Imagine you’ve been saving up to buy a new Xbox, and a few weeks before reaching your goal, a retailer like Walmart jumps in to cover the remaining balance. It sounds like a fantasy, but thanks to Wallit — a new personal finance app for families — it’s the near-future.
“We want brands of all sizes in footwear, apparel, dining, entertainment, and gaming to start rewarding teens and their parents for reaching their savings goals,” says Mike Vien, CEO of Wallit. Originally founded as Ourly, the rebranded app debuted last week at the annual Finovate Fall conference in New York, and announced its first partnership with the online Radius Bank.
“Right now, Wallit is both a standalone app and a platform that can be completely integrated into existing bank [apps],” Vien says. If you download the standalone app today, you can use it in combination with your bank accounts anywhere. But in the future, it could be a module within your bank’s own app, similar to the Zelle integration with Bank of America.
Here’s how Wallit works. After downloading the app, you connect it with your bank accounts (just like Mint) and add your family members. From there, you can send money back and forth (like Venmo), set savings goals and allowances for your teens, view everyone’s accounts, and even shop via Wallit’s “virtual mall.”
As of September 2019, Wallit’s rewards are very similar to Google Opinion Rewards. “Our rewards aren’t points or discounts or rebates,” says Vien. “They’re cash. One could be for taking a survey, one could be for reaching a savings goal to buy a particular product, even a car. And then the reward could be $1, it could be $2, it could be $10 [or even more].”
Since the app was just relaunched a few days ago, Wallit’s rewards system is still a work in progress. However, the rest of the app’s features are up and running, and Vien says exciting new rewards partners will be added as soon as October.
“We think the entire world has it backwards, incentivizing spending when we’ve got a savings crisis. Why don’t we start rewarding savings?” says Vien. “Our goal is more awareness and engagement around people’s savings habits instead of their spending habits.”
The Wallit app is now available for Android and iOS.