Penny, a startup that launched out of San Francisco in August, is looking to provide a text-based guide to keep you on the right track with your personal finance.
The idea behind Penny, as indicated, is that users can access their transaction history (divided by categories) or text with a “guide”, who can provide access to graphs that show how your spending has changed or offer insights into how frequently you are putting money towards various goods or services, so that you can ostensibly cut back. And the user’s transaction history is now searchable, so there is that.
What is interesting about this app is that Penny is upfront about not allowing anyone, even the users themselves to move money with the service, even though you are required to hook it up to your bank account. Getting setup involves using a personalized code, which allows you to read and organize your transactions, but the startup states that they do not store any bank credentials.
Penny has not been monetized, but co-founder Andrew Dennis told me that they are planning to generate revenue through a subscription model or by offering freemium services.
At the moment, Penny is available for iOS and Android and has been well-received, with users in the Google Play store giving it a rating of 4.3 stars (from 5) out of 69 reviews.
For now, Penny has declined to reveal how many users have taken to the service, but we know that the app is currently only available in the United States. The team behind Penny claims an undisclosed amount of recent external funding, but Dennis says that they have, until recently, gotten the company off the ground with their own money.