“We are seeing more and more people expressing real interest in our product, and more people who are joining our Facebook community, which already has 40,000 members. Between April and June, this number increased by 100%,” says Yuval Samet, CEO of RiseUp, a fintech start-up that offers digital smart and simple financial home management services. “We are certainly feeling the ramifications of the high cost of living here in Israel.”
RiseUp’s app creates a personalized cash-flow report for each user, so they can know exactly how much income they have coming in, what their expenses are, and how much overdraft this will lead to. The app also allows users to look ahead so that they will know how much they will be in the red the next month. RiseUp has a team of experts to answer inquiries and provide personal consultation on the user’s WhatsApp, and the service creates cash-flow reports in real time, so that users can make informed financial decisions.
“We formed the company five years ago,” continues Samet, “and each step of the way, we’ve learned which things help people change their habits, and the way they manage their monthly budget. We believe that each person can live a financially sound way of life.
“RiseUp isn’t just another app – it’s a social enterprise. Tens of thousands of our customers are currently subscribed to our technology. Users receive most of the updates about how much money is left for them to use that month by WhatsApp. We’ve made this task extremely simple and user friendly. We’ve learned that the most important thing is to make sure that using our app is a positive experience, and that the users remain optimistic, since balancing your budget can be an extremely daunting and depressing task.”
"RiseUp isn’t just another app – it’s a social enterprise. Tens of thousands of our customers are currently subscribed to our technology. Users receive most of the updates about how much money is left for them to use that month by WhatsApp."Yuval Samet
How do you know if your tool is working?
“We offer users of our RiseUp app one free month, and after that, they pay NIS 45 a month for the use of our technology. Our data show that within three months, users are spending on average of NIS 1,100 less a month. In other words, our app is succeeding in drastically changing people’s lives.”
Samet believes that technological tools will play a critical role vis-à-vis cost-of-living increases. “This is significant, since based on data in our system, our app can automatically tell you if the fees your bank is charging you are too high, or if you’re spending more in the grocery store than other people similar to you. We help our users to streamline their spending, and to pay attention to each and every expenditure. Most people don’t do this automatically on their own. It’s no different than turning on Waze when you need to drive somewhere.”
Israelis experienced another wave of price hikes a few months ago in real estate, food (including basic items whose prices are controlled, such as bread), electricity and gasoline. Some of these have been in reaction to the war in Ukraine. “Rises in the cost of living hurt everyone, and in these circumstances, it is even more important to gain control over our cash flow and manage our finances properly.”
NOTES OREN Goldstein, CEO and founder of the FamilyBiz app: “I am a big believer that our main expenses – mortgage, loans, pension savings – that make up the lion’s share of our expenditures, is where the big savings can be found.” The app, launched two and a half years ago, helps manage all finances in one place.
“I’m married, with one child. We have four bank accounts, five credit cards, and eight pension savings accounts. This is a lot to keep organized, even for people who work in finance. That’s where FamilyBiz comes into play. Our app automatically gathers all of the user’s financial information, including from banks, credit card and insurance companies, pension accounts, loans, savings, mortgage, stocks, real estate and even digital currencies. It takes all this data and turns it into an easy-to-read report that highlights cash flow and compares fees from banks, insurance, car payments, etc.”
It’s FamilyBiz’s ability to make us aware of better, more financially wise options that sets it apart from similar apps. “At the end of the day, we’re all busy people, and that’s why the FamilyBiz app is capable of informing us where exactly we can save money or make better use of specific products.
“For example, maybe I can get better terms on a loan that would save me money in the long run. Currently, FamilyBiz has tens of thousands of users. We offer a simplified version, which can be used for free, as well as a much more advanced version that help you plan ahead, which costs NIS 25.90 a month.
“The number of people using our app is growing daily,” Goldstein continues. “People are desperate to gain control over their spending and to reach financial stability. We’ve also seen a surge in the number of our current users who are taking advantage of more sophisticated options available on our app. For example, our app can warn you if your cellphone service provider has raised its fees. In the past, it’s been difficult to be on top of these types of changes.”
According to Goldstein, in this day and age, it’s integral that families and individuals take advantage of technological means to manage their finances. “If you were to go outside and ask a passerby how much their monthly household expenses are, most likely they will have no idea. And if you ask them how much they spend on insurance, I can practically guarantee they’ll be stumped.
“Now that price hikes are taking place in every field, we absolutely must be on top of all these details. People got used to the status quo, but now that everything is in flux, it’s almost impossible to gain control without the aid of a personal finance app.”
Tal Schweid is the product manager at Finanda Innovations, the creator of MyFinanda, a smart and secure financial management tool. “Lately, we’ve been receiving a tremendous amount of questions about how to use our app,” he notes.
“We began programming our software in 2010, and in 2014 we came out with our first app for Android and iPhone. The basic app can be used free of charge, and subscriptions that provide more advanced capabilities run NIS 49.90 for three months, or NIS 89.90 for six months. We currently have over 50,000 users.
“MyFinanda gathers all of a person’s data from bank accounts, credit cards, foreign currency accounts, savings, loans and investments, and then provides users with reports, with everything neatly organized in categories.”
What’s unique about the MyFinanda app?
“Our users see clearly how much they’re spending each month for every item. Without the assistance of a technological aid, there’s no way for you to see the big picture from the macro, all the way down to the micro, including future credit card debits. Especially in times like now, when prices are skyrocketing, and families are spending more at the grocery store every month. Once you’re set up with MyFinanda, it’s so easy to stay up to date regarding your financial status, at the touch of a finger.”
RONIT TOALIB, a financial adviser and coach, created an app three and a half years ago called Life Plus, which enables families to keep tack of their expenses. “Our Life Plus app is especially helpful for people who work as independent contractors,” Toalib explains. “And if you’re planning a bar or bat mitzvah, a vacation, or a move to a new home, Life Plus makes it so much easier to plan your spending and understand how much capital you have to work with.
“Our users can receive real-time support through our private Facebook page, and I’m constantly uploading free tutorials to the group, which anyone can join.”
Thousands of users are already using Life Plus, which costs between NIS 14.90 and NIS 19.90. “After coaching families for many years, I was inspired to create a program that would help all the people I see who need help planning their household budgets,” Toalib adds. “It wasn’t created by a techie who happens to know there was a need for such a technology. I created this app after working in this field for many years, with the deep understanding of exactly what people need to help them live the best life possible.
“For example, when I compared statistics of all the people who have been using my app since June 2021 with the numbers from 2022, I saw that in areas over which we have no control, such as loans, mortgages and gasoline, prices rose starkly.
“On the other hand, in areas over which we do have some control, such as groceries, entertainment, outings and clothing, there is much more stability in the amount that people are spending. In other words, our users are taking advantage of the Life Plus app to help them make wise decisions on where to spend their money in order to keep to a strict balanced budget.
“Life Plus can help all of us get through these difficult times, by keeping you informed at every moment the exact status of your bank account and how much money you still have available until the end of the month.
“Many people who do not use a financial app are living in stress and uncertainty, since they have no idea how they’re going to pay their bills due to rising costs. The moment you have a comprehensive, easy-to-read report available to you at the touch of a finger that explains in detail your current financial status, you can sit back and relax, knowing that your family is safe.”
Translated by Hannah Hochner.