BillShrink.com was originally a website dedicated to helping consumers get cheaper mobile phone packages. Later, the company turned to provide users with so-called best prices for credit cards, savings accounts, gas stations, TV services, and CDs. By using information provided by consumers and data from multiple websites, BillShrink provides users with a series of options and recommendations to help them reduce their bills.
The company will then launch a service called StatementRewards. After many years of changing hands and naming, BillShrink.com announced that it will close in July 2013. Today, when trying to access the site, the message “The server IP address of www.billshrink.com could not be found.”
What happened to BillShrink.com? We look for answers based on the history of the company.
The history of BillShrink.com
Schwark Satyavolu and Samir Kothari established BillShrink.com in April 2008 (source).
The site announced that by 2009, the site had added 1 million members and achieved a daily billing savings of $1 billion (source).
Although BillShrink was originally a service provided to help customers obtain cheaper mobile phone contracts, the company will later compare the prices of many daily necessities and services that consumers use daily, such as natural gas (source).
Scalability seems to be the secret of BillShrink’s rapid growth. According to Jason Kincaid, who wrote for the technology news site Techcrunch.com, “Because this technology works in the background, BillShrink can expand into new vertical markets relatively quickly” (source). Kincaid went on to explain that the site collected unstructured data from different parts of the network and turned it into structured data.
In describing its service, BillShrink stated that it is “a free, decision-oriented website that helps users discover and choose the best way to save money on their daily bills” (source).
The company boasted that it did this by tracking more than 10 million mobile phone plans, 150,000 gas stations, 240 credit cards and 300 bank exchange rates. All of this is to make recommendations (sources) that can help consumers lower their bills.
Enter the credit card space
In September 2008, BillShrink.com expanded its range of services to provide credit card transactions. To this end, the company provides users with 200 major credit cards to choose from (source).
Two years later, BillShrink noticed that the economy was making it more challenging for small businesses to obtain credit lines, so he introduced a credit card designed for business owners. This specific service is based on the recognition that the credit needs and cash flow of enterprises are different from those of individuals. For this reason, the company needs a credit card with terms (source) that can reduce costs and increase revenue.
When President Barack Obama introduced credit card reform legislation in 2009, Bill Shrink played an active role in determining compliance. It does this by tracking credit card terms.
CNN quoted Kothari in a 2009 report. Kothari reported that through analysis, Bill Shrink found that from the Credit Card Bill of Rights Since the first vote in Congress in December 2008, credit cards have begun to “adopt some consumer-friendly practices.” However, Kothari pointed out that most credit card providers are reluctant to accept changes that might make them lose money. (source).
Introduction to StatementRewards
In 2010, BillShrink launched StatementRewards. The tool can automatically analyze the transactions of credit card users during a given period and determine where they can save. The user answered several questions and provided detailed information about their usage behavior and expenditures. Then, using this information, the tool will provide money-saving advice and the best market option (source) for users with problems.
In May 2011, BillShrink upgraded the StatementRewards platform to have the following options (source).
In September 2011, BillShrink announced a new company name: Truaxis. According to the news, the company stated: “The new Truaxis name reflects the company’s expanded service offerings, including its ability to intelligently and securely use transaction data sets to enhance the relationship between financial institutions, businesses, merchants and their customers.” (Source ).
One year later, Mastercard acquired Truaxis.com. Financial terms were not disclosed (source).
What will happen to BillShrink.com?
On July 31, 2013, BillShrink announced that it will be closed at the end of the same month. The company said in the announcement: “Dear BillShrink customers. Five years after providing millions of consumers with money-saving daily expenses advice, BillShrink.com will be closed on July 31, 2013. From now to July On the 31st, you will be able to access your BillShrink account and use currently available accounts. Tools and suggestions. After July 31st, access to BillShrink.com will be prohibited and we will delete your personal information.”
The same announcement requires customers to click on the provided link. However, trying to follow the link today will lead to a dead end. There is not much information available to internally decide to close the site. The website continued to display its closure notice until April 2014, and then the message also disappeared.