Come on Down: Why Billi’s Price is Right
While the most common feature request we receive at Billi revolves around Crypto Support, the most frequently asked questions tend to be about our pricing structure.
Questions like, “How much does it cost to use Billi?” or “How does Billi make money?” are not surprising for us to receive given how little we’ve shared about our pricing model.
We held off intentionally. But why? Until we can demonstrate that Billi is improving your life by saving you time or money we have held off on proposing details on our paid plans.
The Personal-Finance-Management space is riddled with products/solutions that attempt to solve a problem (helping people manage their finances) but never fully succeed. Business is full of uncertainties and though there are a basic set of rules within personal finance, there are likely a myriad of reasons why these “solutions” consistently fail. Individuals have different goals and unique life situations that in turn make their financial landscapes and needs…unique. This makes the task of creating a compelling value-exchange product (worthy of charging for) a rather tricky balancing act.
Despite the sea of personal finance information, 54% of Canadians don’t have a financial plan and ~30% of people don’t contribute to an RRSP or TSFA. It is worth noting that over 4% of adult Canadians (1m+) use payday loans and (according to a recent survey), 45% of them use those loans for unexpected but necessary expenses with approximately 1-out-of-3 respondents reporting household incomes exceeding $80,000.
Granted, not all debt is bad debt and there’s certainly a place for high-interest loans but according to a survey from FP Canada, nearly 40% of Canadians could not withstand a financial emergency, with 37% of them indicating they rarely or never set aside any money for an emergency fund.
Habits are hard to change, even when armed with information, so it can be tricky for people to take consistent action.
We built our platform on several founding principles, one of which states that “If Billi takes longer than the alternative, Billi should not do it”. Another guiding principle is, “ Insights are only useful if they are actionable. Wherever possible, automate the action.”
It may be tricky for folks to maintain consistent action with regard to finances, but with automation, Billi can help support each individual’s goals and alleviate some of the stress that comes with managing one’s money.
Providing, at a glance, an easily digestible picture of someone’s financial landscape is Billi’s foundational goal and our entry-ticket to this space, but it’s certainly not our be-all-end-all product. With OpenBanking, rapid advancements in machine learning, and lower costs for data storage each year, managing finances will look wildly different in 10 years, and Billi plans to be a part of that evolution.
We envision a day when managing one’s finances is more of a positive and intuitive process that helps reduce anxiety rather than how it currently contributes to several mental health issues and is one of the reasons so many people are distracted in the workplace.
Our goal is to empower people with easy-to-use and easy-to-understand tools that allow them to manage their finances. Providing this to the masses seems to be a far better experience for people than using their regular banking app and trying to decipher where their money goes, by seeing a meaningless list of transactions.
Money is a personal subject and we realize our members will be using Billi under a variety of different circumstances. Whether you have money to put aside every month or not, we want to ensure we are providing the right balance of features for both our free and premium plans.
We want to create a worthwhile value-exchange with our members — one that provides a feature set our members are happy to exchange their money for. For example, if we are able to save you $20 per month, it would then be reasonable for us to charge a small monthly fee for doing so.
Over the course of this year, expect Billi to continue improving upon the Free experience, while releasing Premium features. We’ll seek to charge a fee for these Premium features based on the value-exchange that’s created.
And, as always, please let us know if you think we got it wrong and we’ll adjust our pricing to find the equilibrium. We value honest feedback and endeavor to mindfully build upon it.
If you’re in our beta group and start testing a soon-to-be Premium feature, you will be grandfathered in and won’t have to pay. Similarly, if we decide to increase the fee for a feature that you’re already paying for, that cost will be grandfathered in and you will not experience a price increase.
If we can automate actions that save time and/or money, while charging a nominal fee to help facilitate that activity, we think that’s a sustainable business practice. We also believe this will make our members happier, turn them into longstanding and loyal supporters, and ultimately help us to successfully shape the financial landscape well into the future.