Want to Manage Your Personal Finance? Let Money View do it For You!
Our app helps users to manage their personal finance by auto-tracking, monitoring and analyzing their monthly incomes and spends and thus start saving for the future - Puneet Agarwal, Co-Founder, Money View.
One of the biggest hurdles in financial planning, today, is mapping all the various incomes, expenditures, expenses, bills, payments, etc. and forming a comprehensive and cohesive picture. To make financial management simple, smart and secure, Puneet Agarwal along with his partner Sanjay Aggarwal came up with the Money View App. BW Disrupt got into an exclusive conversation with Puneet to understand more about the app and its features:
Q1. Tell us more about Money View?
A- In simple terms, Money View is a personal budgeting app which seeks to break stereotypes of personal budgeting and investment in the country. Started in September 2014, the app aims and envisions to make financial management simple, smart and secure for its users.
The Money View app uses information from SMSes sent from banks, merchants and other billers; which the auto tracks, monitors and analyses the incomes and spends of users. It auto-tracks the user’s financial transactions across all their accounts (savings accounts, credit cards, billers, etc.) to present a real-time view of their financial summary. The app also provides personalized alerts notifying users to undertake important financial activities/decisions in a timely manner – e.g., paying credit card or utility bill before the due date. In 2016, Money View collaborated with ICICI Prudential mutual fund and jointly launched the ‘Green Account’. ‘Green Account’ is a first-of-its kind and advanced app-based solution from Money View. It offers two exclusive products Savings+ and Tax Saver+ with the primary aim to enable Indians to become financially fit and grow the money by saving it smartly. Therefore, the central and the chief focus of the app is to empower its users to become financially fit.
Q2. What is your competitive advantage and how did you find it?
A- When we brainstormed on the idea of Money View, we realized that one of the biggest hurdles in financial planning, today, is mapping all the various incomes, expenditures, expenses, bills, payments, etc. and forming a comprehensive and cohesive picture. Most financial apps and websites require a user to input all data manually, thereby making the entire process cumbersome. With fast paced lives, most of us tend to live in the current moment and end up compromising on our budgets by not saving enough. We considered the following factors to help end-users tackle financial planning smoothly.
· Ease of Use: Many apps require users to manually enter data while Money View auto tracks all the data.
· Privacy of Financial Information: Some apps require users to synchronize bank account information. Since Money View operates on SMS-based technology, the app doesn’t have a full account number and banking or card credentials.
· Past Spend (cash + digital) Analytics: One of the main benefits of the app is that, it aids users with a plan for the future. It doesn’t just focuses on the user’s current expenses, but helps them set a budget, look ahead and plan expenditures better.
· Savings: Savings+ is an innovative and first-of-its kind app-based liquid fund investment solution from Money View, in partnership with ICICI Prudential, which is designed to get users in the habit of saving money regularly for their short and medium term goals - like buying a car, taking a family vacation, creating an emergency fund, etc. The product serves as a suitable alternative to traditional saving options since users can invest with one click from within the app. Furthermore, such schemes usually have no exit load or withdrawal penalty, which gives users the flexibility to withdraw the funds whenever they need.
Q3. Is your app particularly useful for helping people save as opposed to spend?
A- The biggest mistake that most people tend to make is that do not start managing their finances early and not saving enough. Working professionals are so preoccupied in juggling their day-to-day activities that the idea of keeping a track of spends, savings and investments, sometimes across multiple accounts, becomes a tedious process. With growing consumerism and lifestyle changes, people are increasingly losing track of their finances and thus, are not saving to the level they should without making much compromises in their spending.
However, technology has been a great boon in our daily activities – from travel, food to entertainment. The same goes for financial management with tech-based apps like Money View. The app helps users to manage their personal finance in a Simple, Smart and Secure manner by auto-tracking, monitoring and analyzing their monthly incomes and spends; thereby allowing them to make informed financial decisions about spending within a budget, and start saving for the future. The app also provides personalized alerts notifying users to undertake important financial activities/decisions in a timely manner – e.g., paying credit card or utility bill before the due date, prevent overspending and find relevant savings to stay within budget and more. Additionally, the green account feature helps users to invest the money that they have managed to successfully save, in high-yielding and low-risk liquid mutual funds.
Q4. What are the technologies that you are using?
A- Technology is the backbone and the key facilitator in our offerings. We make use of sophisticated natural language processing and information retrieval techniques to create intelligent norms. These are then utilized by the app to produce a very accurate picture of the users’ financial data in a way that they can simply and effortlessly understand. Therefore, we use our patent technology that systematizes the data from these messages to deliver a simple and smooth view of the users’ finances through the app.
Q5. What are the different categories in your app?
A- The app has wide-ranging categories, designed and tailored to give best-in-class experience to our users. We have categories like:
· Manage Budgets – Where you set your monthly budget, see what’s obtainable to spend.
· Track expenses automatically – This is where you can view all spends category wise and get an idea as to how much you have spent and where have you spent.
· Timely bill alerts – This helps you monitors and track pending bills on time with a single click through the app.
· You can view all bank accounts, investments, loans, in just one click through the app.
· Lets you track reimbursements easily
· It also lets you split your bills with friends
Finally, we have the latest addition, the ‘Green Account’. It offers two exclusive products Savings+ and Tax Saver+ with the primary aim to enable Indians to become financially fit and grow the money by saving it smartly.
Q6. How is the privacy and security of information managed?
A- The app is designed with multi-level security protection and highly secure architectures deployed by leading banks and financial institutions. The app does not have full account numbers, never reads OTP sent by bank, uses bank level data encryption, and allows you to set PIN on the app for added protection.
Q7. As per your analysis, what do most people use the app for?
A- With multiple accounts and means of expenditure, people want to stay on top of their finances with as minimal an effort as possible. This is where an app like Money View comes in handy since it gives a single consolidated view of the user’s multiple accounts and expenses. The app helps users to keep a track of their spending across categories like dining, entertainment, shopping, travel, etc. Users, eventually, get into the habit of financial discipline as they continue to use the app regularly; since it helps them set a monthly budget, motivates them to abide by it and alerts them on all kinds of payments to avoid late fee. Features like savings+ encourage users to save money regularly than let it sit idle in their savings account.
The app has multiple features for money management like - automatic expense tracking, consolidated view of multiple accounts and expenses, monthly budget tracking and more. We have seen these money management features to be the most popular among our users as it helps them keep a pulse on their spending and also inculcate a habit of financial discipline. Also the Savings+ feature which works as an enhancement to saving money in a bank account is also gaining more popularity.
Q8- How important have money management apps become over the years?
A- With growing consumerism, most working professionals tend to have a high proportion of discretionary spends where almost 40%-50% of their monthly expenses are attributed to spending areas like eating out, shopping, entertainment and travel. Today, there is a growing reliance on technology for most of our daily activities since it brings in the much-needed convenience, accuracy and customization for any kind of management. Just like payments, people are seeking one-click digital solutions for savings as well. All these factors have made apps like Money View an essential part of people’s routine to help them stay financially fit and inculcate a habit of saving regularly through features like savings+.
Q9. How was this idea born and we are very keen on knowing your backgrounds and individual expertise in the business.
A- I have spent close to 17 years in the US where I worked with companies like Google (Google Wallet), Capital One and McKinsey. The last 15 years of my fin-tech experience have been focused on creating and launching new technology based financial products. I saw a huge opportunity in the fin-tech sector in India, and in 2014 I returned to India to pursue that opportunity. Upon my return to India, I partnered with Sanjay Aggarwal, a fellow IIT-alumnus. Sanjay is a passionate entrepreneur and technologist, with deep expertise in creating large scale technology based businesses, with experience at companies like Infosys, Yahoo, and most recently with Mingle Box where he was a co-founder. Sanjay and I both share this vision of changing the personal financial management space using the mobile technology and that's how Money View was born.
Q10. We would love to know about that one app that you found particularly useful and why?
A- Today, apps have become an integral aspect of our daily routine since people expect instant real-time information. As technology continues to seamlessly integrate with our offline activities, apps have become indispensable across areas like communication, transportation, entertainment etc.
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