The 41-year-old technology entrepreneur from Mountain House riffled through his wallet but couldn’t make a decision.
“When you’re in line at the store, things can move fast, and it can be hard to pick sometimes,” Palaniappan said. “I have multiple cards, and it made me think that there is a better way to find out what are your reward earnings.”
With more than 15 years in technology development, Palaniappan set out to answer the question of which credit card gets you the most reward points at which stores.
The result was SmoreCard — a mobile application that shows buyers a listing of their cards and which will earn the greatest savings.
After the app is downloaded free from the Apple App Store, users upload into the app which credit cards they use.
When shopping, Palaniappan said users open the app and find the business where they are making a purchase. A listing of those credit cards appears, detailing what rewards each card offers for the purchase.
Business listings are powered by Foursquare and its geolocation feature. More than 500 purchasing cards that earn reward points — such as Citibank or Target cards — are preloaded into the app, so users can find their cards easily using the corresponding text and picture listing.
Identifying reward points is as simple as three clicks, Palaniappan said.
“This is great for the holiday season when you are shopping and you want to be saving as you shop,” he said. “This is designed to be easy for everybody to use. We are maximizing for our customers the benefits of buying products and saving money.”
Palaniappan moved to Mountain House from Chicago about a year ago so he could be closer to the entrepreneurial opportunities of Silicon Valley.
While conducting business, he met Raj Kuppuswami, an electrical engineer and physician at Stanford University. The pair formed Parkit Markit LLC in February and began pushing Palaniappan’s idea toward fruition.
The privately funded project began in April and was officially launched Nov. 10.
According to Palaniappan, SmoreCard was built with three principles in mind: It’s simple, helpful and free.
“We don’t want it to be intrusive, and there are no popup ads that will bother you,” he said.
Among many financial apps on the market, Palaniappan said SmoreCard is the only app that identifies reward points and doesn’t make users register their personal bank account information.
“Everybody has the same type of cards, so it shows your reward points because they are same for everyone who has that card,” he said. “It gives you more privacy and makes it very quick and easy.”
Palaniappan hopes to have SmoreCard available for Android users by Christmas.
• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.