Does your Upbringing Influence your Startup Ideas?

I grew up in Alexandria, Egypt and more specifically in a little seaport town called Abu Qir. My dad had a tailor shop and then he converted that to a retail fashion store.

The biggest lesson I walked away with is how delightful it was to see how my dad wowed his customers and how this got them singing his praises around town and sending him more and more customer referrals.

When I think about all the startup ideas I worked on, I can clearly see that the key driver for me was what delightful experience and value would this startup provide the target customer?

I see many other entrepreneurs particularly focused on cost savings or process efficiency. While both of these may be quite rewarding for customers, I find myself more interested in ideas that will create a multiplier value effect for customers by connecting several sources of value.

After getting laid off from Cisco in August 2015, and working on launching a business based on the Cisco and other career experiences, I kept looking for entrepreneurial ideas that could allow me to create a service or a product that could serve large numbers of users. Of course, reality is I wanted to find an easier multiplier effect model vs. selling my personal time as a consultant or coach.

While attending a Techwadi session at Visa in San Francisco CA on May 31st 2016 on Global Innovation in FinTech, I had no idea that I would see a startup opportunity based on the innovations that are taking place in financial services.


The day the bestcash app idea was born!

At that moment, the whole idea of Fintech startups wasn’t on my radar at all, but what’s been on mind was my cash flow challenges not just on a personal level but also at the level of my consulting business and whether I was able to capture rewards and savings on dollars spent. Since then I have conducted several surveys online and in person with target users and found people waiting for a solution that will help them maximize rewards on their personal spend easily. Several people I talked with walk around with a cheat-sheet in their wallet to help them figure out which card has the highest rewards and which one they should use when. I figured out our wallets needed real digitization and we all are still very challenged to get the best out of the personal finance tools we have in our hands.

The idea of creating a digital wallet product that allows people to capture and maximize rewards given the spread of reward-based debit and credit cards excited me. I looked for a better way and a more proactive approach for financial services to helping customers like me.

I always expected more of a wow factor from my financial services providers but almost always they fell short of delighting me with their banking service or with their mortgage loans customer experiences.

My desire for more value and more proactive service shaped how I looked at my Fintech startup idea and the value proposition for bestcash was born.

I set up a company called Digital Wallet, Inc. and I was surprised that the name was available. And based on my research and my hearing Jay Abraham talk many times about ‘highest and best use’ as a business optimization principle from the quality management science. As a result, Digital Wallet’s first product: bestcash would focus on helping personal finance customers get the biggest bang for every buck! and capture 40–50 cents back on every dollar they spend by:

  1. Maximizing rewards
  2. Capturing savings on their retail shopping of products and services
  3. Using lower interest credit cards
  4. Using a ‘proactive finance’ approach to get better credit cards, personal and business loans that save them a lot of money and a lot more features that create higher capture of rewards, savings every step of the way.

Vanilla Transaction Processing or Spend Look-Back Apps

Several other personal finance apps are clearly driven by the principle of efficiency: saving you time and showing you what you’re spending your money on and gives you alerts on your spending patterns. No surprise, these aspects were not interesting or exciting for me. I looked for ideas that are more related to creating multiples of value vs. showing me my spending patterns or spikes.

With the above in mind, here are a few apps that deliver barely any value-add beyond efficient transaction processing:

  • Apply Pay
  • Paypal
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Pay
  • Samsung Pay
  • Mint
  • Moven
  • Clarity Money

bestcash will enable you to capture maximum rewards while you shop by giving you vital pieces of information that will help you make a more informed decision on

  • Rewards you prefer and would like to maximize
  • Lowest interest rate money that you want to use so the total cost of your purchase is as low as possible.
  • More relevant products and services that are priced in a way that rewards you for being a loyal customer
  • Exclusive products, services and financial services offers that will be available only to bestcash users.

Now you can start to see the potential of creating so much value vs. the plain vanilla transaction processors mentioned above.

‘bestcash it’ all the way to Maui, Bali or your favorite destination:

Once you use bestcash, an intelligent digital wallet that is working 24/7 to create value for you and that turns your credit and debit cards into money making machines, you will not want to spend another dollar any other way. Why would you? when you can either make money in the form of rewards and achieve cost savings with discounts or lower interest rate money. You’ll be unstoppable and, as a result, being able to take more vacations, give loved ones more gifts and get much more mileage out of your own money.

Now bestcash is becoming more and more a reality because of the validation of the value proposition by people who represent the typical customer profile: people who have 3 or more debit and credit cards and who want an easy way to capture rewards and savings on their dollars. We also received positive validation from executives at Visa, Intuit, 500 Startups, financial services industry executives and several others. The app is being developed by a global software development team and is slated for launch this fall.

Follow me here for more updates on bestcash and how you can be one of the first to know about its release. You can also follow us on twitter @bestcashpecking

This is Our Movement

Movements start when thousands of people converge on a quest for a better way, better experience and more importantly when they decide to take responsibility and take the initiate to change the status quo.

I founded Digital Wallet, an expression of a movement that raises the ceiling of expectations of the financial services and in the process the retail industry as well.

This is a movement that is asking for a proactive approach to delivering value to customers every step of the way. This approach will, as a result, delight customers with highly relevant products and services.” — Ash Seddeek

Based on extensive research into the spectrum of financial and retail products and services, we could capture up to 60% of total consumer annual spend. This is possible because of the large number of reward programs, retail sales incentives that we could capture with the bestcash digital wallet platform in addition to innovative ways to create service offers by connecting the dots in the financial services space for consumers as well as business owners.

Initially we’re focusing on personal finance and then we will target SMB finance with the vision of delivering a red-carpet Ritz Carlton experience. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our customers and act in their best interest to help them get the best return for every dollar they spend and also get the highest value feature set on loans.

Join us at so we can let you know as soon as bestcash is in the appstore. You’ll be able to use bestcash on the web, and as an app on Android phones and iphones. It will allow you to capture rewards at the point of sale, in person, over the web, in the bestcash app or any other retail app that has the Pay with bestcash button.

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Follow us on twitter @bestcashpecking send us your input via email to ash at bestcash dot us

#Fintech, #banking #personalfinance #rewards #fintechinnovation @ashseddeek @Money2020 Jean-Michel Pailhon FinTech Feed