With the launch of iOS 6, Apple added a new feature called Passbook, which will allow users to collect all of their loyalty, rewards, and payment accounts in a single virtual wallet. So far we’ve only seen a few companies take advantage of the app, loyalty rewards startup Kiip. But it’s still a pretty fragmented market — if you want to view your personal debit or credit card, you better hope that at some point your banking provider creates a compatible app.
That is, until now. One of our favorite startups, BillGuard, has become one of the first financial applications to integrate with Apple’s Passbook. Better yet, it’s bringing user credit and debit card info directly into Passbook without users having to rely on their banks to build Passbook-compatible apps for them.
BillGuard was one of the finalists from TechCrunch Disrupt NY in 2011, and ever since it has been building a service that alerts its users of suspicious charges and hidden fees made against their credit or debit cards. It’s also helping users save a huge amount of money: CEO Yaron Samid tells me that the company has saved $1 million in fees over the past 18 months or so.
According to Samid, adding Passbook integration was something the team did on a whim — basically CTO Raphael Ouzan dreamt up the BillGuard passes one weekend for his own use and the team had a working version ready by Monday. But now they’ve opened it up for all users, allowing them to instantly check in on the balances of their credit or debit cards through Passbook. Users will also be able to flip the cards over to get a detailed listing of charges made against those cards, as well as potentially fraudulent charges or fees that have been levied against them.
This is BillGuard’s first real foray into mobile, but it won’t be the company’s last. BillGuard has its own mobile apps in the works, which will hopefully be released soon. Samid said that the interest it’s gotten from the Passbook work shows how mobile is a great platform for its users. “If I had to build this today, I would build for mobile first,” he said.
BillGuard has raised $13 million from investors such as Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Bessemer, IA Ventures, Saul Klein, and Joe Lonsdale. The company has its headquarters in New York City, as well as an R&D center in Tel Aviv, with a total of 21 employees between those offices.
New and existing BillGuard users who want to check out the integration can click on the following link to add their own cards to Passbook: http://passbook.billguard.com.
BillGuard is people-powered antivirus for bills. BillGuard, a personal finance security company recognized by Online Banking Report as one of the top online banking innovations of all time, has developed a groundbreaking new approach to identifying deceptive, erroneous and unauthorized charges on consumer credit card and debit card bills. BillGuard uses crowdsourced big-data analytics to harness the collective knowledge of millions of consumers reporting billing complaints online and to their merchants and banks. The free service scans user’s e-statements...