Cushion, a San Francisco, CA-based app for consumers in the US to negotiate their bank and credit card fees, raised $2.8m in seed funding.
Backers included Afore Capital and new investors 9Yards Capital, Flourish, Green Cow Venture Capital, and Vestigo Ventures.
The company intends to use the funds to hire engineers and data scientists to grow its customer base, scale the platform, and roll out the next suite of financial health-driven products.
Led by Paul Kesserwani, CEO and founder, Cushion uses an artificial intelligence (AI) bot to connect with banks on behalf of users to analyze their transaction histories, identify fees and interest charges, and negotiate their reduction or removal.
Consumers can sign up at www.cushion.ai using their email address. From there, they are directed to Facebook Messenger and go through a 2-3 minute onboarding process, where they securely connect their accounts. Cushion never sees consumers’ account login credentials, which are encrypted using a PCI-compliant service.
The app then analyzes consumers’ balance, payment history, and transactions looking for all types of fees, including ATM fees, overdraft fees, monthly service charges, late fees, and credit card interest charges, among others. The AI then runs a series of calculations to determine which fees should be negotiated and then engages the customer’s bank via secure email or online chat—just like a human would. Most customers get their first refunds within 24 hours of signing up.
Since its launch in 2018, the app has enabled consumers to secure more than $1 million in bank fee refunds.