Frequently Asked Questions
What is Envel?
Envel is a modern digital-only bank that uses artificial intelligence to empower its users instead of sucking them dry with predatory credit. We decided to build Envel because we wanted a bank like this we could use ourselves.
What does the name 'Envel' mean?
Envel™ is our retail banking brand name, short for envelope, depicts the way in which our elders used to split their income into envelopes for expenses such as bills, holidays, savings etc.
What are we trying to accomplish?
Consumers today are increasingly time poor and find it mentally tiring to be financially disciplined. In a world where financial instability is rife and with consumer debt growing substantially, our banks are providing little help. Almost everyone finds it mentally overwhelming to overcome financial difficulties. Research shows this not only leads to a sequence of poor financial decision-making but poorer decisions in broader life.
The way forward is to create an autonomous money management service to alleviate the pain of having to do it oneself. We need a service whereby users can delegate management of their finances to improve financial health, so we don't have to worry and can just have fun.
Poor management of cash flow and debt often results in a great deal of unhappiness and ill-health. We want to undo a system that punishes people for not being financially literate. Rich, poor, students, parents or children we could all do with this service to make us more efficient.
Envel uses behavioral economics and artificial intelligence to formulate the best savings and spending model for you, our system starts gently enforces the model to make sure that you don't spend money on stuff you don't need. It's not about how much you make, it's about how much you get to keep. We will help you keep the maximum from your earnings, with near zero effort on your part.
Our EMMS™ Envel Money Management System employs artificial intelligence to define users’ Spending DNA™
How do I participate?
How did it all start?
Born in 2016 at Harvard, we socialized a new approach to managing finance with professors and fellow students. We assessed all the current challenges such as time poverty, technology, costs, behavioral finance, social pressures and current banking norms and came up with a well thought through mechanism to enable a more compelling and relevant microeconomics model.
What makes Envel different from the rest?
The market has many different banking services to offer, how do you know which one is right for you? Whether an incumbent bank or a new digital bank/Neobank , service may look pretty but fail to tackle one problem head on without compromise, that of being financial wellbeing. Almost all of them in some shape or form will encourage you to incur further debts whether in the form of overdrafts, loans or credit cards.
Envel, however, looks at your finances differently. Our approach is to make sure you are in the best financial standing you can be and help you build capital. We don't offer overdrafts or credit cards, we just make sure the management of your finances are both effective and simple.
While others may have ingenious savings mechanisms, they almost always require effort on the users' part and generally don't maintain effectiveness for long. We look at you differently, by automating it for you. All you would every need to know is how much can you spend today guilt free. We take care of the rest to help smooth your income, intercept bad spending, plan for a rainy day and build your savings.
What platforms are we planning to launch on?
iPhone, Android, Apple Watch and web based for PCs. A consistent user experience is key and we realise everyone has different preferences, so we'll be working very closely with users to get the user experience right first time.
How many in the team?
We have a growing team comprising of 4 core members from Harvard & MIT, 4 advisors, all from global top 20 banks and 5 developers. See here for more.
Do you have a bank charter?
We are not a registered bank yet as we are still in the process of developing, we'll keep you posted as events evolve.
How do we tackle data privacy?
We all know how important the security of our data is in today's world, we take this seriously and don't offer a convoluted policy that users find hard to comprehend. Our policies are simple and we operate with full transparency.
We would never provide data to third parties without explicit permission from the user. Any data that is shared, for example, scoring data that enables you to attain preferential rates for mortgages, would be enabled by you, not us, therefore, you have complete control. In any case, no uniquely identifiable data is available to anyone, it's strictly anonymous.
What security controls do we have in place?
Our system's security is a primary concern. We have very particularly advantages over normal banks. Firstly as we use artificial intelligence to monitor your spending, we are able to quickly identify particular patterns and alert the user that intervention is needed. Blocking your card is not a first step as many banks do, and is inconvenient.
Secondly, what makes this an even lower risk for you is that since card is linked to the spending account with only a daily limit i.e. $22.34, should someone attempt to fraudulently withdraw funds, they are restricted to this daily limit so there is no way using your card details they would be able to withdraw more funds.
Lastly, we enable real-time notifications of transactions on your smartphone so you would instantly be able to see if there was an unauthorized transaction. Should this be the case, you could reject and this would raise an incident with our system and trigger an instant refund or an investigation, if appropriate .
How does Envel control spending?
Our AI based system monitors your spending in real-time, and guides decision making to make it more difficult for you to justify unnecessary spending and easier to save. In other words, the dopamine fix you were getting from retail therapy or comfort buys, would now be diverted to building your own capital.