While talking among our group we found that every one of us knew someone who fell victim to predatory lending and debt due to a lack of personal finance education. In addition to that, we also recognized that these individuals would have benefited from learning these skills earlier in their lives.
To get a better understanding of this problem, we chose to interview a teenager to see what social media they use on a regular basis and use that as an entry point to teach them these skills. We found that the two most common platforms are Instagram and Snapchat.
As a proof of concept, we chose to use Instagram to analyze the users posting patterns and use of hashtags.
There is an under-served market of teens between ages of 12 to 17. Most teenagers don't have any kind of effective financial training or education. They grow up without knowing the fundamentals and become susceptible to predatory lending practices.
Our app would help young men and women learn good financial habits through an incentivized system and customized recommendations based on their past behavior on Instagram.
How we built it
We divided the work between backend and UI while pair programming. We also collaborated with another team FinPal, to bring these two projects together into a more comprehensive tool.
Starting from the authentication with Instargam, we worked our way through user stories.
Challenges we ran into
- Limitations of the Instagram API, particularly the Sandbox mode for new apps and the inability to post new photos.
- Translating bootstrap templates into Jade.
- Initial express.js setup glitches, npm packager issues.
What's next for FinSense
- Translate the current WebApp to a mobile in order to have a tighter integration with Instagram
- Introduce not only saving goals, but slowly teach about responsible borrowing as well