Categories
Building Cake

The Cake beta: December update

Learn more about how the Cake beta is developing, and what the next steps are towards our launch this January.

At the end of October, 250 beta users started testing the first beta-version of Cake! 🎉 🎊 We quickly published a blog post detailing our early impressions of this beta: “What we’ve learned from the Cake beta so far”.

We’ve recently hit another important milestone in the preparation of our public launch in January. Last week we started drafting even more users to the beta and currently, we are happy to say that a little over 1.000 users are testing our app on iOS and android. 🚀
Adding those extra beta users has substantially boosted the amount of data we can analyze and improve on! We have securely analyzed 136.993 individual transactions, representing a total transaction value of over €51 million euro! 💸
If you take into account that all banks have currently (conflicting with the PSD2 regulation) limited the data they send us to only 90 days of transaction history, this is even way more impressive. 👏👏👏 But we will keep working on extending that though! 👷
As a refresher, the 2 main goals of this early beta release were:

1. Testing the bank connections
We’ve experienced that the connectors provided by the banks which should enable us to link existing accounts to Cake differ tremendously between banks. Based on the results of the first limited beta-test, we unfortunately had to exclude some banks from the larger beta. 🏦

2. Improve the transactional data
The data we received from the banks is definitely not consistent across the individual connectors; some information turned out to be conflicting, other data was plainly wrong, while a few transactions did not contain any sensitive information… 😖

Testing the bank connections

Since our previous blog post “Which banks are ready for Cake?” there has been some progress. We have been able to establish a “working“ link with the following banks in Belgium 🎉:

  • KBC / CBC / KBC Brussels
  • Belfius
  • Bpost bank
  • Crelan
  • Nagelmackers
  • Bank J. Van Breda
  • CPH
  • Europabank
  • Rabobank
  • AXA Bank
  • KeyTrade

On average, our beta users have 2,3 bank accounts connected. We believe this number will increase over time 📈, as APIs of more banks become available and integrated with Cake.
Although the banks are legally obliged to have their API ready, we noticed that a number of them still don’t offer API’s that we think are of sufficient quality 😩. We find that the following banks are not ready today, but we will keep doing everything we can to add them as soon as possible. We’re currently making good progress with the teams of BNP Paribas Fortis and ING 🙌. We hope to give you some good news very soon.

  • ING
  • BNP Paribas Fortis
  • Fintro
  • HelloBank
  • Argenta
  • Beobank
  • ABN Amro

It’s quite encouraging to see that a number of our beta users have started reaching out to their banks via social media in our support. 🔥 It is very motivating for the team to see that future users have our back and really want us to succeed! 👏

Improving the quality of the data

The Cake data team is building a system powered by artificial intelligence that automagically re-labels transactions and adds additional information to it. 🤖 We do need to train this system quite a bit, both manually and by collecting feedback from our users about their transactions.
We want Cake users to clearly understand when and where they have been spending (or earning) their dough. 🍰 It is our goal that the Cake app does not tell you that you spent 21 euros at “YR030-HASSELT”, but that it was the “Yves Rocher” store. And by the way, here’s the logo, address, phone number, website and email address, just in case you need it.
Thanks to the increase of beta users on the platform, we’ve been able to make impressive progress on improving the data of individual banking transactions! So far, by having the app pro-actively ask our beta users to identify transactions, 15.128 transaction enrichment questions have been answered📱
Even cooler, we organized a manual data bash where our engineering team enriched over 800 transactions manually! This is helping our data scientists speed-up the training of our algorithms! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️💨

We made our roadmap public

As you might have noticed we have made our roadmap public earlier this week 📢. You can find it at feedback.cake.app!
We believe there are a number important advantages with opening up our roadmap:

  • Our current and future users, our commercial partners, investors and stakeholders all know what to expect, as our open roadmap enables them to envision our future. 🌟
  • Users can express expectations while things are still in development, and help steer us in the right direction. 🧭 You can even add new ideas to our roadmap or vote on feature ideas of others. This will allow us to build products people want, faster.
  • It’s now known by anyone what we are currently working on. If there are timeline or priority changes, they become fully transparent to everyone. There is no need for additional explanation. It creates a company-wide alignment on what our development goals are and enables us to easily communicate the (re)prioritization of multiple features. 📢
  • And last but not least… The published features on our roadmap add pressure to deliver. 🔥 We have assembled a strong team with personalities that operate best under pressure. 🧯

Everything we’re working on is now out in the open. We’re managing the entire planning on this user feedback platform.
Please check it out at feedback.cake.app and let us know if you have ideas on how we can improve Cake in the future. Share it with us. Submit it. Vote on existing ideas, and join the discussion.

Where are we now?

We introduced the first spending insight into the beta app. Users can now check their monthly spending specific merchants or brands. A simple graph 📊that shows you tot total you’ve spent at a specific merchant, the evolution of this spending in the last few months and your average spending.
The latest beta release includes a new journal widget📔 to display transfers between accounts. These transfers are also not calculated in the income/spending reports.
We have extended the transaction details information 🔎. This card shows exactly the information we receive from your bank. It’s mainly used for troubleshooting purposes (and clearly illustrates when we receive incorrect data from a bank). We actually have some beta testers working in the respective PSD2 teams at banks, who are using this to improve the quality of their interfaces.
We are now storing the bank account number when the connection with the bank failed. This shortcut enables customers to easily retry the connection without the need to scan or enter the bank account number again. 💾
We are rolling out improved detailed settings for each of the connected bank accounts. Our users will be able to set a name (alias) of a bank account, define the account category (private or business account) and set an account type (checking, savings or investment account) 🖋. In addition, they will be able to clearly see the status of the connection with the bank.

What’s next?

There’s still an incredible amount of work left to be done. 👷‍♀️👷‍♂️ We will gradually keep moving users from our waiting list onto the beta in preparation of our public launch in January. 📈 If you’re interested in testing Cake as well, but you’re not yet be on the waiting list: you can still register below.
Thank you for following us, and especially a tremendous thank you towards our beta-testers! 💪 Not only are you a big help to the development team, but you also help motivate our team to make Cake the best banking app in the world. 🥇
The next milestone is the public product launch, now planned for January.
We will continue to give regular updates on the development of Cake, so keep following us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. 💬 And we will certainly also post it there! 📌

Thank you all, and stay frosty! 🧁