Dear Potential Investors,
Our company, Cypress, was built with the overwhelmed credit card holder in mind. Our mission is to provide a service that makes cardholders’ lives easier while prioritizing data security. We were built with the mindset that there are a variety of cardholders, but one thing that most of them have in common is a lack of credit card reward organization and optimization. Our job is to find that sweet spot that empowers consumers to make real-time, educated decisions when it comes to which credit card to use and when.
Below, we’ve outlined how Cypress aims to disrupt the fintech space with a user-first product, and how ads and cohort-based data sales will allow us to scale and monetize Cypress while continually improving our user value proposition.
An App Designed for the User
The overall architecture of our digital platform is an iOS and Android-compatible mobile application, available through the app store. After downloading the application, users are prompted to sync their credit cards and share their interests and values so that Cypress can deliver a personalized experience.
Our solution will use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor credit card offers and spending habits to notify users of optimization opportunities. The AI will monitor a number of actions taken by the user while they are in the store. Some of those actions will include capturing the amount of time spent in the store, and the total amount of money spent. AI will gather information on shoppers’ preferences when they interact with the app or notifications during the customer journey. The more the customer chooses to use the app through interactive push notifications, (e.g., “Would you like to see your deals here?”; “We found the best card for you to use today, would you like to see them?”; “What types of items are you looking for?”), the better the AI can optimize the experience. In addition, AI will start gathering information when the user first signs up for our app by collecting data through a series of questions about favorite stores and what items are they most interested in.
Our push notifications, geofencing, and other educational resources will help the user make decisions as to which card to use and when. Through user surveys and AI, Cypress monitors each consumer’s lifestyle goals (e.g., extra money to travel, healthy groceries for the family) and significant life events (e.g., upcoming wedding) so that the app can suggest relevant rewards offers and retailers where their rewards go farther.
The Importance of Security
The app will include a two-factor authentication login to ensure the security of our users’ credit card account information. We will use a secure cloud-based data storage system and will be compliant with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). We will also provide a step for data consent, a secure mobile database via encryption, and preventative features for data breaching.
Cypress believes advertising and selling cohort-based data are excellent revenue generators that allow us to increase our value to users without compromising their right to privacy. For example, credit card companies can partner with Cypress to market their cards and services through our blog and in the app. However, Cypress is committed to full transparency about how and why we make money, and we do not let these relationships impact the financial advice that we provide our users. Any and all sponsored content will clearly be labeled as such.
Gamification to Incentivize Users
Gaming itself was already growing before COVID, but after the pandemic, this rate skyrocketed 23%. The gaming concept has especially grown by linking gamification with social media. Gamification features will incentivize Cypress users to consult our app more frequently and build more conscientious spending habits. Users will earn pride points and badges for earning a certain amount of cashback or points on purchases. This in-app feature will also allow for social media sharing, app referral links and further opportunities to build community engagement around the brand. There is also a huge growth with the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in gaming, and we plan to incorporate this concept within the Cypress community page,, which will take elements like our users’ point scores, competition and community interaction to the next level.
How Will We Measure Success?
During our development/testing phases and the first month following launch, Cypress will focus on brand awareness and will measure success based on the following metrics:
- Volume of social media mentions
- Social media following growth rate
- Search volume (via Google Keyword Planner data)
- Newsletter sign up, unsubscribe requests and open rates
- Website visitors and bounce rate (via Google Analytics)
Once we’ve executed our brand awareness campaigns, we will look to convert awareness and interest to app downloads and usage. Our primary objective is to have a sizable, active user base that continually grows both in number of downloads and engagement levels. Achieving this objective is key to our long-term profitability since it will attract advertisers as well as potential partners (such as well-known retailers) that will help Cypress scale.
We will use the following metrics to gauge our campaign’s effectiveness at generating app downloads:
- Positive month-over-month retention rate (calculated by number of users who use the app in one month divided by the number of users who used app in the previous month)
- Monthly active users (number of users who opened our app in a given month) to measure engagement and how useful Cypress is to users; our goal is to increase MAUs by 5 percent month over month
- Number of new app downloads; goal is a 10 percent month-over-month increase during each month of the campaign
How Will We Make Money
Once we’ve reached 50,000 active monthly users, we will begin to monetize Cypress through advertising and selling cohort-based user data to big data aggregators such as Epsilon, Axilum and Krux.
Pillars of profitability through the Cypress app monetization strategy:
Advertising: we plan to incorporate opportunities for retailers and other brands to take advantage of in-app advertising. We will use native ads so the user experience is not jeopardized. We will also work with our partners to offer affiliate advertising in the app as well.
- Sell grouped data (not personal) by putting users into cohorts
- Research data that current credit card companies sell (if available)
Subscription-Based Model: we plan to eventually offer a paid monthly model option to our users that will offer more advanced options, including credit-report monitoring.
The Future is Bright
Our application has multifaceted potential. From extending our service into the e-commerce space with a desktop browser plugin, to furthering the community aspect across mobile and even into in-person experiences. Continuing to maximize the power of community, we will create spaces for our users to meet and share their credit knowledge and experiences. Whether this social interaction takes form as a Facebook Group, an Instagram live feed, or an TedX-like event for our top savers, the possibilities for the growth of our community excites us.
With the combined concepts of education, values-based shopping, money-saving and earning features and gamification, we see a huge growth potential for Cypress! Our “one-stop shop” offers a product that meets a gap in the market and provides a direct benefit to our users.