A year ago, I’d never heard of Quber. but one day in late fall, I was browsing my news feed and found an article about an Alberta nonprofit partnering with a fintech startup to help vulnerable Albertans save money. The more I researched, the more I was intrigued by this Quber app… and the rest is history.
Quber is a Canadian financial app that, partnered with Alterna Savings, operates a “vault” where your funds are stored. I’ve read it described as a digital change jar, or maybe more like a safe. However you describe it, there’s no shortage of ways you can save.
I Challenge You…
There are several saving challenges that earn extra cash for successfully completing the challenge. It could be $500 in six months, $1000 in a year… but once the challenge is met, you’d earn an additional 2% value (more than the interest on any savings account this blogger’s ever had). You can choose to save a set amount weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, but there’s unfortunately no way to expedite the saving process; the challenge is accepted on the specific terms, and that’s it. one caveat: Some employers or memberships have their own specific challenges, so if you use the app and qualify for those challenges, your “interest” upon completion could be higher.
The Digital Change Jar
The vault not only holds the challenges. It can also hold a variety of saving jars. Each milestone or goal can have its own jar – an emergency fund, the next vacation, etc. Each jar can have its own saving rules, using your funding source – a Canadian financial institution – as its base: rounding up each purchase to the nearest dollar; a set dollar amount each week, second week, or month; a percentage of a purchase or a deposit; a budget challenge, where the amount you don’t spend at McDonald’s or Amazon or whatever gets put in your jar. You can save as frequently or as irregularly as you like, and the ways to customize these jars is nearly endless. But once the jar is full, it’s full, and the ability to increase the saving target is no longer available.
Save to Win
It speaks for itself – the more you save, the more chances to win. Every $20 your vault increases during the saving period, you win an extra ballot for the Save to Win draws, which have both been short term (weekly or monthly) or long-term (quarterly or twice a year) in 2021. Referring friends also gives both the referrer and the referree a ballot into the draws. In July, Quber partnered with Sunlife for additional save to win draws during the latter half of 2021.
Quber posts a weekly blog series – Money Talks – that addresses issues around financial literacy. It’s not always glamorous (Emergency Funds 101, Money mistakes to avoid). They might seem like common sense, but sometimes seeing things in writing can help them stick. And if you already have an emergency fund, and/or are good with personal finance strategies, there are posts that address the basics of investing, cryptocurrency, RESPs, and more. And you don’t need to be a Quber subscriber to take advantage of these bits of wisdom!
The Android app is generally accessible. I’m able to get done everything I need to using my screen reader. There are a handful of unlabeled buttons throughout the app, but most of them are either constant (such as the main menu button on the top left) or provide stop-gaps so that you don’t do anything permanent if you click on a wrong one. I’d like to see Quber address these issues, but I have not reached out to them to advise them of this as of this writing. I must say they have been extremely responsive with any other attempts to contact them, so I can’t see them not wanting to acknowledge and fix this once they become aware of it.
The Bottom line
There are a lot of things to recommend Quber. It’s simple, easy to use, and you can customize it pretty much however you’d like to. It doesn’t have the benefits of a registered account, such as an RRSP or a TFSA, but that also makes it liquid, and easy to access if you have the emergency and need to dip into your fund. Throw in their approachability, their cashback rewards program (which they are revising as of September 28, 2021), and their contests several times a year, and it’s an app I’ll keep around.
I have not been asked by Quberor any of its parent companies or subsidiaries (if applicable), its sponsors, or its partners, to write this review, nor have I received any incentives, benefits, or compensation from Quber for doing so.