In an increasingly turbulent economy, individuals are focusing more on saving for the future. Standard bank applications and websites allow users to track their savings goals, but most do not employ a separate allocation for charitable giving. We wanted to create a tool to amplify the spirit of giving.  In response, we created Quiksave to provide people with a giving-focused digital platform to help people achieve their saving and charitable goals.

What it does

Quiksave takes inspiration from financial dashboards. Users are encouraged to devote some of their income to future purchases, with their savings progress tracked our on website. It was built so the user can easily allocate a portion of their savings to a charitable cause. We also included machine learning tools to help our users find the best price for their purchases.

How we built it

We started by creating mockups in Figma. Once we decided on a color palette and design that we wanted to use we created our website using Bootstrap, CSS, and HTML. We used machine learning by using Google Teachable Machine to identify various items and wrote the code using HTML and JavaScript. We also curated a Search Engine to search for items in major shopping website by using Google Programmable Search and integrating the Javascript code with our existing framework.

For the backend we used PHP and MySQL to create a server-side database. The backend was created with security in mind. SQL queries are a common attack vector for cybercriminals. We limited the possible user inputs to prevent SQL injections, which ultimately will prevent our database from being exposed. Our PHP code authenticates user login and password information which is stored in our MySQL database. Another security feature that we added was having activation codes sent to the user's email address if they just signed up for an account. This confirms that they are in fact the actual owner of the email account.

Challenges we ran into

Our team was also working remotely across 3 different timezones, so it was challenging to sync up while each member was in a different location in the world. It was also difficult to incorporate all the different features that we wanted our website to be able to have. Our ambitions were a bit too much for the amount of time that we had.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

I think we did a really great job communicating with each other, even though we were in 3 different time zones. We decided each of our roles in the beginning and gave each other support throughout the hackathon whenever we got stuck on something.

What we learned

We learned a lot about how important it is to connected the front end and back end, in order to have a dynamic website. I personally learned PHP and MySQL over the weekend, in order to create a database to store information for the website. Taking example from the previous Tech Together Workshops (New York), I used Teachable Machine and tried implementing it in my project. It is a very easy tool to create your own machine learning project and integrate with a broader idea.

What's next for Quiksave Savings Platform

As a next step, we would like to integrate Quiksave with major shopping websites like Amazon, Walmart, Target and BestBuy and curate a personal wishlist for every user from each of the websites and save them in our database. Once this is done, we will create a financial plan for them for each month so that they can get gifts for themselves and/or their family during the holiday seasons. We would also like to partner with charitable organizations so that it becomes easier for users to donate and at the same time, keep a check on their personal finances. The appropriate budget plans will be made by linking the app to their respective banking apps, which is also part of our future plans.

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