If I had to ask you what all financial apps have in common, what would you say? Well, most likely because they are a product of financial institutions who feel the need to project a sense of security – most financial apps are conservative and safe from a look and feel / user experience point-of-view…definitely NOT exciting or fun. Basically, they’re pretty boring.
At the end of the day, you don’t really think of your bank as the hottest party spot in town, do you? So, it probably isn’t a surprise that all the financial apps out there make you feel like you’re basically walking into a bank! There is one app out there that takes some risks and incorporates a social aspect into its interface…but that also crosses a safety and privacy line in my book, so I can’t really give them credit for trying a different approach. Another that has some bright green colors and big buttons…but nothing special that truly breaks the mold.
At Mezu, our goal from the very start was to produce something exceptional, groundbreaking, rule breaking and fresh – a financial app that’s totally different in every good way. My co-founder, Pedro Silva, and I also wanted to make sure our app is fun and exciting to use. It’s important to us both – I am an architect by education and a technologist by profession and he’s a brilliantly gifted software designer and programmer – and we are both avid users of apps. I actually have more apps on my phone than most people even know exist. That’s because every time I hear of something new out there that sounds interesting to me – I download it (I currently have more than 400 apps on my phone – and I probably deleted another 200 along the way). Even if I already HAVE a similar app – I believe there is always room for improvement, innovation and something new. Even if there is a relatively small incremental improvement from one app to the other, I find that sometimes that small twist – can bring significant value for the end user.
Every app has a core functionality that demands a specific engagement dynamic. For some it’s once a month, others it’s once or twice a year, sometimes every day, or it can even be as often as many times a day. There are no hard and fast rules for what makes an app permanently useful or popular, though the kind of engagement that you create relates directly, of course, to the need that the app fulfills. When it comes to creating both awareness, continuous interaction, excitement, highlighting the uniqueness of an app – there are many roads that lead to Rome…but the current banking and payment apps have not succeeded in going beyond their initial charge.
We thought long and hard about how we can attract people into the Mezu app — entertain them, make it a hotspot in ‘town’ and give them a reason to keep coming back (also use the platform to educate them on how the app works – i.e. giving them the private way to transact). We didn’t want to simply follow the “pay your customers” rule which is common in the app business – companies reward their customers by giving them promotional dollars. We took it a step further — because we know that while people LOVE money, they also love competition and no other financial payment app in our sector is incorporating gamification.
This past week we launched Mezu Money Time. That’s right — we launched an actual game show INSIDE our app. We play it three times a week and it incorporates our Give and Get functionality. During our live streams, our host Griffin Dubois will use Mezu to generate online streaming version of our four-digit transaction code and the user(s) watching who enters in the code the fastest wins the promotional dollars!
It’s instantaneous, it’s fun and it gives people a clear incentive to become part of the Mezuconomy – without us having to spend millions of dollars to reach millions of people! We can’t wait to see people join! Mezu will be giving away thousands of dollars in cash prizes weekly! I’ve embedded a short video giving you the inside scoop on the idea and how to play! The number of winners and the dollar amount for the prizes will be announced during each session with additional information available on MezuMoneyTime.com. Play this week and let me know what you think. And P.S. – the one thing you can never call Mezu is boring!