A new mobile application called Earny has launched with the goal of getting you your money back. That is, the app connects with your email and Amazon accounts in order to track your online purchases and find your e-receipts, then price check those items to see if you got the best deal. If it finds a lower price, Earny will request a refund on your behalf and the difference (minus the company’s 25 percent cut), will be credited back to your payment card.
The idea for this handy creation comes from a team of Israeli developers who previously worked together on a dating app, Hashsnap. They decided to shift their focus to the finance space after doing some personal shopping for clothing, then later finding the same item online for less.
After jumping through the hoops to get their money back via a price protection policy, the founders realized there was an opportunity to automate this process for consumers.
The team entered MasterCard’s Masters of Code Hackathon, and ended up winning first prize.
They’ve since raised a million in seed funding from Sweet Capital Ltd. and Science Inc., with participation from Jeff Bonforte, SVP, Communications Products at Yahoo, and Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash. The team has also relocated to Santa Monica to work out of Science’s offices there.
The app itself is easy to use, if a bit no frills. After connecting your mailbox, Amazon account, and providing your payment card information for your refunds, Earny will automatically track your purchases and file for credits when it finds a better price.
The app is programmed to understand each individual store’s price match policy and knows how to file claims without requiring any interaction on your part – it’s very much a “set it and forget it” type of experience. That begs the question why it needs to be an app instead of a website, but perhaps there’s room to tap into the mobile platform and its advantages further in the future.
At launch, Earny tracks purchases from 50 stores, including the largest retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and many others. That’s more than competitor Paribus tracks at this time, which is 20 (soon to be 30, we’re told.) However, Paribus has since expanded to include more features than Earny offers currently, including a “deals” feed based on the savings it has been finding for customers. This gives consumers another reason to return to the app after the initial download – something that Earny today doesn’t offer.
Further down the road, Earny co-founder Oded Vakrat says the team plans to differentiate its app by going beyond retail savings.
He says the bigger vision is to provide consumers with the same protections across a variety of services.
“For example, flight tickets, hotels, car insurance, health insurance, phone plans – all those things we will focus on in the future,” he says. “We want Earny to watch your back for every payment you make,” adds Vakrat.
Earny is a free download on the iTunes App Store. An Android version is planned.