BillGuard brings financial protection to Lemon mobile wallet


Credit: BillGuard

BillGuard, a New York data startup that helps consumers keep track of bad charges on credit and debit accounts, doesn’t have a mobile app. But that hasn’t stopped the company from becoming a player in the emerging mobile wallet market.

BillGuard, Lemon

BillGuard is announcing Monday that it’s integrating with mobile wallet app Lemon, which means that Lemon’s 2.5 million users will be able to check their card balances and look for suspicious charges through their Lemon app. That follows a previous integration in September with Apple’s Passbook, which similarly enabled people to monitor credit and debit card transactions through Passbook.

Lemon users on iOS (s aapl) and Android (s goog) who upgrade to the latest version of the app will now be able to see their balance and a list of recent transactions on stored cards in Lemon’s wallet, alongside their other cards, coupons and receipts. BillGuard builds a crowd-sourced database of billing complaint information to protect against fraudulent or hidden charges. Users help BillGuard get smarter by sharing their transaction information and get alerts on questionable activity. Since launching in last year, BillGuard, which hasn’t released user numbers, said it has saved its users more than $1 million.

BillGuard, LemonThe integrations with Passbook and Lemon are big opportunities for BillGuard to expand its mobile presence and pull in a lot more data from mobile users. Passbook lets BillGuard reach a lot of iPhone users and now with Lemon, which is not tied to one platform, BillGuard can reach tons of Android users as well. BillGuard plans a mobile app later this year.

BillGuard support provides a nice boost to wallet apps like Passbook and Lemon, showing how they can be a daily tool for consumers. Users are still figuring out the value of a mobile wallet, which many people think of in the context of payments. As Passbook and Lemon demonstrate, there’s a lot of opportunity in replicating the other parts of a wallet, including storing identity and loyalty cards to presenting receipts, tickets and coupons. BillGuard can also help consumers prepare for a mobile wallet future, giving them some assurance that they have more tools to keep track of all of their transactions.

BillGuard started out as a consumer-facing service but it’s now also courting banks, which will offer BillGuard services to customers. Yaron Samid, BillGuard’s CEO and founder told me the company is close to announcing its first big banking customer soon. The company has raised $13 million to date from Khosla Ventures, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Bessemer Venture Partners and IA Ventures.

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