Powered by Plaid: Copilot
Building an app users love
Leverage real-time data
To build an accurate picture of a user’s financial health and net worth, Copilot needed access to comprehensive, consumer-permissioned data.
With Plaid, Copilot gets the institution coverage and consumer-permissioned data they need to help users reach their financial goals–and grow their business.
Building better tools
Consumers have faced serious financial headwinds these past three years. As a result, more are relying on fintech apps and services to track their spending, grow their savings, and make smarter financial decisions.
“We need good tools to navigate our finances,” explains Andrés Ugarte, Founder and CEO at Copilot. “As a developer, I’d see really high-quality apps for my email and calendar, but nothing that would do the same for my finances. So I left my job and started Copilot.”
In order to build the solution he had in mind, Ugarte knew he needed access to comprehensive, consumer-permissioned data and the best developer tools on the market. That’s when he turned to Plaid.
of users say staying on top of a budget is their primary financial concern
of people say fintech apps are helping them weather economic challenges
of non-fintech users want to be able to access their financial information anytime, anywhere
Doing money better
Deciding which personal finance tool to go with may feel like a small decision. But the right app—with the ability to optimize your monthly spending and savings choices, as well as track your financial goals for a real-time, holistic view of your financial life—can make a profound difference.
So, what separates the good from the bad? For Ugarte, it all comes down to data.
Once an account is linked via Plaid, Copilot gets immediate access to consumer-permissioned data that is cleansed, categorized, and enriched (given the sheer number of institutions, raw transaction data is otherwise unstandardized, lacking context and meaning). By doing so, Plaid makes the data actionable—returning structured data fields and insights that customers like Copilot can then easily use.
One way Copilot utilizes this data is a “Month in Review”, a timely financial snapshot that shows Copilot users exactly where their money went, what trends they should be aware of, and where they can make improvements.
User response has made it clear that these insights are making a difference. “This is my first full month on @copilotmoney. So far in January, I’ve spent $1,400 less than December, $700 less than my ‘budget’, and $500 less than my 2020 average. I think it’s safe to say I’ll be continuing after my trial,” tweeted @michlschwrtz.
“We set out to build a world-class user experience and that requires accessing high-quality data that allows you to meaningfully improve people’s financial lives. That’s the only way to cut through all the noise and provide users with insights they can actually use.”
Andrés Ugarte, Founder & CEO at Copilot
Gaining financial insights
Copilot is known for having its finger on the pulse of customer sentiment. User feedback is what drives the continual innovation within the app experience, such as a recently rolled-out feature that allows users to closely monitor investment performance.
“Many investing platforms have their own incentives for investing money,” explains Ugarte. “As a result, it’s hard for people to see an accurate view of their investments, overall. On Copilot, we make performance really easy to see.”
Plaid makes that possible by retrieving investment data from a broad coverage network that includes banks, brokerages, credit unions, and retirement plan providers. Once Copilot has access to that high-quality data, it’s able to gain insights into a user’s investment accounts, including account balances, holdings, and transactions.
This can enable a wide range of use cases—from assessing a user’s net worth to reporting on performance and optimizing risk.
“We listened to users' feedback and built an investments section as fast as we could,” continues Ugarte. “The moment we launched this feature, our user base began growing significantly faster.”
How it works
It takes dedication to build an app that customers truly love and enjoy using. It also takes a trusted partner who can help you address issues as they happen—meaning less time spent handling support tickets and more time innovating.
Having a partner who is always one step ahead is a game-changer, especially in the banking sector, where integrations often experience frequent interruptions.
“If there’s an issue with data quality or an integration, Plaid’s team is always willing to problem-solve,” continues Ugarte. “They’re responsive and genuinely care about the issues we put in front of them. To put it simply, Plaid takes good care of our users.”
That white glove support has enabled Copilot to establish credibility and trust with their thousands of users, making them one of the highest-rated budgeting and investing apps in the App Store with more than five thousand five-star ratings.
“Plaid is on the same level as us—that’s to say, they take good care of their customers. From a design, engineering, and support point of view, the quality of their team is top-notch.”
Andrés Ugarte, Founder & CEO, Copilot
Building the future
In 2022, Copilot’s top request from users was to build a native Mac app, creating a seamless user experience across both mobile and desktop. “It wasn’t really a feature request,” says Ugarte. “It was a request for a whole new platform.”
Copilot was able to build and launch their platform in months, just in time for 2023 New Year’s resolutions.
Another user request—that Copilot expand internationally—will be a major area of focus for the company’s team in 2023. Ugarte believes this expansion can happen much faster than the time it took them to build out a new platform.
“Launching in a new market can be as easy as turning on a switch,” explains Ugarte. “That’s because Plaid is already in many of the countries we want to expand to.”
For both Plaid and Copilot, that expansion stems from a common mission.
“Knowing Plaid existed gave me the confidence to build Copilot in the first place,” concludes Ugarte. “Our mission is the same today as it was then: to help people do money better.”