It’s not easy to sacrifice in the short term for benefits in the long term. While saving for a dream trip is a priority, saying “no” to dinner out (again) is tough. Qapital founder George Friedman realized that technology could help people align their behavior with their goals. With the help of Dan Ariely (professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke and author of Predictably Irrational) and a research team, Friedman designed an app that uses principles of behavioral psychology to make it easier to do what you truly want to do, even when temptations abound.
Using Behavioral Psychology to Reach Goals
Long-term goals are difficult to achieve because they require waiting. We’re wired to want gratification sooner rather than later. Qapital takes this tendency and works with it. The app helps users reach goals by connecting habits to milestones that they can achieve in a year or less.
It asks users to get specific about what they’re saving for, then prompts them to add a representative photo. Now the user can easily picture the goal and knows that it’s achievable. It moves from an abstract, far-off dream to a concrete event in the foreseeable future.
A Plethora of Ways to Save
Qapital makes it simple to save by using strategies that make saving automatic. Users can choose from a variety of savings methods. They can set savings to trigger based on credit card use, keeping within a budget, making specific purchases, and more.
The real power of Qapital is customization. You can set your own automation criteria. For example, you can add money to your savings account each time you avoid going to Starbucks. Because you can connect the app to myriad other accounts and services, you can create an automated savings transaction for just about any event.
More than Savings
Qapital’s research team also realized that happiness depends on more than saving money. Research has shown that people who spend money on experiences and services are happier than when they purchase material items.
For this reason, the app encourages users to spend money on services that will improve their quality of life. For example, using a grocery shopping service will give users extra time to spend with family and friends.
The Qapital team has infused the app with a significant amount of behavioral science. It’s one of the best examples in the finance category of an app that uses behavioral design to help users reach their goals.
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