In a Nutshell: Keeping track of subscription fees can be integral to managing one’s budget. ScribeUp simplifies subscription management so consumers can view all their subscriptions from one dashboard. The company provides users with an intuitive onboarding process and a virtual debit card. ScribeUp offers a rewards program that lets users access discounts while shopping online.
Consumers face a retail landscape packed with merchants offering subscription services. Between streaming platforms, gym and fitness program memberships, and fee-based apps, businesses inundate consumers with offers to enroll in subscriptions.
Managing multiple subscriptions can be time-consuming and confusing. Consumers may be required to create separate login credentials for each subscription they purchase, and subscription payments may be due on different days.
ScribeUp helps consumers manage their subscriptions and save money. We spoke with Jordan Mackler, ScribeUp’s Co-Founder and CEO, to learn more about the company’s innovative offerings.
Mackler co-founded ScribeUp with Yohei Oka. Mackler said he met Oka, a Harvard-trained computer scientist, while the two attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mackler said he and Oka bonded over their shared love of sports, and Mackler invited Oka to join a fantasy football league with him.
Oka then subscribed to numerous sports websites to help him follow team and player statistics. Mackler said he and Oka met for a drink later in the semester, during which Oka informed Mackler that he was ending his participation in the fantasy football league. As the semester progressed and his schoolwork increased, Oka had forgotten about the subscription services he’d enrolled in.
Mackler said Oka had racked up hundreds of dollars in fantasy football-related subscription fees, and the subscriptions were too cumbersome to manage. Mackler said it was a revelation to the two future co-founders that Oka was willing to stop pursuing a hobby he’d been enjoying simply to avoid the cost and management of subscription services. The two reasoned that other consumers may be in similar positions, Mackler said.
“Consumers today really don’t stand a chance with subscription services,” Mackler explained. “As the world becomes more and more digital, we bring more of these subscription-based services into our lives. It’s a tall task for consumers to manage every single subscription bill they have.”
A Virtual Debit Card Unlocks Opportunities
Mackler said Oka’s experience with subscriptions led the two to think about how they could provide automated solutions to help consumers manage subscriptions. ScribeUp identifies patterns in how consumers interact with subscription services that allow the company to make informed decisions on behalf of its users.
“Subscription intelligence and decisioning is our core competency,” Mackler said. “We’re at the forefront of subscription management for consumers, and we relieve our users from having to manage every subscription by themselves.”
ScribeUp uses intelligence it captures from tracking user subscription charges. Mackler said the information ScribeUp gathers helps the company understand a user better and make contextualized decisions for a user’s subscription services.
“It’s all done in an aggregated and automated way,” Mackler said. “It’s very different compared to today’s mold of managing services yourself and setting up reminders to pay for each subscription.”
ScribeUp customers receive a virtual debit card to use as their subscription payment method. Mackler said ScribeUp uses intelligence and decisioning logic powered by data the company accesses from user virtual cards.
ScribeUp sends alerts to users two days before subscription due dates, and the company provides users with a subscription tracking and management dashboard.
Mackler said ScribeUp analyzes how consumers interact with subscription services and offers solutions to simplify common subscription issues. ScribeUp offers users one-click cancellation of subscription services, and its price hike feature allows users to set the maximum price they are willing to pay for a particular service.
ScribeUp cancels subscriptions on a user’s behalf if the subscription’s cost exceeds the user’s maximum price. Mackler said this is an appealing feature for users who subscribe to a service and then forget about monitoring its cost.
“Our core competencies allow us to push frontiers and offer features consumers really like,” Mackler said. “And we offer them for free behind our virtual card. ScribeUp allows people to have peace of mind and interact with services on the merit of their value — not because of how difficult a subscription can be to cancel.”
Customers Enjoy an Intuitive Onboarding Process
Mackler said subscription services are one of the fastest-growing segments of the retail economy, and he said he expects to see more subscription services offered to consumers in the near future. ScribeUp is poised to help its users overcome the challenge of managing mounting subscriptions.
ScribeUp is a free service. The company earns revenue on interchange fees. A user’s ScribeUp virtual debit card serves as the payment form on file for the user’s subscription services, and users link their virtual card to their bank account. ScribeUp retains a fraction of user subscription payments.
ScribeUp provides users with an intuitive onboarding process. Mackler said the first step for new users is to review their bank and credit card statements to compile a comprehensive list of subscription services they make recurring payments to. Mackler said ScribeUp can assist users with this step by using algorithms to locate a user’s subscriptions and transferring subscription details to a user’s ScribeUp dashboard.
Users then replace the payment form on file with their subscription services with the ScribeUp virtual debit card. Mackler said it can be enlightening for users to see all their subscriptions on one dashboard.
“ScribeUp aggregates a user’s various subscriptions into a user’s dashboard, allowing users to have a better understanding of their subscription expenses,” Mackler said. “At this stage, users often notice a subscription or two they hadn’t realized they were still paying for. The first thing some users do after reviewing their dashboard is cancel one or two of their subscriptions and completely eliminate those expenses going forward.”
ScribeUp’s Reward Program Amplifies Savings
ScribeUp unlocks other ways for users to save money. The company highlights duplicate subscriptions and identifies areas of a user’s subscription bill that may be open to negotiation. Mackler said ScribeUp can manage bill negotiation on behalf of its users.
ScribeUp offers users a rewards program that discounts purchases made from select online merchants. ScribeUp’s Chrome extension notifies users of savings opportunities. Once a user takes advantage of a savings opportunity presented through ScribeUp, the company applies the user’s savings to offset future subscription charges.
“Users save around $12 each month with our rewards program,” Mackler said. “So, they’re essentially getting free Netflix every month just by using ScribeUp and activating our rewards when they’re shopping on the web.”
Streaming services frequently offer free trials. Consumers who haven’t canceled their trial may encounter fees when it ends. ScribeUp makes trials risk-free by sending users alerts before the end of their trial. If a user forgets to cancel their trial, Mackler said ScribeUp will ensure they don’t incur charges.
“Our default logic is that consumers don’t want to extend trials past their free period, so we act accordingly on their behalf,” Mackler said.
Mackler said ScribeUp’s goal as the company grows is to empower healthier relationships between merchants and consumers and to help users save as much money as possible on their subscription services.
“The financial friction that comes with subscription services is really causing consumers to hunker down and be skeptical of trying new things,” Mackler said. “By removing the fear consumers have about getting stuck with recurring subscription bills, we find they begin interacting with subscription services based on their merits.”