I want to provide feedback as I am a pro user and feel feedback will hopefully go to shaping how a product is developed going forward. My subscription is coming up for renewal in February 2021 and so I am now considering the benefits of resubscribing. I signed up to Emma as I want to manage my budget. That is the primary reason, not to get cash back or rewards. I have waited patiently to see if the budget would be developed further however, it seems as thought the focus is on products that generate a return for Emma. I understand that you need to generate revenue however, if that is not meeting the needs of a user, then they may not stick around. I see now there is an option to obtain a credit card and that IMHO should not not be the focus of a budget app. I hope the app can move back to its roots and expand the area around the budget. That would certainly help me with my consideration to resubscribe. Thanks for listening.
we are working on pushing out:
- Past budgets
- Rolling budgets
- Previous Pay Periods
- Smart rules to track payments to offline accounts.
Regarding the rewards, we have just added a nice incentive for Pro people to get more cashback. This means you can pretty much pay back your subscription fee if you shop at any of the 150+ brands we feature.
Our focus right now is to help people save money and get them in shape. There are lots of people in the app that might need a balance transfer card or a loan to consolidate their debt, so we thought it would be worth a try.
My opinion on this (having worked in a startup that had now matured) is that your support during the earlier years is the gateway to wholesome development, although not always what an individual wants.
A company will need to work for the masses and perhaps giving earlier feedback is more warranted than last minute (circa 3 months) before renewal, will help shape a product more.
I’d echo Tim’s feelings. I have shared bugs and requests and haven’t seen any improvements that help my use be honest. Smart rules are clever, but the budgeting aspect is lacking. Perhaps as an accountant, I’m expecting too much?
I am personally adding the split up to 12.
In the case of latest transactions issue you raised on the 6th of October. I can see if you do a split, change the date, it will show future transactions.
We are going to change that.
The problem I think is the lack of clarity around who exactly is the core user base (and therefore revenue channel) of Emma. Is it the budget power user (likely with disposable income who would pay a higher subscription fee) or the student with the maxed out credit card (who wouldn’t subscribe but generates rev through referrals and gimmicks)? Each of these users has different expectations and at the moment it seems like Emma is trying to cater for both of them feature-wise but not necessarily doing either really well.
I think there are a few things going on.
Firstly, Emma has always been clear that they’re a data-driven business. There have been several occasions in the past where the discussion has been “why not do this?” on the forum and the reply has been “because it will only benefit or apply a tiny fraction of our customers”. The business decisions don’t necessarily suit every single customer.
Secondly, the world of personal finance management is immensely complicated, developing fast all the time, and full of very different approaches. It’s also pretty cutthroat. I’ve gone through loads of apps and none of them - including Emma - does exactly what I want. I think that’s just the state of the market with the kind of revenue you can generate and then how much you can develop in the short term.
Thirdly, bugs and feature updates must surely get prioritised by how many users are affected. Support sent me a message today with two fixes for bugs I reported in the last week or so - but at least one, maybe both issues, I know would have affected a lot of people.
Fourthly, a lot of people engaging on forums may come from a background using high-end professional applications that cost £1k+ for a workstation licence and, as you would expect, provide incredible value. No one has managed to attract those kind of licence fees for a PFM app though
tl;dr Emma has to be a broad church in the market they’re in
Thanks! Both of these will dramatically increase the benefit I get as it will help me a) monitor my expenditure against budget and b) monitor my transactions without explicitly going in to the page to check.
I’d add if that app would exist, you would be the only one to use it - as you mention in the lines.
None of these applications have made it. By this, we mean £100m+ in revenue, huge scale, thousands of employees, live in multiple countries and so on and on.
As of today, the way we describe Emma is a savings app.
We started with budgeting, which we’ll keep working on, but we need to move into savings and address a much bigger audience, if we want to follow our ambition.
The alternative is to build another Money Dashboard, which has 1/4 of our current users, and become pretty much irrelevant.
This doesn’t mean that features like:
- Past Budgets
- Rolling Budgets
- Past Pay Periods
- Filters by Accounts in Analytics
- Smart Rules
- Budgets by Merchant
- Savings Goals
and so on, have been put on pause - we are working on them as well as a ton of features in Save Money.
In terms of the 2x cashback, we thought this was a huge deal. You need to spend 2-3 times at Currys to get your subscription money back - we have basically made it free and we’ll probably add any merchant in UK/US there.
As always, ask me anything - happy to clarify any doubts.
The latest version of the app (3.2.6) is very glitchy and my accounts have frozen during syncing.
Can you message live chat?
I did this morning.
We haven’t released any new version in the past 3-4 weeks.
iOS should be way ahead of that 3.3.6
that’s the right one.
If the syncing has frozen, live chat can help. It’s not related to the app.
I’ll continue to wait then