Altruist, a mobile app designed to encourage charitable donations, was built with user experience and loyalty in mind.
Charitable giving is not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about mobile apps. But for these founders, charity and social entrepreneurship are a way of life. Technology can be about more than fun and convenience.
Enter Altruist, a mobile application concept that Cuttlesoft helped build back in 2015.
The idea was this: take every transaction a person makes via their credit or debit cards and round up to the next dollar. Then, donate that change to a charity of the user’s choice (think Acorns, but for charity).
Beyond the normal challenges associated with building any mobile app, the Altruist team was tasked with finding a way to make dozens of daily micro-transactions secure and cost-effective. Because of the high cost of credit transfer, multiple transactions of pennies a day would add up quickly, leaving little for the actual charities.
That’s what pushed the Altruist team to think outside of the box. Instead of directly depositing each micro-donation, the app would store the pennies and dimes in an “app bank” that would grow until it reached a threshold balance. Then, once the “bucket” was full, that amount would be donated. Since bank fees are charged on a per transaction basis, larger, less frequent donations cut down on the percentage of cash being eaten by fees.
Once the problem of frequent transactions was solved, the Cuttlesoft team focused heavily on user experience. It was essential that they ask,
“How can we make donating as simple as possible?”