In September, 2015 Prosper acquired BillGuard, a company that created a mobile personal finance application. The application allowed users to track financial transactions and prevent fraud. Today, Prosper announced the end of the BillGuard brand and introduced a new application with many changes. The new app called Prosper Daily is available today on Apple and Android devices. Peter and I spoke with Itzik Cohen, Chief Business Officer to learn more about the new application and how it fits into Prosper loans.
With the BillGuard acquisition and subsequent rebranding one thing was made clear: Prosper is the first marketplace lender to embrace mobile as a strategy and dedicate significant resources to building it out. What we learned from Itzik was that Prosper Daily is about the broader vision of Prosper. When we asked him about the integration of getting an offer for a Prosper loan within the app he stated that this is not the main point at this time. Itzik said:
Our goal at Prosper is not to give you a loan – it is financial well being.
Now this is not to say that this won’t be a feature at some point, but they are focusing on helping all customers and not just trying to push Prosper loans. In the future it is likely they will analyze Prosper Daily account data and make offers to consumers where they think they can save them money.
Itzik also hinted at additional features and products that could be added to the product. Since the app is currently focused on purchase tracking and verification it’s possible they may enter the purchase finance space. With additional accounts and data to pull from, Prosper may be able to make income and identity verification much easier and more automated. Income verification in the future may be done by looking at direct deposit ACH transactions within accounts.
Prosper could also target savers. For instance, they could see that a Prosper Daily user is earning a low interest rate on a CD or savings account and promote higher returns currently offered by investing in Prosper loans. Itzik noted that the Prosper Daily app is not a profit center for them, but is instead another way to engage with existing customers and build a better relationship.
Prosper Daily App
The previous BillGuard application used to offer 3 levels of service, a basic free service, pro and ultimate. Prosper has now removed the three tiers and naming structure essentially making the pro service free for all users. This allows for unlimited accounts, fraud alerts, and free credit scoring. As an add-on users can purchase Prosper ID Protect which offers a fuller suite of tools to protect your identity. Existing paying pro users were automatically upgraded to this level of service. Existing Prosper borrowers and lenders can login to the app using their existing Prosper credentials. Current Prosper borrowers will be able to see the current status of their loan within the app.
As an avid user of other personal finance apps I was excited to give the free version of the new Prosper Daily app a try. I was able to easily add several credit cards and bank accounts. What I like most about the Prosper Daily app compared to others is the focus on transactions and spending. The app does this very well compared to others I’ve used and it’s a great way to verify and categorize transactions across several accounts. If you’re interested in downloading the app you can find links to the Apple App Store and Google Play store on the Prosper Daily website.
It’s great to see a company focus on mobile in a big way and Prosper has differentiated themselves from many other lenders. It will be interesting to see the long term effects of this strategy as Prosper looks to not just provide loans, but to improve the financial well being of their customers on a broader scale.