(Updated November 2017)
The ways to make money through the internet these days are too many to be counted. Surveys, online shopping, watching videos—these are all activities that can be useful for those who are looking to make cash at the end of the month.
However, in the past five years or less, smartphones have become a common device amongst people of all ages around the world, and market researchers have noticed this, leading to the insertion of new mobile-based software and applications that can also offer money in exchange for useful information for brands and companies. This is where SmartPanel comes in.
What is it, exactly?
SmartPanel is an app that was designed by a company called FGI Research & Analytics with the objective of gathering data about consumer behavior on the internet. It can be installed on any device from tablet to smartphones, and will allow you to add up money for every month you keep the app running.
The whole SmartPanel idea consists in mustering service usage and information about what you do on the internet, which pages you visit, which ads you ignore and which ones you actually click. All this data is quite valuable to big product and service companies, as it can help them upgrade their marketing.
Along with internet behavior recognition, SmartPanel will also offer you the chance to participate in online surveys, focus groups, online communities, and even product testing from home.
The good thing is that you will get paid for each of these activities you choose to do, and this money can later be exchanged for gift cards or transferred directly to your PayPal account.
How can you join and how does it work?
The access to this market research panel can be found through the main FGI website. Once you go into the SmartPanel gateway, you can easily sign up for an account. It is completely free and available not only to those who reside in the United States, but also for anyone who is over 18 years old, and resident of the following countries: United Kingdom, China, India, Canada and Germany.
As soon as you click on the “join now” button, you will be asked to insert your email and residence addresses, and later fill out the first 3-minute questionnaire that will allow them to categorize you and the criteria you meet to send you surveys that could use your opinion.
When you finish your registration procedure, you will be eligible for downloading the software and installing in it on as many devices as you like. Keep in mind that the more devices you own with the SmartPanel app installed, the bigger your reward will be.
The compensations are the following:
- $5 for qualifying for the SmartPanel program
- $10 for each device that has SmartPanel installed for the first week
- Later on, $5 a month per hardware
To redeem this money as cash, you will need a PayPal account; if you do not own one, you can always exchange it for Amazon gift cards.
It is important to note that the app has to be running in order to receive the rewards. If the SmartPanel application is not functioning in the background collecting data reports, the software won´t process the payment and will never send it over to your account.
Along with this feature, surveys and any other activities, notifications will also reach you via email, although you can check them from the Smart Panel app directly on your smartphone, as well. The subjects of these surveys will vary greatly, according to the brand and the product that require your feedback.
For every survey that you do, you will receive a payment that will be typically sent to your PayPal account, although in some cases, a check can be set via post to the residence you signed up with. The method of payment will be reflected in the invitation on the survey so you can know beforehand.
Prize drawing for surveys
One aspect that makes SmartPanel different from most competitors is the fact that some surveys are not paid in cash at all, but a prize drawing is organized, instead.
The way this works is as follows: There is a prize drawing event each calendar month, and in order to be part of it, you must have previously received an email with an invitation to participate in a prize-based survey.
As soon as you complete such survey, you will acquire one entry into the prize drawing of the month. This means that if you happen to receive two or three prize surveys invitations, you will have extra entries to the contest, increasing your chances of winning.
At the end of the month, winners will be selected through an electronic randomized drawing sponsored by FGI Research & Analytics, and will receive a prize worth the amount of money reflected on the survey, which can be any kind of appliance (or even televisions!).
The main good thing about SmartPanel is that there is little that you have to do—really. Once you install the software on as many devices as you want, it is only a matter of time before you have a chance to redeem your money and transfer it to your PayPal account.
The app runs in the background of your devices, so if you are not truly interested in completing surveys and doing other market research activities, your normal internet usage will allow you to gain some money with SmartPanel.
Another great thing about SmartPanel is that it is not only for residents of the United States, so if you live in Germany, China, or any of the other eligible countries, you can also make some extra money.
The payment options are good, in regards with the money you make by having the app installed. It can be turned it into gift cards, or cash it via PayPal. This indicates that you can make real money with the SmartPanel app.
SmartPanel will pay you per device, which means that if you install on two or more devices, you will be making over $10 a month. It is important to make sure that all these devices have the app running smoothly because if there is as many as one device not working, you will not get paid.
Finally, there is a great loyalty bonus for long-term members, which consists of an addition $10 after 6 months of having the app running on your devices, and $15 every three months after that. This means that you can make a total of $110 in a year. That´s not bad at all, is it?
The first issue with SmartPanel is that there isn´t a single method of survey payment from which you can choose according to your wishes. Survey and market research activities will pay however they want, which means that if you wish to send money over to your PayPal account, but the survey only pays in the form of a gift card, there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it.
In addition, a PayPal account seems to be necessary to process survey funds with SmartPanel, considering most of the payments are done this way without offering an alternative. SmartPanel´s website establishes that if, 30 days after you have finished a survey, you still do not have a PayPal account, funds will be returned to the FGI Research & Analytics company and you won´t ever see a penny of it.
Also, SmartPanel does not guarantee when will you get the money for the surveys you have done. You might have finished a certain survey by mid-June, but if consumer´s data is still being collected two or three months later, you will only be paid a month after the survey has closed; this means months can pass before you actually get your hands-on cash.
As for the SmartPanel app, it doesn´t seem to have too many bad things aside from the fact that if one of your devices stops running the software, you won´t get paid for any of them, so keep an eye on them.
Is SmartPanel app a scam? No, not even remotely.
SmartPanel is a real way to make what is known as “passive income.” You won´t have to fill out any surveys if you don´t want, and will still be making $15 the first week, as well as $5 a month for each device that has the app installed. So, if you have a tablet and a desktop, installing the software on them is a good idea.
Yes, some users seem to have had payment issues, although it looks like the real problems with their accounts are criteria issues; this means that they might have not been eligible for the program in the first place. The only one to blame for the misunderstanding is the website itself because they should not let you download the app in the first place if you do not match the criteria. But if you do, SmartPanel will offer you an easy, comfortable way to make a few extra bucks a month.
My recommendation is that you try it for a while. If after a week, you get your first $15, then keep using it. There´s nothing to lose with SmartPanel.