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I’m a big fan of simplicity. As a designer, I’m always looking for ways to strip away – and to get the cleanest, clearest message across in the most aesthetically pleasing way.
So, I appreciate when I see this approach taken with other products / services.
The folks at Cinch Financial (cinchfinancial.com) seem to be aiming for this with their combo, recommendation and “bill reducer” website.
A little bit about Cinch
Founded by two financial gurus, Cinch Financial’s goal is to make it easy to get the right information about some of the biggest expenses we encounter on a daily basis: mortgages, credit cards, insurance and banking.
They do this with a 6-step, customized and unbiased approach to find out what best suits your needs by asking:
- Is the product available where you live?
- Does it have a good reputation?
- Are they easy to do business with?
- Do they consistently offer good deals?
- Are the products worth it?
- And, what’s the best one for you?
Let’s just say you are looking for a bank. Cinch walks you through a one page, 8 question survey to determine your banking needs. It literally takes minutes and is uber easy.
When I plugged in my information and location – the site didn’t return any banks in my area – but this could be related to Cinch still being relatively new to the game and are likely still building out their recommendations in every US region (in fact, I didn’t get any local recommendations for the other services in Minnesota).
Even if you don’t get back personal results that may be relevant to your location/needs, Cinch offers their picks of the best “online” banks that have passed their 6-point vetting process.
They also do this for credit cards, auto insurance and home insurance.
Here’s what’s most charming about Cinch: they don’t receive any compensation for recommending a particular product – unlike 99.9% of every other recommendation website out there.
So how do they make their money? Here’s what they state on their website:
Actually, we’re not sure yet. But we know we need to be completely objective and we know we need to be on your side. (Cue the sweeping music.)
To me, that’s pretty refreshing – not to mention rare. But, I applaud their efforts and approach to build a service that is totally for the end-user.
A little bit about the “bill reducer” service
Along with the recommendation side of the site, Cinch also offers users the ability to have their bills analyzed to ensure they are getting the best possible deal available. Again, all of this is free of charge AND they aren’t taking any payment from companies for any recommendations they may make.
It’s called BillSnap – and I decided to give it a try with our auto insurance. I have always thought we were getting a pretty good deal with our provider – Nationwide.
After entering my declaration document from Nationwide, I easily uploaded it to BillSnap, entered my email and within a couple hours got an email back saying that I could be saving $560 by switching to Geico.
While that sounded great – I’d need to do my diligence and actually talk with a representative at Geico to see if that were possible (which, I don’t doubt is feasible).
Just a little time, and nothing to lose
No doubt there are countless recommendation-type websites out there for you-name-it – including the financial industry.
What differentiates Cinch from the others is this refreshing “unbiased” approach they are taking. They are putting people first here – and just saying, “okay – what’s the best products/services out there?”
It’s similar to what Consumer Reports tries to do, weighing the pros/cons of all products and scoring them on their merits based on a pre-determined set of criteria.
I think it’s a novel approach – and hope the best for them.
This post was brought to you by the fine folks at Cinch Financial. All opinions expressed are our own.