account numbers, does not display checking account balance; and certainly does not allow transfer of money across banks or across consumers. Know that the banking username and password you provided is encrypted. So, if you do lose your device, you should change your Online Banking password. From that minute on, unauthorized users will not be able to access Urge.
What data do you collect from me?
We collect data only on an aggregate or anonymous level. For example, we collect data that tells us how much consumers collectively saved by not buying their favorite coffee, or how much they didn't spend at the movies, or how many times they didn't buy that lunch (and drink) at the cafeteria, or which banks consumers use the most. We do not collect any personal data like your name, email, phone or banking credentials.
What do you do with the data you collect from me?
Urge uses the data to create great products that we can give back to you. We do not share any data with third party advertisers.
Should I expect to get emails or solicitation from Urge or Tradeoff? What if someone calls me?
Urge does not ask for your email or phone (or name or address) from you. So we have no way of contacting you. We may respond to your email if you do send us one first however. If you do suspect you a fraudulent email from Urge, please contact us at email@example.com
How secure is my data with you guys?
Very secure. All information you key in to Urge is encrypted to prevent any unauthorized party from eavesdropping. Urge employs 256-bit AES encryption (that exceeds banking industry standards) to store and transmit data to your financial institution.
Nuts and Bolts
What are some limitations of Urge that I need to be aware of?
Great question! Here are some of them in case you encounter problems, mostly if you use the bank integration.
1) Urge will be locked after 3 unsuccessful attempts. After that you will need to change your PIN and re-enter your banking information
2) Urge only allows 5 transactions per hour
3) A maximum of $300 can be transferred during a single transaction
4) Your checking account balance must be greater than the amount you're about
5) Many banks may not allow the same dollar amount to be transferred more than once in a 24-hour period when using Online Banking. You should check with your bank on such limitations.
Why did my transfer not go through?
There could be a couple of reasons: Time of your Urge transaction was past the cut-off time at the bank, therefore it may show as pending and go through the next business day. The bank's system may be undergoing maintenance, so its services are unavailable. Very unlikely, but possible – our services were down. Online Banking for many banks does not allow the same amount to be transferred the same day. In any case, you should receive a message stating why the transaction did not complete.
How do I cancel my account with Urge?
You purchased this app to save money, so not sure why you would want to cancel your account. In any case, Urge is like any other app that you purchase. Simply disable it from iTunes.
How do I know you are not running your business out of a garage?
First of all, we don't think that's a terrible idea. We could certainly keep our costs down. That aside, Tradeoff was the first company ever to be funded by JumpStart Foundry in 2010. JSF is a micro-fund based in Nashville and is part of the TechStars network. Solidus Company, a Nashville based venture capital firm provides funding and a great group of mentors provide everything else. If you have a startup idea and would like to take it off the ground, we highly recommend applying to JumpStart Foundry.
Are you hiring?
You bet! We're mainly looking to hire hackers. To take it a step further, we want to preferably hire currently unemployed hackers who are willing to move to Nashville. Why? First, we want to do our little part in creating jobs and reduce that 9.5% unemployment rate. America shouldn't have this high unemployment. Second, Nashville is a great place to be in. The founders have lived here for over ten years and we like working together. Send us a resume and a note saying why you'd be a good fit; and we'll do our best to get back.
How do I contact you?
The best way to contact us to send us an Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get back to you within one business day.