One of the greatest things about modern credit cards is that they allow users to set up subscriptions that charge automatically every month, leaving little to no hassle for the credit card users. The problem is that these subscriptions are easy to forget and overlook, which leaves people getting charges for services they aren’t using anymore.
Trim is a service that works to solve the problem of unwanted subscriptions. The service is similar to a personal financial assistant that finds ways for people to save money on their credit cards.
How Trim Works
To get started, those interested in using Trims service must sign up. The service is completely free and keeps all financial and personal information, as well as any other data, private. Once an account is created, users need to register all their credit cards, or at least the ones they want analyzed.
At this point, Trims algorithms will go through all the accounts and find any and all recurring payments being made on the cards. This is done in two different steps. First, the algorithms go through and look at well-known merchants who charge monthly fees, like Hulu and Netflix. Secondly, the algorithms go through and look at patterned recurring payments, ones that might not be well-known, but are still charging monthly.
The system then sends the list of these payments and subscriptions to the user, who can simply reply ‘Cancel ____’ for the subscriptions Trim should cancel. Trim also looks for ways to save money or find discounts on any recurring charges on credit cards. These recurring charges include insurance and student loan payments.
The best part about Trim is that it also handles more difficult subscriptions that need to be cancelled, ones that take more than a quick response. For example, they’ll contact billers by email or phone call if that’s the only way to make the cancellation. In the case of gym memberships, the company will even send in a certified letter.
For those who don’t save any money in Trims first attempt at scanning their accounts, there is still a chance the service will help in the future. Trim scans transactions regularly, making sure that no new subscriptions have been added to the account. When one is added, it alerts the users immediately.
The History of Trim
Trim was started by friend Thomas Smyth and Daniel Petkevich. Both had previous experience in the tech and finance industry before starting Trim. Both are graduates of Yale.
Smyth and Petkevich got the idea for Trim when they both realized they were paying for subscriptions they weren’t using anymore. Despite considering themselves to be financially smart people, they were both paying hundreds of dollars a year for services not needed.
While there was hundreds of different types of advice for becoming better at finances, none of them were easy. Smyth and Petkevich wanted to create a service that made saving money easy and didn’t put users through a set of obstacles. The result of their work is Trim, which they hope will continue to grow and help users save money.
How Much Does Trim Cost?
As already mentioned, Trim is a free service. In the future, the company hopes to expand its services to offer a premium level option. This service will include financial advice from a professional, done over the phone instead of through texts. However, despite their desire to expand, they claim that the free service will always be available.
They strongly encourage their users to share their experiences with Trim and to let their friends know on their social media networks.
Is Trim Safe?
It’s understandable that one of the first questions people ask when considering using Trim is if their information and financial data will be kept safe. Because Trim uses a level of security that is favored by most banks, users don’t have anything to worry about.
The creators of Trim started the company by using their own data first, and then the data of their friends and family. This meant that they had extremely personal reasons for ensuring that the data that was shared with them was safe and protected.
It should be noted that Trim never accesses the bank accounts directly. In fact, the information provided by users about their banking information is never even stored on Trim servers. The company uses a system called Plaid, which sends the user credentials to the bank, and then sends the information to Trim as an encrypted token.
For those who aren’t as tech savvy, this means that the information that Trim uses is in read-only form. At no time during the process is Trim able to access or make changes to any of the accounts it helps monitor.
Not only does Trim take every precaution with the banking information it receives, it also makes sure that the data that is put into its system is safe. The company uses a 256-bit SSL encryption on the website and for all its databases. It also requires users to use two-factor authentication when registering.
Finally, unlike many other companies that try to make extra money from selling user data, Trim doesn’t sell anything. If Trim intends to use user data for anything, it asks permission.
Trim can be contact through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who have questions about security, they can reach Trim at email@example.com.
Further Reading on Trim
Due to the need for the service it provides and its extreme popularity, Trim has been featured in many publications. For further reading on the benefits of using Trim, check out the following articles.
By Sarah Perez
By Nick Statt
By Mark Sullivan
By Megan Logan