Launch HN: Point (YC W19) – First Debit Card with Points
Hi HN community,
We’re Patrick, Kenan, and Sid, the founders of Point (https://trypointbank.com), a consumer digital bank focused on rewards. After being fed up with the poor customer experience and tactics of traditional banks, we did some digging into why we put up with our own subpar banks. We've discovered that the way most people end up with their current bank is by default (ex: parents set it up for them), rather than by choice. The complete opposite was the case for credit cards; credit cards were actually chosen based on their qualities.
We began to wonder why a solution that combined the rewards and benefits of a credit card, with the simplicity of a bank account didn’t exist. After extensive research and testing of various existing products, we determined that everything came up short for our personal needs. That was the problem.
Whether it was simply the lack of a clean mobile user experience, or rewards that were relevant, nothing managed to fit the bill. Since banks are a fundamental part of our everyday modern lives, we shouldn’t have to settle for a less-than-stellar experience just because that’s the current standard. That’s when we realized, we don’t have to settle. This was an exciting enough realization for us all to quit our day jobs as product managers, designers, and engineers. We decided we needed to create a revolutionary bank.
In order to solve this problem, we created a new-and-improved debit card. We are focusing our efforts on debit because it is currently the most popular payment method. Although debit is the preferred method, in the real world, there is little incentive to use one over the perks offered by credit cards. This unfortunately leads the majority of the dissatisfied group to settle for credit cards, with their offer of limited perks that typically come hand-in-hand with unavoidable debt.
Our business model is sustainable because we are partnered with a smaller regional bank and don’t have the hefty over head of a branch network. The reason we don’t see larger banks offering debit cards with rewards is because of the "Durbin Act”; a federal mandate which slashed interchange margins of banks with more than $10 billion in deposits. This was done in order to protect consumers and merchants from increasing and predatory prices that banks were trying to instill.
If successful in our mission we hope to keep the up and comers out of un-necessary credit cards and raise the standards of user experience for banks. There is no reason why dealing with your bank should be as dreadful as the DMV.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on what we are building and are open to any and all suggestions. Feel free to drop us a line at [email protected] and check out our waitlist on our landing page.