Siwicki

Nothing Is Free

April 30, 2017

Some of my favorite apps are the one the ones that help make your life better. Whether that is something to help you manage your diet, manage your schedule or even manage a relationship better. I have a collection of apps that I know just to make certain things that I struggle with or might not have the bandwidth for just a little easier.

Digit’s tagline is Save Money Without Thinking About It. Digit is a really neat app that looks at a checking account and analyzes your habits and will slowly move money aside for you into a savings account.

I signed up for digit according to my records somewhere around the summer of 2015. The app was free to use. I used the app in a few different ways as my checking accounts are very elaborate as I like to tinker with different savings plans. But, I have steadily used the app for almost two years. I have loved the result of the app so far. It was finding these little pockets to save extra money. It was truly working for a rainy day fund to me.

Over, those two years this was one of those apps that I become an evangelist. I sent out invites and I talked about its magic system and how it is getting me to save even more money.

Now, as we know there is never a truly “free” app. I figured there was a money making apparatus in there. Maybe, just keeping the revenue from the interest on savings.

Then, on April 11th, Digit users got this email with the subject line “Charging For Digit.”

Now, the funny thing about this announcement was that I got really pissed. I have been a user for two years for free, driven a ton of signups. Then out of nowhere, they are going to be charging? Plus, I was torn because I did see the value in the product and was making my life a little easier.

There was a line in the email that made calm down for a second. “Charging for Digit will allow us to support our service while making sure we always do what’s right for the customer.”

Was Digit approached an offer for some data sharing? Is the company just trying to be on the up and up get and the revenue that they need to continue to grow the product. I wish they intro a freemium model. I felt like I would have paid for more feature or something along those lines.

I respect the honesty but it the announcement felt like it came out of nowhere. Plus, it raises and interesting question for financial apps. How do you make money when your value add is helping me spend less money?


John SiwickiWritten by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter