Card offers are everywhere. On billboards, in newspapers, on Facebook, and so many other places. You don’t have to look far to find the multitude of offers available for credit cards. We’re literally spoilt for choice. There are too many offers for credit cards it’s hard to tell which ones are actually useful to us. But a new app by Extrogene Software, aims to help you get past the noise, and find the offers you want. One that has over 10,000 downloads to date. Say hello to Coffer.
The origins of Extrogene Software
Extrogene Software was officially founded by Ruwan Dissanayaka and Thushara Rankothge back in 2014. The duo originally met at the University of Moratuwa and were eager to build something of their own. Thus, they began participating at a bunch of hackathons and startup programs.
Having enjoyed much success at these events, the two decided to jump into the deep end. They applied and got into in Venture Engine 2014. When the competition ended they walked away having won 2nd place and with seed funding from LAN. Soon afterward, Extrogene Software was officially registered.
At the time their main product was OfferHut. This was originally an Ideamart USSD app, which then evolved into its own ecosystem with a website and an Android app. Today, OfferHut has 50,000 active subscribers according to Tharaka Kodippili – the Chief Marketing Officer of Extrogene Software.
But alongside OfferHut, Extrogene Software also built a variety of products and services for a number of companies. A few examples are Unilever, Slon, and GroupM. Yet, Extrogene Software is in the business of creating their own family of IP’s. The latest to join this family is an app called Coffer.
What is Coffer?
Coffer is a mobile app where you can find the offers and promotions available for every credit card in one place. Currently, the app is available to download on both Android and iOS. So how exactly does it work? Once you download Coffer and create your account via Google, the app asks you to select your bank (card attached bank). Afterward, you can select your cards from a list and that’s it.
The app doesn’t ask you for your credit card details. Tharaka shared with us that it was not required at all. All Coffer needs to know is whether you have a Platinum American Express Card or a Signature Visa Card or Mastercard Debit Shopping card. So once you’ve told the app what type of card you have it aggregates you a list of card offers available at the time.
These offers are found on the main feed, which resembles the one like on Instagram. Initially, the feed will show you every offer that’s available for your credit/debit card. But you can filter these out to only see the type of offers you are interested in.
According to Tharaka, many of Coffer’s current users are quite interested in finding out offers relating to hotels. So let’s say you were planning a trip. You scroll through the app and find a 50% discount at a hotel. You click on the heart button next to the offer to save it. Later, you can go back to that offer and call the hotel directly through the app to make requisite arrangements.
The challenges of improving the banking system
Currently, all the offers on Coffer are added manually. Extrogene Software monitors the interwebs to find these ads and then manually verify them before listing them on the app. Tharaka shared with us that they’re looking at working with the banks to eliminate this process.
Additionally, Extrogene Software aims to provide value addition to banks as well. Tharaka shared with us that currently, most banks would advertise offers of their cards in a traditional manner. This could be through flyers, billboards, text messages, emails, etc. Tharka adds, “A percentage of this advertising is also spent on Facebook advertising.”
But that’s it. This was another aspect that Extrogene Software aims to change with Coffer. The system they plan to offer banks won’t simply restrict them directly with adding offers. It would also allow them to view the entire lifecycle of an offer. That means understanding everything that happens between an offer being posted to it being viewed by the user.
Of course, the banking industry is a tightly regulated one with much red tape to cut. Nonetheless, Tharaka is optimistic. With 2019 marking thirty years since the first credit card was introduced in Sri Lanka, he believes that an app like Coffer will help bring much needed change to the industry.
The future: Tackling the lack of Financial Literacy
At the end of the day, it’s not only the banks that Coffer aims to help. It also wants to give you more transparency about the impact of your financial decisions. According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, 83,565 new credit cards and 799,836 new debit cards were issued in Q3 of 2018. Yet, this same data shows that cheques are still the most popular form of non-cash payments.
The data from Q3 of 2018 also shows that 11.2 million credit card transactions were carried out. The same time period saw 14.4 million debit card transactions. Furthermore, the value of these credit card transactions was Rs. 61.2 billion. Whereas the value of debit card transactions only amounted to Rs. 39.9 billion.
Based on this data, we can see that debit cards vastly outnumber credit cards. Yet, they’re hardly used. Even when used, the value of their transactions are just a little over half of those by credit cards. Needless to say, Sri Lanka is a nation that prefers to use paper cash over plastic cards to make payments.
Tharaka argues that the cause for this is that credit and debit cards aren’t utilized to their full potential. This is why Extrogene Software hopes to improve financial literacy in Sri Lanka with Coffer as well. Today, the app shows you the offers available with various cards. But in the future, it aims to also help you better understand the impact of your actions utilizing these cards. And in doing so, ensuring that these cards add more value to your life and finances.
This is part of the greater problem, which Extrogene Software is hoping to solve with credit and debit cards. Simply put, to improve the experience of utilizing these cards and maximizing their offers and benefits. In turn, ensuring that everyone in the ecosystem from banks to customers, can use them to their full potential. So if you’re interested in checking out Coffer, you can click here to download it on Android or here to get it on iOS.