LifeCounts is a paid, subscription-based online service that allows users to optimize their financial data for greater clarity and control. With a simple, one-time setup, users can securely link all of their financial accounts in one location even if the accounts are held with different financial institutions.
LifeCounts employs bank-level security and is dedicated to responsible data management, and we do not distribute any data to advertisers.
MO: What inspired you to launch your business?
Peter: With LifeCounts, we set out to help people better understand what was going on with their money. The financial crisis exposed a deep and persistent need for greater financial understanding and transparency within our community. Although many of the crisis’ after-effects have subsided, challenges such as paying bills on time, reducing debt and saving for the future remain present burdens for many households.
Technology such as online banking has made financial information more accessible, but this has had little improvement on financial literacy. With LifeCounts, we hope to fill this void by marrying technology with financial education to create an intuitive service that makes every day financial decisions easier for the individual.
MO: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
Peter: At LifeCounts, we regularly get to celebrate individual triumphs such as users paying off debt or regaining control of their spending, though we’ve recently experienced a success on a much larger scale. This upcoming school year we will be providing LifeCounts for undergraduate students at a California-based university, a partnership model we hope to replicate across the entire country.
Financial education is crucial for college students, especially since for many students, college is the first time that they are interacting with and managing their finances. Universities are taking on an ever increasing role in helping their students develop the skills and experiences needed to avoid financial pitfalls. By helping students understand their spending behaviors and the effects that their decisions have on their goals, a university and LifeCounts partnership can cement financial literacy as a life skill which students can carry with them long after graduation day.
MO: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
Peter: There are a couple issues when it comes to understanding personal finances. The average U.S. household has their financial life spread across as many as six different financial institutions. Different online banking websites, logins, passwords, account details and deadlines make it virtually impossible to avoid missing something along the way. With a simple, one-time setup, LifeCounts users can securely link and view all of their financial accounts in one place, even if accounts are held with different financial institutions.
With all the data gathered into one place, tools such as budget and goal meters help users see how they are spending. But even with prettier visual displays, users are still expected to interpret their own data.
LifeCounts simplifies the entire personal finance process one step further; the application analyzes financial data to provide users with unique and tailored alerts, messages and notifications. These messages provide people with budgeting advice, help them avoid missing deadlines and reinforce sound decision making. Personalized and timely alerts can help users take small steps toward creating meaningful behavioral change over time.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
Peter: The mobile frontier remains the wild west. While there have been several mobile banking successes, the industry is really still in its infancy. Banks and financial technology firms have been primarily focused on condensing the online banking user-experience onto a smaller screen. No company has re-imagined the entire customer interaction from beginning to end. We’re working on creating an entirely new way to think about your finances and are confident it will disrupt the way people think about mobile banking moving forward.
For software companies, limited time, capital and personnel typically means teams are forced to pick a mobile operating system and develop initially for only that single platform. Our team is working to release LifeCounts simultaneously across all mobile platforms which will be a big victory for all of our customers.
MO: What makes LifeCounts unique from other personal financial solutions?
Peter: We are certainly not the first company to try and help people better understand their money. According to Amazon, there are currently more than 50,000 books for sale about personal finance. Today there are a number of companies providing services for free. So how does LifeCounts differentiate itself?
Free services generate revenue by selling data and advertisements. While this is tolerable for social networks and browsing behavior, your personal financial information is unique and sensitive and shouldn’t be provided to marketers at any price. We employ bank-level security, and we do not sell any data to third parties and there are no advertisements. In exchange for a monthly service fee, users receive a safe and secure experience where they can optimize their financial life.
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