Tracking bills and subscriptions using bank transaction data


Ema Rouf
August 3, 2021

One of the simplest things to do with pave.dev is retrieving a list of a user’s bill and subscriptions from transaction data.

In this post we’ll cover:

  1. An overview of use cases that can be built on top of bill & subscription tracking
  2. How you can rapidly build out these features using the pave.dev Cashflow API
  3. Advantages of using pave.dev to build these use cases

Example use cases

Consumers subscribe to a wide variety of services, from music and video to meal kits and educational content-- the sky is really the limit. On top of this, these consumers usually have a number of long-standing recurring transactions: rent, utility payments, credit card bills, mortgage payments, etc.

By implementing bill and subscription tracking, developers can:

  • Allow customers to see what they’re paying for all in one place and prune any unneeded subscriptions
  • Trigger bill reminders, saving consumers from late fees
  • Set alerts when there are increased charges
  • Predict the amount a consumer can safely spend while still having enough cash left over to pay their bills
  • Leverage bill payment history to build cash advance and credit risk models, opening up credit to more consumers
  • Move excess cash into another account, allowing consumers to automatically save and invest
  • Make it easy for your customers to move their automatic bill payments to your debit card.

When it comes to building any type of financial forecasting, risk modeling, or automated money movement, it’s crucial that the underlying bill and subscription detection is correct! Otherwise, recommendations or forecasts won’t make sense (and could be potentially hurtful to the end user!).

How fintech apps do this today

In a number of bill tracking applications, users are forced to manually input each bill and subscription, the amount they pay, how often it occurs, etc. This is onerous and impractical!

Several budgeting apps have spent years developing bill and subscription tracking models:

  • Mint automatically identifies users’ bills and subscriptions from their banking data.
  • TrueBill offers much of the same, while also negotiating bills for the user.

At face value, automating this workflow may look like a simple solution to implement, but the reality is, behind each of these apps is years of data cleaning and data science work. Transaction data is messy!

Luckily, Pave is abstracting this for developers. You don’t need to spend months or even years building bill and subscription tracking. No developer should start from scratch! With Pave, any fintech app can leverage automated bill and subscription tracking in minutes.

Automate bills and subscriptions tracking with pave.dev in a few simple steps!

We’ve jump-started this for you by building a super simple code example (please excuse the poorly designed UI! We expect you will have a much better UI.)

images/ios-dashboard.png

The purpose of this example is to show you truly how few steps are involved in implementing this in your own app.

To try this yourself, you can sign up for our Sandbox here, and get the sample code off of our GitHub.

Once you connect a user’s bank transactions with the Pave API, you’re able to:

  1. Connect transaction data from any source to Pave’s API
  2. Retrieve a clean and classified list of a user’s bills and subscriptions, with their amounts and changes
  3. Rapidly build a wide range of use cases using our API!

For more detail on implementation steps, see this blog post.

Advantages of using Pave

Here’s some benefits of using the Pave API to track bills and subscriptions:

For developers and data scientists:

  • Reduce your build time from months to days
  • Focus your energy on building valuable features for your customers rather than cleaning and transforming messy data

For your end users:

  • Avoid late fees and overdraft fees by staying on top of your upcoming bills
  • Avoid overpaying for services by track increases in any bill or subscription

Our Roadmap

Pave’s top KPIs are around data quality and completeness, so you can focus on delivering more value to your customers in your area of specialty.

This bill and subscription tracking feature is just one solution that can be built with Pave. Now that we can accurately identify a user’s bills and subscriptions, next on our roadmap are code examples to help you:

  • Predict the next due date of a bill
  • Predict if a user is at risk of overdrafting
  • Switch automated bill payments to your debit card
  • Integrate a bill negotiation API

Want to try out Pave’s API live? Send us an email at api@pave.dev to talk to someone on our team about getting started with Pave.dev!

Here’s a link to our post that details how you can implement this yourself.



#subscriptions #bill tracking #transactions 

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