Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.
Digit, the popular AI-powered savings app, is no longer a free service. According to an email that went out to users today, Digit will start-charging $2.99 a month for its services following a 100-day grace period.
If you’re not familiar, Digit differs from most saving services by using AI to determine when it should save you money, and how much. In other words, rather than a fixed amount taken from your account at regular intervals, Digit siphons different amounts that vary along with your income and expenditures.
I’ve been using the service for over a year now, and it has helped me save a lot of money than I ever had on my own. Three bucks a month is a small price to pay for the amount I’ve saved overall.
Still, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. Though users who are already signed up for the service have 100 days before the change goes in effect, it’s coming out of the blue. There’s currently no indication for on Digit’s Web dashboard or mobile app that the price hike is taking place for existing users (this may change, but it seems unlikely). If you missed the email that went out today, you might’ve never noticed Digit began charging.
Considering Digit already has your bank account information and requires no additional consent to begin taking those extra three dollars, it feels a bit disingenuous. And we already know users don’t take well to unexpected price increases.
Of course, Digit was never truly “free.” While a regular bank savings account earns you interest, Digit kept most of that interest as its source of revenue, which was negligible enough to ignore. But it seems that wasn’t enough money
For its part, Digit’s email to users suggests the change was a matter of transparency (emphasis Digit’s):
As Digit becomes a more important part of our customers’ financial lives, we’ve decided to make a conscious decision about how we want to make money: We work for you, and you pay us. It should be that straightforward. Too many financial services complicate things by making money doing things not in the best interest of their customers. Charging for Digit will allow us to support our service while making sure we always do what’s right for the customer.
Fair enough. I always was felt a little surprised Digit was able to stay afloat without charging a direct fee, and I don’t mind paying a tiny bit more for a better service; I’d just like the company to be more upfront about their price hikes.
At least Digit is sweetening the deal in other areas it has bumped up its annual savings bonus a fair bit as well, from 0.2 percent to 1 percent. How much that change will benefit you will naturally depend on how much you save.
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