Piere focused on intuitive budgeting

When designing an intelligent budget-tracking app, Piere founder and CEO Yuval Shmul Shuminer prioritized functionality, integrations, and meeting the evolving needs of emerging generations. Billed as the“intelligent budget tracker app that’s ready in just two taps,” Piere offers quick functionality and automatic reconciliations and updating.

Shuminer said Piere is heavily influenced by her experience living in New York City. It’s a city that demands constant lifestyle choices in transportation, rent and food.

Helping users budgeting, financial literacy skills

Along the way, she’s also learned that many overestimate the average person’s financial literacy. That leaves a service void Shuminer aims to fill by providing tools that help users properly budget and see the effect of expenses on their goals.

“That’s where Piere came from, and here is the embodiment of that vision coming to life,” Shuminer said. “It’s a platform where users come not just to manage their finances, but to gain this partner in helping them make financial decisions, understanding how it impacts their financial future and ultimately in gaining the confidence that they need to navigate their financial journey.”

Prioritizing usability, convenience in budgeting

The design process began by considering how to use technology to deliver a more personalized experience. The goal was to automate what most apps and tools had folks do manually.

Shuminer said that manual intensity is where many tools fail. They rely on the user to input volumes of data and to correctly categorize it. Piere integrates with financial institutions, Venmo and CashApp to automatically reconcile spending. It analyzes historical spending patterns and produces prospective budgets and insights into a user’s financial habits.

“It’s about combining the data that we have about users’ historical spending, which is really the foundation of any sort of budget,” Shuminer said. “It’s about combining that with intelligence about what makes for better financial decisions, and how can we combine those two to say this is how you could be spending your money to make better informed financial choices.”

Recognizing the split-bill economy, financial shocks

Piere is responding to the emerging split-bill economy that sees more peer-to-peer payments that many tools struggle to categorize. Since the onset of COVID-19, Shuminer said that behavior has more than doubled.

Yuval Shuminer said Piere prioritizes convenience and intuitive features.

Say a quintet meets for dinner, and one pays the $500 tab on a credit card, with the other four sending their share via Venmo. Most tools will reflect the $500 going out but not the $400 coming in, leaving a distorted picture. Piere automatically assigns the correct category and merchant to the transaction.

Shuminer added that a responsive app must successfully react to unexpected expenses. Over time, it should adapt as the user goes through life changes like mortgages, kids and promotions.

“Our perspective is to say we actually don’t think these things should be static,” Shuminer said. “We think a budget should adapt to your particular financial situation. It should adapt to changes that you have in your life. 

“How can we help navigate those changes in a proactive and healthy way? If you have an unexpected expense, you shouldn’t feel bad for it. How can we help you adjust so that you’re still feeling confident about your financial situation, even when things don’t go according to plan?”

Deploying strong security measures

Given Piere’s need to correlate financial data from multiple sources, Shuminer said security expectations are high. The app never stores user login information and is SOC2-compliant. End-to-end encryption and multi-factor authentication are deployed, and penetration testing and vulnerability assessments are frequently conducted.

Maintaining board, investor support

Piere is privately funded. Shuminer said that gives the company the independence to stick to its core mission. Investors are deeply invested in that plan.

“When I talk to my board, and when I talk with my investors, we’re talking about product development,” Shuminer said. “We’re talking about the feedback that we’re hearing, we’re talking about user stories that we’re hearing from our users directly about how Piere has changed their trajectory for financial independence. 

“Every decision that we make is aligned with this goal of building long-term value and our long-term vision.”

Growing user base and overall engagement

Piere emerged from beta a few months ago. Shuminer wouldn’t share specific user numbers but said they are growing.

User engagement is also growing. Through monitoring that use and analyzing customer feedback, Piere will remain responsive.

“It’s not about the specific number of users, but rather how every incremental user to us is another step in achieving the mission that we’ve set out to achieve of empowering financial independence,” Shuminer said.

User acquisition has been primarily achieved through word-of-mouth, social media engagement and a campus ambassador program. Shuminer said that the split-bill economy is a perfect way to introduce Piere to large groups.

Improving financial literacy and budgeting skills

As Piere grows, Shuminer said financial education is a must-have. Many assume people are more financially literate than they actually are. That error bleeds into many app designs, making them unresponsive and hard to navigate.

“Our mission is to imagine a world where every single person, independent of their economic background, independent of if they have parents who knew how to guide their financial decisions or had access to education or not, every single person across that spectrum feels like they have the support that they need, whether that’s through a platform or through a form of financial education,” Shuminer said.

What’s ahead

In 2024, Piere will introduce a subscription model with additional intelligent features. Shuminer said now’s the time to join, as anyone who joins before the subscription model’s introduction remains a user for free.

As Piere evolves, Shuminer said it will retain the goal of intuitively meeting its users’ needs, no matter what stage of life they are in.

“This speaks to something that’s really important to us, which is financial management,” she said. “You don’t do it for the sake of financial management, you do it for the sake of empowering your life and understanding. 

“Here’s what I want to do with my life. How will I fund it? I want a child, how do I make sure I have the resources to do that? I think that’s a different perspective that we take versus a lot of other platforms.”

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  • Tony Zerucha

    Tony is a long-time contributor in the fintech and alt-fi spaces. A two-time LendIt Journalist of the Year nominee and winner in 2018, Tony has written more than 2,000 original articles on the blockchain, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, and emerging technologies over the past seven years. He has hosted panels at LendIt, the CfPA Summit, and DECENT's Unchained, a blockchain exposition in Hong Kong. Email Tony here.