Launching The Bumped App
In August 2018, our team launched the very first iteration of Bumped. As the first (truly free) stock rewards platform to market, we knew that starting with a pilot was critical to achieve our mission of creating an ownership economy. We’ve spent the last two years helping to reward users in fractional shares of stock, getting feedback from consumers on how they spend and would like to be rewarded, and speaking with hundreds of brands and banks about how they most want to leverage stock as a reward.
All of this collected intel has led to a comprehensive data study to understand the impact of stock rewards on loyalty and behavior. Our team has taken the utmost care in collecting that feedback and reimagining a Bumped app that can achieve those goals for both consumers and the companies rewarding them, and we are so excited for what’s next.
Today, we’re launching the next generation of the Bumped app. Not as a beta, not as a pilot, but a ready-to-scale platform that can turn your shopping and spending into ownership.
Meet Bumped, Again
Over the course of the pilot we heard it loud and clear from our users: people want stock rewards from more brands, without the constraints of categories. We’re excited to say that the Bumped app still gives customers fractional shares of stock for spending with the brands they love, and now users can select from about 1,000 different brands to spend with and get rewarded in stock. You can shop and spend where you want, with no need to select just one brand per category.
Anyone with a Bumped brokerage account can sign into the app and access stock rewards from brands in “The Stock Marketplace”– there are options for shopping immediately online, or linking a card and going in-store later. Customers will still get fractional shares of stock for spending with the brands they love.
It's critical to us that Bumped remains free for users, which means brands pay to participate in the program. Our hundreds of conversations with brands throughout the pilot revealed that this was the best route for brands to fund stock rewards, both in the immediate future and as we scale. We see this shift in how the app works as a win-win, and are enthusiastic to see how it benefits shoppers and their favorite brands alike.
Own What You Love, Spend Where You Want
While we removed categories for user shopping, pilot users will see a familiar selection process when it comes to choosing what stock they’ll be rewarded in. We’ve decoupled “where you shop” from “what you get” and are giving the choice to you—our user.
Every Bumped account will be rewarded in Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI). From there, you can choose up to four additional stocks that you’d like to be rewarded in. We’ve built out a list of more than 50 company stocks so that you can own what you love. Plus, we’ll be adding more options as we grow.
When users follow the steps in the Bumped app and make a purchase with one of the brands, they will receive rewards from Bumped across their selected stocks and ETF. While we may unlock additional selections down the line, we want to help users start investing without being overwhelmed or overextended with stock choices.
And while users can switch their selected rewards at any time, remember that Bumped is about ownership, not trading, so we hope you’ll enjoy a sense of pride as you continue to earn more stock rewards over time..
An Ownership Economy
That brings me back to our mission — to create an ownership economy. New “economies” don’t happen overnight, or even over a year or two. It takes deliberate partnership between consumers and organizations to create a system that works for all. It takes reimagining structures that have been in place for hundreds of years, and being willing to take a critical look at how we can improve those operations.
The world has gotten smaller over the past decade — financial institutions, corporations, and institutions are more relatable and accessible. Technological advances have made it easier for the average consumer to proactively engage with their finances, and have lowered the barrier to entry to the market.
Yet, the number of American households invested in the stock market still hasn’t grown by more than a few percentage points.
And here we are in 2020, a year when many people understand their connection to the economy very personally. We've all felt - sometimes painfully - how economic uncertainty may impact us as individuals and communities. We believe the world is a better place when people feel intrinsically connected, including to the economy, which ultimately is what weaves us all together.
Too many of us are impacted by these ebbs and flows, even if we’re not actively participating in the stock market– often due to barriers that can feel out of our control. Many of us learn from economic losses and watch the wins from the sidelines, but in the same way we work through the crashes together, now we can feel ownership over the economy we’re building.
Let's build the new economy together. It's time to take ownership.