Use CasesFinanceCardPointers


Emmanuel Crouvisier

Emmanuel Crouvisier

Founder at CardPointers

CardPointers will save you money and earn you more cash back, points, and miles every day by maximizing credit card spend bonuses, offers, and welcome bonuses. The app automatically tracks every category bonus and recurring bank credits from over 5,000 credit cards and helps you use your Amex, Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank offers to save even more money every day.

How CardPointers improved margins and their cross-platform experience with RevenueCat and Stripe

From a tip-jar project to a full-time gig

CardPointers was originally launched as a web app at the start of 2019 to help people get the most out of their credit cards by maximizing the points that they earn and ensuring that they never miss special offers or credits. CardPointers then introduced an iOS and watchOS app, and they more recently launched a standalone Chrome extension.

When building its iOS app, founder Emmanuel Crouvisier knew it would be a heavy lift to implement in-app purchases well. He initially planned for the first iteration of the app to only include a Tip Jar feature to allow users to donate, until Emmanuel discovered just how easy RevenueCat made subscriptions.

I saw RevenueCat being used in some open source projects, one of which I was contributing to, and saw how easy it was to get started. My first implementation was a Tip Jar, and I threw in a subscription Pro tier at the last minute, which ended up changing the course of the app (and my life!), enabling me to make more money from the app within a year than I was making at my day job.

Expanding to web purchases for better margins, measurement and flexibility

For the first year or so, CardPointers only offered payments via their iOS app. However, Emmanuel saw the opportunity to both increase profitability and improve customer experience by offering customers a cross-platform purchase experience. The launch of the CardPointers Chrome extension was a real catalyst to get web payments in motion.

I needed a way to monetize that and I had used Stripe in some other projects before and loved the development experience, so when I saw that there was already an integration with RevenueCat, it was the obvious choice.

A key driver for implementing online subscriptions with Stripe was the significant improvement to profitability it unlocked.

Offering an online checkout powered by Stripe enabled Emmanuel to save as much as ~27% in fees.

Having a stream of subscription revenue coming from my online checkout system allows me to stay under $1M revenue for in-app purchases. That makes CardPointers eligible for the Apple Small Business program and saves me 15% right there. Plus, paying around ~3% for all Stripe purchases vs 15% with Apple is a big savings.

Since payment is being collected on the web, purchases aren’t subject to the commission structure of app platforms. Depending on the size of the app and the price structure, this could result in higher profitability for web sales, all things equal. Offering web payments also allows for developers to capture renewals and upgrades via lifecycle communications that convert online, instead of in-app.

Beyond just profitability, many mobile apps opt to add a web checkout option because it offers better measurement opportunities. Web purchases allow the passing of URL parameters that can enable more precise attribution. This can make web payments a valuable channel to test and learn what drives conversion and growth for your app.

I wanted better attribution which a purchase-first flow enables me to do, especially when targeting users across iOS + Android on podcasts and such where I don’t control the targeting.

Flexibility was another key reason for Emmanuel to offer his customers a web payment option.  Unlike with purchases made via one of the mobile store platforms, since developers can control the web checkout process with Stripe, they can also have full ability to customize pricing, packaging and discounting beyond what is available for in-app purchases.

“With purchases made on iOS, I was frustrated with not being able to give users discounts easily, configure variable free day periods, and I couldn’t extend their subscriptions if they ran into any issues which kept me from providing the type of customer service I wanted.”

Why RevenueCat & Stripe

While expanding from mobile to web, or vice versa, can be a huge growth and profitability opportunity it can also be a huge undertaking.

Many developers struggle with identity validation (How do you match subscriber identity to the right user and ensure that mapping remains consistent across devices?) and cross-platform entitlements (How do you determine what subscriptions, content and bundles users are entitled to?) when offering cross-platform purchase options.

RevenueCat and Stripe’s integration handles all of this for developers, offering a seamless cross platform experience for developers and app-users alike. RevenueCat’s backend verifies and validates receipts associated with customers across Stripe and in-app purchases to provide a continuously updated subscription status.That’s why, as a RevenueCat and Stripe user, Emmanuel knew that he was covered.

Making sure I had a strong cross-platform purchase experience was definitely on my mind, but since I require user accounts I knew that I could trust RevenueCat as my primary source of truth by running all purchases through it, regardless of the place of purchase.” 

Another issue many developers face when offering both web and mobile subscriptions is getting accurate cross-platform data to their tech stack. Without RevenueCat, this requires developers to uniquely merge and structure purchase data from each platform on the way into their tech stack or build and maintain several different data pipelines for each tool they use. The RevenueCat and Stripe integration enables developers to get the reliable data they need for all reporting, marketing and analytics, with turnkey integrations to your tech stack, scheduled data exports to your cloud and pre-built data visualizations.

Having all data from both web and mobile consolidated into RevenueCat has been fantastic for reporting, tracking growth between each payment platform, etc, and the Charts are critical to most of the business decisions I make.



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