There’s an inherent problem with all user reviews online that can’t be solved. While many of the reviews are helpful and logical, many come from users that feel irrationally strongly about the product they’re reviewing due to something not associated with a product’s performance. People with a personal agenda are often compelled to write strong words in the comments section. Additionally, many consumers don’t feel strongly enough about some products to take the time and effort to write posts about them. But Bundle, a money management website and app created by Jaidev Shergill that flaunts Microsoft, Citi, and Morningstar as its investors, doesn’t bother with the subjective opinions of possibly biased or unreasonably disgruntled users. Instead, they gather anonymous, secure information from credit card companies that shows where purchases are being made, using how people actually spend their money as the real information.
One of Bundle’s two main services is its Discover My City function, which recommends local places to go based on spending information. Anna Lindow, content manager at Bundle, described how the service gets their data. “Bundle uses data to help people make better decisions on where to spend their money. Unlike other sites whose reviews come only from the customers who take the time to write them, we use aggregated and anonymous credit card transaction data to create a clear picture of what people in your neighborhood really think of the merchants around them.” Bundle receives anonymous spending information from twenty million Visa and Mastercard customers that shows where people are spending their money and where the best deals truly are. From that specific information, Bundle puts together its recommendations for which vendors to go to. “Everything on the site is data-driven. We take into account a host of factors, including how frequently people return to a given merchant and how many households have visited that merchant,” Lindow said.
The other key part of Bundle is its Track My Spending service, which lets users manage a budget for how much they want to spend in a given amount of time. They can see the average amount that other users with similar salaries spend in different categories and see where they fit in. Users can set saving goals for themselves and can use Bundle to manage how they can reach them.
Bundle will be launching a revamped version of their mobile app in the upcoming months, and Lindow believes that this will be a big step for the company. “The focus will continue to be on using data to help people make local spending decisions, but we've figured out some new and exciting ways to present the data that we think will make it even more fun to browse,” said Lindow. “The functionality of the mobile app is similar in many ways to that of the website, but since people often make decisions about where to shop on the fly, we felt it was crucial to have a mobile solution in place as well.”