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Lemon's Premium Digital Wallet Carries Monthly Fee

By Jim Bruene on February 8, 2013 3:53 AM | Comments

image I've spent a fair amount of time playing with digital wallets during the past few weeks. The one with the most traction, at least measured by download activity, is the Lemon Wallet which has been a top-20 free finance app for some time.

While it's free, does cool tricks with the mobile camera, and is seemingly liked by users, it's not a transactive service just yet. Basically, using the mobile camera as a scanner, it digitizes all the bank cards, loyalty cards, IDs and various detritus we haul around on our person or stuff into the back of a desk drawer.

Right now, there aren't many places willing to accept a copy of your card stored on your smartphone. But if you need your healthcare plan number, driver's license number, or any of your card numbers, they are all stored in a handy location (you could do the same thing with the iPhone's notepad too).

Obviously, Lemon has bigger plans than simply being a card-number archive. You don't score $8 million in venture capital unless you have a path towards a $75+ mil valuation.

The startup's first step towards revenue generation is its $4.99 per month (or $39.99 annually) premium option. For that, users get a bundle of benefits including:

  • Card transaction scanning powered by BillGuard,
    which downloads transactions to monitor up to 10 cards
    (1 account can be tracked in the free version)
  • Lost wallet service (aka credit card registration) so that if you lose your physical wallet, Lemon will handle getting all your cards replaced
  • Extra password for more security
  • Transaction sharing
  • Export data to CSV (Excel), Evernote, Dropbox or Concur

My take: For power users, the BillGuard integration makes Lemon premium worth the $3.33.mo on an annual plan. One mistaken charge discovered every year covers the cost. But account aggregation is not something consumers are used to paying for, so by simply providing fee-based PFM services, it will take time to get meaningful revenues.

But with a solid base of cards aggregated onto the platform, Lemon can leverage the info in many ways. And as mobile proximity payments become technically feasible, the company is in a good position to be one of the major wallet players (or be acquired by one).

Email upsell for the Lemon premium option (5 Feb 2013)

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