Innovation in the time of COVID-19: our Interview with Status Money

by Molly Hoffmeyer

Status Money’s tracker showing spending on “Travel” in the US for all income levels, as of April 20th.

COVID-19 has been disruptive for all of us, both personally and in our businesses. For Status Money, the social network for your finances, this has presented a unique opportunity both to gain a macro view of what’s happening in the economy in real time, as well as a more personal view into the different challenges that individuals are facing in light of the pandemic.

We had an opportunity to catch up with Majd Maksad, Co-Founder & CEO to discuss what they’re seeing, and where things go from here.

MH: Status Money has unique access to data on a broad swath of the American public, how have you been able to use this during the COVID-19 crisis?

MM: Yes, we have a proprietary data panel that tracks the finances of about 5% of the US population, and we have been tracking the daily and weekly impacts of the coronavirus on the economy — breaking down changes to consumer spending by geographic area, spending categories, income range, and a host of other verticals.

MH: Some early trends?

MM: Looking at the real data, it’s a really significant change in spending, specifically the restaurant industry is really decimated, especially in New York and California, and the travel/hospitality/tourism industry has been hit really hard. The question now is: how will they recover?

MH: Are you able to share this data with the broader public?

MM: Yes, we are. You can find it directly on our homepage at https://statusmoney.com/economic-data. We are also making this data available to key media outlets, including CNN and the WSJ, and are discussing a partnership with the Financial Times. They are free to use the data in their reporting as long as they identify Status Money as the source.

I also see an opportunity for this data to be used commercially, to provide more granular information and trend analysis to different parties, which is a secondary business strategy we’ve been pursuing for some time.

MH: Does all this macro-analysis change your focus at Status Money at all?

MM: Not at all, we’re still hyper-focused on our core business, providing a digital platform for consumers to crowdsource financial advice and connect with financial institutions and professionals.

MH: Speaking of the social platform, have you seen any new trends emerging in those conversations?

MM: Yes, looking at the time since the pandemic began, we have seen new trends emerging. We’ve found that the platform becomes even more valuable in a time like this, with people trying to connect virtually where they can’t in-person, and get the financial advice & resources they need.

The tone of a lot of the conversations on the platform have also changed, with posts and responses becoming more serious. We’re seeing a lot of people asking for help navigating the economic impacts of this crisis, especially in lower income groups.

MH: Looking out past the pandemic, how do you feel about the future for Status Money?

MM: We’re confident in the future, both coming through the pandemic and beyond. The value of the social network, opportunity for crowdsourced advice, peer benchmarks, and advanced analytics that we have built all point to continued success. The challenge in this environment is to be empathetic, stay focused and seize the opportunities as they arise.