Personal finance site launches IOT handbag | finder.com

Press Release

For immediate release

  • Michelle Hutchison
  • Global Head of Communications & Money Expert
  • +61 403 192 994
  • Skype: michelle.hutchison.finder
  • Michelle@finder.com

finder.com launches IOT handbag: iBag 2

  • iBag2 features custom-built robotics to physically deter shoppers from impulse buying
  • The first handbag of its kind in the U.S., integrating technology with high fashion
  • Created in response to America’s staggering $960.8 billion credit card debt

August 23, 2016, New York – Personal finance website finder.com today launched America’s first programmable handbag with in-built robotics designed to help shoppers avoid impulsive spending.

The iBag2 (www.finder.com/ibag) features physical cues to remind shoppers of their spending goals whenever they reach for their wallet and it self-locks, flashes and vibrates when they enter their “danger spending zones.” It is powered by an Arduino Uno microprocessor, vibration motors, a timer, GPS, bluetooth, RFID technology and LED lights, which work together to provide six distinct components:

  • – A timer connected to electromagnets that lock the bag via a magnetic field and two steel plates according to your most vulnerable spending moments during the course of a day;
  • – An RFID system connected to LED lights and vibration motors, which light up blue and vibrate each time your wallet is taken out as a discreet reminder of spending goals. The bag comes with an RFID card for placing inside your wallet and an in-built RFID reader;
  • – GPS tracking that warns you via amber LED lights and vibration when you are nearing one of your pre-programmed vulnerable spending zones. The LEDs are located on the inside of the bag to give the user a visual warning before the bag locks. The mini vibration motors are installed in the handle of the bag;
  • – The locking function turns on if you proceed to enter your danger zone. The GPS coordinates activate the electromagnets to cause a magnetic field between the two steel plates installed inside the bag’s opening. The electromagnets lock the bag until you enter a safe zone, switching the magnetic field off;
  • – A reminder every two hours via yellow lights and vibration that it’s time to reapply sunscreen; and
  • – A Tile tracker that helps you ‘find my iBag’ using bluetooth technology and a smart phone app if you misplace the bag or it’s stolen.

The bag also comes with a fast charging power bank, battery capacity of 10,000 mAh, with two USB ports (one to power the bag and one to charge your smartphone or any USB-chargeable device. It also includes a backup 9V battery attached to the microprocessor.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 7.23.22 AM Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 7.23.17 AM

Images left to right: Drawing of tech plate at the base of the iBag2; the couture design by New York-based fashion designer Geova Rodriguez; Arduino Uno microprocessor attached to GPS, which are both hidden inside the bag’s base.

The robotics for the iBag2 were custom-designed by a female-led team of engineers from robotics firm Colmac Robotics Ltd, an award-winning Irish Ed-tech business based in Dublin. The bag’s couture design is by renowned New York-based fashion designer Geova Rodriguez.

finder.com created the iBag2 in response to alarming signs that credit card spending is out of control. The total U.S. credit card debt adds up to a staggering $960.8 billion (as of June 2016. Source: U.S. Federal Reserve). There are approximately 247.8 million cardholders in the U.S., with 435,6 million cards in circulation. That’s 1.76 cards per cardholder on average (source: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax). Based on current growth rates, finder.com expects the total number of credit card accounts to be back at pre-financial crisis levels (496.1 million cards in 2008) by the second quarter of 2018.

A finder.com-commissioned survey of 6,838 American adults conducted in May 2016 by global research provider pureprofile found the majority of American credit cardholders – 64% or a total of 158.6 million people – make unplanned purchases with their credit cards each month. On average, they make over seven (7.35) per month. Forty-one percent of Americans say they are most likely to make credit card purchases during a sale, a vulnerable spending time that the iBag2 is designed to help keep under control.

One in five American cardholders (20%) admit their credit card spending has led to an argument with their partner or a family member and 21% make secret credit card purchases that their partner doesn’t know about.

Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at finder.com, said the survey results highlighted the need for some consumers to take extreme measures to curb their credit card spending.

“At finder.com, we are committed to using technology to make it easier for consumers to manage their personal finances, whether it’s by enabling them to compare different financial products online or innovating to create out-of-the-box solutions like the iBag2.

“As a fintech firm ourselves, we understand the incredible problem-solving power that technology can provide, which is why we are so excited to have partnered with experts in robotics design to be able to offer an innovative solution to the very real problem of mounting credit card debt.

“With the total number of credit card accounts in the U.S. creeping back towards pre-financial crisis levels, it’s vital Americans understand the financial impact of overspending and not paying off credit cards on time. For example, minimum repayments of 2 percent on a $2,000 credit card debt with average 17.8 percent interest will take over 18 years to pay off and an extra $3,552 in interest.”

“The iBag2 is one possible solution to impulsive spending as it features in-built technology to make shoppers aware of their spending urges in the moment and can even physically deter them from accessing their wallets when they are at their most vulnerable by self-locking.”

The iBag2 will retail for $5,000 and is an upgrade of the original iBag launched in Australia in 2014 (www.finder.com/ibag1), with a higher powered microprocessor and added features including couture design, vibration motors, electromagnets, sunscreen reminder and bluetooth tracker, find my iBag functionality and multiple warning lights.

Register your interest to order the iBag2 or for further information including videos, images, FAQ: www.finder.com/ibag

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Who is finder.com?

finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps Americans compare financial products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit finder.com to compare credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, life and travel insurance, shopping coupon codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

finder.com launched in the U.S. in September 2015 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia’s most visited personal finance website.

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For further information

  • Michelle Hutchison
  • Global Head of Communications & Money Expert
  • +61 403 192 994
  • Skype: michelle.hutchison.finder
  • Michelle@finder.com

Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.

About finder.com:

finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps consumers compare financial products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit finder.com to compare credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, life and travel insurance, shopping coupon codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

finder.com launched in the U.S. in September 2015 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia's most visited personal finance website (Source: Experian Hitwise).

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