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The CardsPal Story

The CardsPal Story

It all began when Saim and Richard, co-founders of CardsPal, were struck with an inspiration. As former bankers, they observed that there were bountiful perks offered by banks for credit cards; yet not many were maximising these benefits. Indeed, for multiple-card holders, it was challenging keeping tabs on the detailed functions of each card, and knowing exactly when to use each card to reap the most perks.  

That was when the idea of CardsPal – an app aimed to maximise savings and optimise spendings – came into being. Saim and Richard envisioned CardsPal to be a data-driven payment card advisor strongly rooted in data, that provided deals across multiple lifestyle categories. 

2020

CardsPal’s journey of growth in 2020 

Getting ready – Laying the groundwork 

The team huddled together and got to work. As our users lay at the heart of all that we do, it is important to start with them in mind.  

In February 2020, we began finding out more about our target users – deal hunters in their 20s to 40s, looking for deals and the best cards for their spends. In addition to such user research, the CardsPal branding was also established. The team developed a beta version of the app and encouraged research participants to provide their feedback after trying it.  

In April 2020, the team worked on giving the app an added dimension- hyper-localisation. The geo-location function was enhanced, and fresh new UI and improved UX were implemented as well. This is to ensure that our users enjoy a smooth, seamless and aesthetically pleasing experience. 

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that many were staying home. We needed to find a way to keep our users connected to their favourite deals. To this end, CardsPal launched a unique category – “Stay Home Promos” to help everyone save-from-home. At this page, users are presented with the latest promo codes for online shopping, deals for food delivery, and promos for grocery and online shopping. 

The first big step forward – CardsPal’s app launch 

After 2 eventful months, CardsPal was ready to say hello to the world in June 2020.  

The app was launched in the local app stores, both for android and iOS users. As with every journey, allies are key in making each adventure more exciting. Mastercard, a global pioneer in payment innovation and technology, saw potential in the young app and together, the two established a strategic partnership 

While CardsPal launched new Mastercard deals on their app, Mastercard, powered CardsPal’s Oriole Giveaway campaign, rewarding newly registered users who have added a Mastercard on the app with a free brew. 

Free Oriole coffee giveaway, powered by Mastercard 

Within 2 months of being launched, CardsPal received enthusiastic response from the audience, and attained 10k downloads in August 2020. Spurred to provide even more value to the users, the app worked with a few banks to allow users to directly apply for cards via the app. 

Stepping up on card comparison 

In September 2020, we were heartened to welcome AMEX and YouTrip to our ranks of partners. At the same time, CardsPal launched its card comparison feature. This allowed users to see card features easily and compare them at a glance to pick those that suit them best. 

At this point, we were keen to provide value to cardholders from all walks of life. What started as a credit card comparison soon expanded to include pre-paid cards such as GrabPay card, FEVO, TransferWise.  

Supporting local businesses – CardsPal for Business 

To foster the digitalisation of local businesses, CardsPal launched CardsPal for Business beta in Oct 2020, allowing merchants to register accounts and upload deals on our platform. The growth of our user base had attracted a stream of merchants keen on showcasing their promotions.  This fostered the growth of a robust deals ecosystem, whereby more than 100 merchants registered interest in our platform in the first 5 months.  

The app’s popularity amongst the merchants and users was attested to by its #1 ranking in the lifestyle category on both the iOS app store and the Google play store in November 2020. 

CardsPal for Business 

Reaching a wider audience 

In Dec 2020, we were given the opportunity to share what we do with the rest of Singapore. CardsPal was featured in The Straits Times, and participated in the Singapore Fintech Festival 2020. 

By the end of the year, we had 1.7k merchants powering our 5k deals to a crowd of 30k app downloads.  

2021 

New year, new goals. CardsPal aimed to provide users with richer deal content, quality card comparison and most importantly, a personalised user experience that stands out from the general research they have gathered online.  

The team identified many new opportunities and pain points of the users, and received numerous constructive feedback from the market. With these input, the team strived to further improve the user journey. 

Cashback Calculator 

Cashback Calculator, released in Feb 2021 

We started the year with a bang with a brand-new release – the Cashback Calculator 

This function allows users to check which card gives them the most cashback and rewards for their spend at popular merchants across categories such as shopping, dinning, leisure, and even petrol stations and telecommunications companies! 

Gone are the days where users had to memorise and mentally compute perks for each purchase. 

Celebration of CardsPal’s 1st anniversary  

CardsPal’s Birthday Celebration 

Time flew and it was soon 1 year since the launch of our app. We celebrated our 1st anniversary since the company’s incorporation in April 2020. In addition, we also launched our 1st Birthday Bonanza in-app campaign to commemorate the 1st anniversary of our official app launch in June 2020.  

The popularity of this campaign garnered enthusiastic feedback, bringing our app rating to 4.7 on the Apple App Store and 4.8 on the Google Play Store. At the moment, the app boasts a selection of over 6.1k attractive deals powered by more than 2.1k merchants. 

Improved Card RecommendationThe Cardculator 

Enhanced card recommendations with The Cardculator 

Bolstered by the success of the Cashback Calculator, we launched The Cardculator –  an enhanced card recommendation system that empowers users to look beyond mere cashback, as it provides a holistic card recommendation experience based on 3 criteria: 

1. CardsPal’s Pick: Cards are recommended based on an integrated evaluation of key factors, such as the card’s discount cap, minimum spend, cashback rate, and how they compare against other cards from similar categories.

2. Recommended for your wallet: Cards are chosen based on the selection process used to determine CardsPal’s pick, but card recommendation is narrowed down to the cards users have added to the app.

3. No min. spend: Cards are recommended based on the most cashback with no minimum spend. 

3 types of card recommendations 

With this enhancement, we are a step closer to the mission of helping users to save more, by enabling them to discover the right deals, and use the right payment card at the right place and right time.

New big-ticket deals category launched 

At the moment, CardsPal’s deals are focused on daily expenditure, such as dining, shopping, leisure, and more. In the previous months, the CardsPal team has been working on adding a new category dedicated to big-ticket purchases. This is aimed at helping users get more savings from their major spends, such as renovation.  

This new category has just been launched, and the team is working on gathering more renovation deals to help you save. Check it out here 

Stay tuned! 

We’ve got more surprises on the way! More awesome app features are coming up, such as the air miles and points calculator to help you save more. Remember to stay calm and keep CardsPal-ing! 

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