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Brief Published: 23 Apr 2018

Thrifty Millennials Turn to Refund Apps


A new generation of apps is helping price-conscious American millennials claim refunds and earn cashback payments.

Millennials love a good bargain. Almost 80% of US millennials are influenced by price (Forbes, 2017) – and they also expect ethical production, transparency, convenience and high-quality products. Adept at thrifting and coupon clipping, young shoppers are turning to third-party apps to help them to save money effortlessly.

  • Automated Savings: Two American apps are helping users to claim refunds. Earny, a start-up based in Santa Monica, California, launched in 2015. Meanwhile, Paribus was founded by financial giant Capital One in 2014. The free apps scan a shopper’s email and card receipts to detect whether the prices of recent purchases drop shortly afterwards. They automatically claim the difference as a refund on the shopper’s behalf, taking a 25% commission. Paribus, which claims to have 2.5 million users, works with 30 major retailers including Macy’s, Nordstrom and Walmart. Unlike Paribus, Earny scans Amazon. Earny CEO Oded Vakrat claims the business model works to the advantage of retailers by “reducing item return rates because customers are more satisfied from their purchase”.
  • Tailored Cashback Deals: US cashback app Ibotta, a Denver-based business founded in 2011, enables shoppers to earn cashback on purchases, either in store or in app. Consumers check Ibotta before they shop and select certain offers (an algorithm provides guidance). Post-purchase, consumers take an image of the receipt and receive cashback within 48 hours in the form of real cash via PayPal. The app partners with more than 280 retailers including Walmart, Target and eBay.

For more on bargain shoppers’ consumer behaviour, see our report Budget Retail’s Quality Drive.