The current push for a cashless economy by the Indian government has resulted in increased usage of modern transaction portals like digital wallet services, credit cards, debit cards, net banking and some more. For all of these transactional services, the operators have a lot of offers for encouraging increased usage and adoption of their service. For example, there are several offers running on your debit card at your nearest petrol pump, several discounts on digital wallet payments at the nearby movie theatre and so on.
Knowing about all the offers at a particular moment isn't easy, which is why there should be some kind of a service that notifies you about offers related to all your transaction portals at one place. Luckily, there’s one app that does it – Cardinal. As per its developer, it is an app that allows users to view location-specific hot deals available on their existing debit & credit cards with regards to food, shopping, movies, etc. to obtain discounts or add cash back to your account.
That seems like a tall claim for a relatively new app on the PlayStore. So,
1. Is it worth your attention?
2. Should it be a part of your app collection?
To answer both of these questions, let’s start by going through the most important parameters that define an app.
Design and interface
The app follows Google’s Material Design language and flaunts it in every window. That means you won’t suffer from “text claustrophobia”, i.e. no badly placed UI element and no additional amount of text crammed into a small section.
The animation effects are pleasing and the colour palette is vibrant. I really liked the graphics of the credit/debit card logos and the “categories” section.
Productivity and features
The app does well what it intends to. If you have a credit card, debit card or a wallet service, then Cardinal can be of immense help to you. You have to put in your card or wallet service details into the app after installing the app from the PlayStore.
Note that the app doesn’t ask for your debit/credit card numbers or password. It only requires the name of the service provider of your card or wallet and its network.
Once you have set up the app with the details of your preferred transactional portal, the app will ask for the location of the device. You will start receiving info cards of various offers around you on its home screen.
The app also has a “categories” section where you can browse offers related to a particular service. For example, you can browse specific offers regarding SBI debit card transactions at Hindustan Petroleum fuel stations or Freecharge wallet payment discounts at Pizza Hut outlets.
You are free to add any amount of credit/debit cards or digital wallet services to the app. The offers that catch your attention can be pinned to the bottom of the app’s home screen. You can also locate various offers around you on the Google app through the in-app map window.
Daily usage scenario
If you keep your location services turned ON, then the app will automatically change the location details and show all the offers around you extracted on the home screen. While being on the move, it becomes a constant habit of looking into the app to check out what restaurant offers are available around your office or which online travel portal is offering a cashback offer on a transaction made through your credit card.
The app does have a touch sensitivity issue which often leads to accidental taps and touches on unwanted elements of the app. Also, the notification system of the app, that is supposed to notify you about existing offers on the notification panel of your Android phone, doesn’t work properly. These, however, are smaller problems and could be fixed over a shorter period.
Is it worth your attention?
Definitely! The app doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it is a clever implementation of a concept that is already present in the digital world (Coupondunia.com, operator offer SMSes). You should surely experience it at least once.
Should it be a part of your app collection?
That depends on your preferences. If you are from the privileged section of the society and don’t care about giving Rs 100 tip to the waiter at your favourite 5-star hotel, then you shouldn’t be bothered about it. However, if you are the sort of person who prefers to take back the Rs 5 coin from the change at the nearby snacks corner, then keep it in your app drawer. Get it from the PlayStore (it will arrive on iOS shortly) and you will find yourself frequently checking out Cardinal on the move. As they say, little savings make way for fortunes worth of money.