Bumped is Finally Dying — An App Obituary
It was several years ago that I first discovered the app Bumped and wrote a review of the service. In fact, I’d say it was one of the first FinTech platforms that I was truly excited about and wanted to share. Unfortunately, in 2020, the company announced that it was making some major changes as it rolled out to a larger audience. Yet, something miraculous happened in that, not too long after, many of the best elements of Bumped returned and, in some ways, the product was better than ever! Alas, that didn’t last forever either with the service taking yet another new direction earlier this year. And now, at long last, word has come down that Bumped will be officially closing.
The original idea behind Bumped is one that I still believe is brilliant: customers earn a small piece of stock in the companies they’re shopping at. While the concept itself is strong, it’s also easy to imagine that making this product sustainable would require the buy-in of the brands being featured. If I had to guess, that’s the part where Bumped fell short. Heck, I noted in my original review that the line-up of retailers was so strong that I fully expected it to be scaled back over time.
Nevertheless, Bumped found a way to keep at least part of its initial vision alive even as it pivoted to different formats that probably made more monetary sense. In the end, while Bumped still allowed users to earn stock in select companies of their choice, the platform was essentially a cashback portal akin to Rakuten… except with comparatively lower payouts on the whole.
As for what current Bumped customers can expect going forward, with the rewards program already halted, the company notes that Apex will be taking over existing brokerage accounts in the coming weeks. However, they point out that, under Apex’s control, customers will only be able to liquidate or transfer their holdings — which does make sense. What’s still unclear to me is how accountholders will be able to interface their account via Apex and whether there will be a fee to transfer holdings to a different account (Bumped does currently charge a transfer fee but I’m not sure if Apex will).
Considering that Apex partners with the likes of SoFi and others, I would kind of hope that I’d be able to move my fractional shares there in order to keep my holdings. Nevertheless, I’m guessing that my best bet is to simply sell off my assets soon. With nearly $250 in stock to my name through Bumped, it will be a nice little payday after years of earning rewards and dividends.
I should point out that, although Bumped itself is going away, there are still some other services that are kind of carrying on their idea in different ways. For example, Stash offers a Stock-Back debit card, which rewards users for purchases by providing them with a piece of matching stock. Honestly, that approach may actually be better than what Bumped offered… but I think there was still room for both.
Although I completely understand why Bumped is going away — and am honestly surprised it lasted as long as it did — I’m still very sad to see it go. So, rest in peace, Bumped and know that you were loved.
Also published on Medium.