As a team, we spent two full weeks brainstorming and noticed that many of the fintech trends we found and ideas we generated pointed to a gap in the market for a kids’ payments solution. For years, children have been getting smartphones at younger and younger ages, so it’s no surprise that their online shopping rates have also been on the rise. Not only are these children and teens an emerging demographic in the realm of online shopping, but they are also a less-informed group who might lack experience managing their money. We saw this as an opportunity to create an app that would both help expose children to and teach them about tech-based payment methods like digital debit cards. We consulted with some advisors in the fintech industry and they validated this gap in solutions that would both empower kids to make their own payments, establish their own goals, and learn how to develop great spending habits from a young age. That’s why we made Moolah.
What it does
Moolah is an all-in-one personal finance app that integrates spending and learning. The app has 4 main sections with the following features:
- Debit Card: Spend the wallet balance with this card in person or online. The card can also be added to external mobile payment providers like Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc., and can be activated or deactivated in the settings panel.
- Manual Entry: An option to manually enter any spending or earnings. This is especially good for any cash transactions that wouldn’t be automatically logged.
- Pay/Request: A feature that makes transferring funds between friends and family super easy. It can work for both people who have and don’t have Moolah. If the recipient doesn’t have Moolah, they will receive either a payout page email or a checkout page email depending on whether they receive a payment or a request, respectively.
- Transaction History: Any transactions using the debit card or the pay/request feature will automatically be logged here. Manual entries will also appear here but won’t impact the wallet balance.
- Stats Summary: A summary of spending and learning for the time period selected.
- Graphs: A variety of graphs will be generated weekly to better show the user how their spending and learning habits are changing.
- Lessons: Curated sets of videos and learning checks to teach the user about various fintech and money management topics. Short videos break up even the most complex of subjects and make learning feel quick and easy. Learning checks make sure that the user understood the main ideas of the lesson.
- Goals: An option to set goals that the user wants to save up for. As time passes, the user will receive reminders and be given checkpoints for the goals they are trying to manage.
- Badges: Badges are earned as the user spends and learns. They add some gamification to the spending experience and provide an incentive to complete the lessons.
How we built it
We used Figma and Adobe Illustrator to design plenty of UI/UX mockups and narrowed them down to the final screens after discussing which would result in the best user experience.
We built the web app with a MERN stack (MongoDB + Express + React + Node.js) and TypeScript, serving it on GitHub Pages and Heroku.
We were excited to be able to implement all 4 Rapyd Payment APIs into Moolah. Rapyd Wallet transfers funds between Moolah wallets. Rapyd Disburse sends an email with a payout page so that Moolah users can send money to non-users. Rapyd Collect helps Moolah users request money from non-users by sending an email with a checkout page. And finally, Rapyd Issuing issues the debit cards within Moolah.
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge was to come up with an idea that we found both interesting and meaningful. We barely had any working experience in the fintech industry, so this involved a lot of reading, research, and interviewing people who did know more about fintech and payments.
One of the technical challenges we ran into was in using Rapyd API. Here are the blockers and workarounds for them that we came up with: https://github.com/64json/moolah/search?q=blocker
Accomplishments that we're proud of
By looking at payments from a kid’s point of view, we think we found a unique perspective on the proposed circuit challenges. We are also proud of how the app turned out visually and how the idea came together nicely to integrate all 4 of the Rapyd Payment APIs. We also think the name we chose for the app is amazing. :)
What we learned
We learned to not underestimate the amount of time required for brainstorming. Similarly, we learned the importance of building buffer time into our project timeline because the mini-deadlines we set for ourselves are bound to get pushed back as we encounter new challenges. We also learned that collaboration and communication between design and development are very important for creating both a technically feasible and user-friendly product. Two heads are for sure better than one!
What's next for Moolah
We’d love to take this project further and already have some ideas for possible next steps:
- Building for business collaboration with schools and teachers.
- Using receipt scanning to streamline manual entry.
- Adding the ability to split expenses
We also hope to expand our audience by adding features to help older teens transition to adulthood and manage credit cards, loans, and credit scores by partnering with financial institutions. These partnerships would open up plenty of monetization opportunities along with sponsored content or ads.
To see Jasmine's account, go to https://jasonpark.me/moolah and sign in with the below credentials: