What Is Dosh Cash Back App?
The free Dosh Cash Back App claims to revolutionize shopping rewards by offering users the ability to put cash into their pockets every time they shop. How does it work?
While the app isn’t set to be released until April, we’re told you simply connect your credit and debit cards. Then, Dosh will immediately begin finding offers that can provide cash back from 100,000+ merchants and brands across the country.
This includes Target, Microsoft, Barnes and Noble, Macy’s, Sheraton, AT&T, Neiman Marcus, Big Lots!, Smash Burger, Avis Car Rental, and Home Depot.
And compared to every other cash back app out there, Dosh claims there’s no UPC scanning, taking photos of receipts, mailing in rebates, promo codes, or fumbling around while you’re at the register.
In other words, you continue living your life as normal. While you do, the Dosh Cash Back App claims to take advantage of the $200 billion advertising industry’s wasteful spending and pass a little bit of it along to you each time you shop at partner retailers.
And not only can you save money at the register, but you can also earn real money in your Dosh account and spend it however you please, along with stellar travel deals for hotels, rental cars, and experiences.
But is Dosh the real deal?
After all, it’s almost mandatory for a startup to claim that they’re set to ‘disrupt’ one industry or another these days. It’s right up there with the use of jargon like ‘paradigm shift’ and ‘synergy.’
When it comes to the Dosh Cash Back App, though, is its ‘disruptor’ label an accurate assessment, or is it hype?
We had an exclusive opportunity to speak with Dosh’s CEO Ed Mock and VP of Marketing Marcy Comer, who granted us inside access to the app’s fundamentals and who briefly walked us through its features.
Here, we’ll discuss what we learned so that you make a more informed decision.
First, we’d like to start off by thanking Marcy and Ed for agreeing to speak with us, as they weren’t planning to grant any interviews until March. We certainly appreciate the exclusive opportunity to help inform you, their potential customer.
Ready to dig in?
What’s the Fundamental Theory Behind the Dosh Cash Back App?
While some initially thought it was impossible to build the technology, Ed told us that Dosh works by funneling money out of the multi-billion dollar advertising industry and into the hands of consumers, in the form of cash.
From a behavioral standpoint, it’s based on Pavlovian theory: You notify/surprise the customer, incentivize behavior, create insight, and deliver predictive results.
While it might sound complicated, it’s a lot like signing up for a savings or discount program through your favorite gas station. You link your card and every time you spend, you automatically receive a per-gallon discount.
How Is the Dosh Cash Back App Different Than the Competition?
Speaking of which, gas stations offer perhaps one of the easiest methods of earning discounts in the retail world, although you’ll still likely have to fill out an application and wait a few days for approval.
But if you’re referencing other cash back apps competing in the same general space as Dosh, earning discounts and cash back can be even more labor and time-intensive.
For example, Ed mentioned that with Ebates, consumers are required to manually link offers, and they tend to only feature 25-50 merchants at any given time. With Ibotta, consumers have to scan receipts and wait to get their money.
Instead, there are no extras required with Dosh. Simply download the app, link your cards, and start saving.
Ed repeatedly reinforced that their goal is for Dosh to be the best app in a person’s phone. Because in the end, Ed reinforced, “Dosh is all about the consumer.”
A Look at Dosh Cash Back App’s Features
Marcy and Ed noted that there are three primary components within the Dosh ecosystem:
- The consumer app
- The merchant platform
- Mobile wallet and banking environment
Here’s how they all come together:
Offers are geo-targeted based on your location. When one is available (there will be 100,000 merchants at launch), you’ll receive a notification telling you what the deal is and which retailer is offering it.
Even if you don’t receive a notification, the Dosh app will still search for discounts and coupons when checking out at any retailer (this is what we discussed in the intro).
In addition to the discounts and coupons, each time you shop at a participating retailer, you have an opportunity to earn cash back, which will be displayed on your Doshboard.
In this simulated screenshot taken from their website, you can see the user’s Doshboard, including their wallet balance, notifications, and available offers. Image credit: Dosh
Ed told us this is real money, and that the app is integrated with every US bank, as well as every charity, which allows you to automatically transfer money to either. Money can be transferred directly to Paypal and Venmo as well.
You’ll also be able to see how much money you’ve helped your friends and family accumulate through Dosh Social, share money directly, give gifts, send customized messages to friends, and even integrate with your Google account.
You’ll also notice the prominent travel button, which is what we’ll discuss next.
What About Dosh’s Travel Perks?
In a nutshell, Dosh’s expansive travel engine starts by scouring the web for the least expensive price (for a hotel in Los Angeles, CA, for example, although auto and experience perks are available, too). It then beats this price by anywhere between $1 and $3.
Next, Dosh calculates the difference between this price and the best retail price, and then sends this difference—less 15%, which is retained by the company—to the consumer’s Doshboard.
Marcy and Ed quickly walked us through a live scenario where the best-advertised price for a hotel in Dallas, TX was $259 on Trivago, while the Dosh travel engine offered the same room for $125.
The difference between these two prices was $134. This means Dosh would keep 15%, or $20.10, while the remaining $113.90 would have been sent to the consumer’s Dosh account.
What Kind of Security Does the Dosh Cash Back App Offer?
Ed noted that consumer security is a top priority, so Dosh is PCI compliant and utilizes the highest encryption possible. No usernames, passwords, or credit card data are stored on their servers.
What Benefits Does the Dosh Cash Back Offer for Merchants?
We’ve talked a lot about consumers so far, but Marcy and Ed impressed that Dosh is equally as valuable for companies, since it will provide social engagement, predictive analytics, an audience insight engine, and offer creation and management capabilities.
In other words, Dosh claims to deliver more effective performance-based marketing for business and companies, including customer acquisition and loyalty programs.
And unlike most other cash back apps, Dosh works with big and small businesses alike, which can be fully customized based on size and scope, while providing them with full control over all their parameters.
As an example of the scope this can provide consumers, Ed mentioned that Dosh is partnered with 362 restaurants in Austin alone, where they’re headquartered.
Who Founded Dosh?
Dosh was founded by Ryan Wuerch, who also founded Solavei, a mobile service company that operated on an MLM structure by allowing customers to earn an additional, recurring monthly income through enrolling others in the program.
Before Solavei, Ryan founded and acted as CEO for Motricity (now part of Voltari), a mobile data and solutions provider.
Compared to Solavei, Dosh doesn’t seem to involve any kind of multi-level marketing component. You can, however, earn $5 for each person who signs up for a Dosh account using your affiliate link.
Does the Dosh App Have Any Direct Competition?
In a word: No.
Sure, there are perhaps hundreds of popular free cash back apps and websites like Ebates, Ibotta, Snap by Groupon, Find&Save, SNAPnSAVE, and GoCashBack—but as we mentioned earlier, none of these seem to work as seamlessly as Dosh, since they often require consumers to mail in receipts, scan UPC codes, redeem promo codes, and so forth.
What’s the Bottom Line About the Dosh Cash Back App?
Even though Marcy and Ed were kind enough to walk us through the app and travel engine, we didn’t test Dosh ourselves, so we can’t provide any firsthand feedback.
But based on what we saw and what was explained to us during our interview, if it delivers on all of its promises, we could certainly see how Dosh might quickly become a favorite app among consumers once it’s released. Even a ‘disruptor.’
In the meantime, we’re set to beta test the Dosh Cash Back app in March. We’ll update this article with insight news at that time, so make sure you bookmark this page!