Technologies
Firebase, iOS - Swift, Node.js, React Native, Google Analytics, Crashlytics, Sentry
Challenge
The vision ofFree Bird is to bring in light into the lives of individuals trapped in thedebt hell due to unorderly management of personal debts and institutionalloans. It aims to provide the necessary tools to educate and empower theaforementioned individuals to assess and plan their debt payoffs and becomefinancially “free bird”. There are some products in this arena but they lackthe required amount of simplicity, flexibility, customizability, and insight todrive a common man towards becoming debt-free. This is the challenge Free Birdsets out to address.The ChiefMinister of the government of Andhra Pradesh wanted to track the performance ofall the higher education colleges based on a uniform, quantifiable set ofmetrics year after year. The performance of colleges as per the carefullychosen key metrics gives a clear picture of the current state of collegesacross the state and helps to draw specialized attention towards theinstitutions in their respective laggard areas.
Strategy
A thorough analysis of the existing marketplayers was made early on to understand their strengths and drawbacks andchalked out the way to address the existing shortcomings, one by one. Thetechnology stack was carefully chosen to be adaptable to the rapid evolution ofthe product without compromising the essentials like data structural integrity,content security, scalability combined and at the same time be as effective aspossible with respect to maintenance costs. Tracking of application usagepatterns was essential to drive the product evolution hence the integration ofanalytics was made to start with.After thorough brainstorming sessions with therespective stakeholders multiple times, we froze the final requirements todeliver. Each of the colleges has individual metrics logged by their respectivepoints of contact, namely nodal officers, against a particular academic year.Instead of taking-in the metrics itself from the colleges, we chose to take inall the necessary information, called “detail”, from the nodal officers andformulate an infinitely customizable key performance indexes, KPIs, based onone or more of the details. This decoupling opened up limitless possibilitiesinto the way we can formulate KPIs across years.
Salient Features
The initial version was rolled out withsupport for adding friendly loans with a customizable interest rate, interesttype, notes, and photographic attachments. A loan had the support toadd/edit/remove a series of repayments flexible in time. A detailed summary ofthe outstanding loan amount and interest incurred until today was readilyavailable in the loan details section, along with an accurate break up of theprincipal and interest components of the individual payments.
 Loans were grouped by friends and detailedspending on a friend was made readily available at the fingertips making it oneof the very few products available in the market that effectively establishedthis clean solution to the date. Various ways were offered to the user tofilter his/her loans, based on with/without interest, settled/non-settled, etc toname a few.
A clear pie chart of borrowings and lendingsshows up at the very launch of the app to inform the user of his/her netfinancial position, along with the broken down view of the current month’spayables and receivables.
A detailed view of the upcoming paymentschedules under the transactions section gives a sense of the nearest financialcommitments to honor, equipping the user to plan his budget and spendings earlyon thereby.
Snapshotting the present financial situationfrequently and backing it up provides the much-needed throwback pictures toreassess and learn from the mistakes of the past while planning and executingthe payoff strategies. Through Free Bird, exporting the current state of aparticular loan or all the settled loans of a particular friend or all thepending loans of all friends, etc into an effectively usable yet beautiful pdfand excel formats is as easy as a couple of clicks.
Free Bird lately made it possible to take thehassle off the user of scheduling the outstanding loan repayment into easyinstallments payable every week or every year or anything between, with theoption of a customizable installment amount or a customizable number ofinstallments starting at a flexible future date.
“Sharing is caring” - this becomes especiallyimportant when it comes to financial matters. Maintaining transparent financialrecords with friends and family helps to avoid uncomfortable future situationsand hence Free Bird is investing heavily in building a robust loan sharing mechanismwith all the stakeholders involved, be it the receiver or a mediator, thussignificantly reducing the to-and-fro queries. The successful loan sharingfeature makes Free Bird the “Splitwise of the loan management”.
We are humans. We sometimes forget the mostimportant things. One missed payment with a particular friend or an institutioncan bring unwanted inconveniences, so Free Bird makes it very tough to forgetany scheduled payment, by the way of reminding through notifications,optionally customizable to his/her taste.