Customers of Dave, a neobank and personal finance app, have collectively earned more than $1 million from Dave’s new in-app survey-taking feature, the bank announced Tuesday.
The feature, which has reportedly been used by nearly 400,000 Dave members, debuted in December as part of Dave’s Side Hustle feature, which the app launched in 2018 to connect members to part-time, flexible jobs.
While survey takers don’t end up with a windfall – the surveys increase in value as a member takes them, and with continued use they can earn up to $5 per survey – cash is deposited into member accounts right after he or she completes a survey; and the entire thing happens in-app.
In an email interview, we asked Dave CEO Jason Wilk where the idea came from, and how it actually works.
The interview has been edited for brevity.
I remember seeing Craigslist ads eons ago touting the idea of making money with surveys, and always thought it was a scam. What's the difference between those surveys and this offering - how do customers actually profit?
We partnered with inBrain.AI, owned by the world's largest survey company, Dynata, to help deliver this product to our customers. We’ve built the Surveys offering directly into the Dave app in order to give our customers a simple and secure way to supplement their income with an app they already know and trust. Survey Scams are abound all over the Internet, but our exclusive partnership with InBrain.ai means that users never have to leave the Dave app, and all their personal information is guaranteed with the same level of security Dave provides to all its members.
With Surveys, Dave members earn by participating in brief market research surveys in their free time, from the comfort of their own homes, for which they receive varying amounts, up to $5 per survey. Many Surveys users report how this additional income stream helps them achieve their financial goals. One Dave member said, “I’m saving up for some bigger purchases, like a car or a property, and Dave Surveys helps me knock out expenses.” Another user said, “I don’t use my own money for gas. I just use the money I get from Dave surveys.”
Importantly, users' survey earnings are instantly deposited into their Dave Spending accounts, immediately following their completion of a survey - with no additional hoops to jump through or wait time. This is very different from other online survey sites that require large minimum earnings thresholds to cash out and only distribute earnings on gift cards which limits the options on where you can spend the money you earned.
How'd you come up with the idea?
[When we launched Side Hustle,] online surveys was one of the more popular jobs our members were interested in but they didn’t love the slow payout times and gift card redemptions often found with survey sites. So, we decided to build our own Survey product that works directly in our app and pays our members instantly, a first of its kind in the survey and banking industry.
Say I wanted to make $20 on surveys. How long would that take me?
Most users will use Surveys periodically when they have free time. For newer users, it may take approximately the length of a sports game or a long television episode to earn $20, while power users may be able to reach that amount in a shorter period of time.
What's the most money someone's made thus far - your most dedicated survey taker?
Our top earner has made $540.51 in three months, keeping in mind that the feature has only been available for a few months. Many members have earned hundreds of dollars – helping them buy groceries, fill up their gas tanks, pay bills, or any number of costs Americans are battling amidst heightened inflation.
What attracted you to your survey partner, inBrain.ai?
Our exclusive partnership with inBrain.ai has allowed us to create this first-to-market experience not found anywhere else. InBrain is a leading survey monetization platform that uses proprietary AI to connect members with the world’s largest brands for simple, straightforward ways to make extra money.