This financial services startup has a robust debt-reduction planning dashboard that can be used on their site or mobile app for on-the-go advice and motivation to pay off credit cards and loans.

Mobility to help consumers manage their debts?

With the growth in population of online financial services, we are now entering the stage where startups are creating niches in order to differentiate themselves from the crowd. In this economy, debt management is a particularly fertile area to cultivate, as can be seen by the warm reception of ReadyForZero. The San Francisco-based startup has focused its mission to help people pay off their credit cards, loans, etc. with a service that monitors accounts, creates plans and sends reminders. It occupies the place between the general financial app, Mint, and the super-specific student loan rewards system SmarterBucks. Since so many Americans have debt, ReadyForZero is not limiting its audience but targeting them with its mission statement.

A mobile app for regular reminders

ReadyForZero has created credit card stickers, which users place on credit cards that they are trying to pay off - an assertive push to keep spending in check. ReadyForZero has expanded its service to a mobile app, consistent with its aim to be a regular reminder of responsibility. The service thus follows the user throughout the day, as does the sticker on the credit card, and helps them be more aware. Like the website, the app shows a member’s progress, payments and accounts. While a mobile presence makes it easier for anyone to use the service, it is particularly targeted at students, who favor the platform.

Giving a transparent and global vision of their financial status to users

The service, app and stickers all work towards a common goal - to steer ReadyForZero members to look at the big picture. People with debt can easily adjust a slider that changes their monthly payment amount and see how that affects the amount of interest they will have to pay - an amount that does not show up on most bank website interfaces. It is a direct incentive when they see how bumping up a payment just $40 per month, for example, can save them $2,000 off their total loan amount in the long run. Could financial institutions get inspiration from this model to gain traffic and bring more support to users? 

By Ivory King