Moneytree gives Japanese consumers smarter access to their finances

Moneytree gives Japanese consumers smarter access to their finances

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See the original story in Japanese.

Our readers may recall when we recently featured Japanese personal finance app Zaim. It finally has OCR functionality which can collect purchase data just by taking a photo of your receipt. But as many people have multiple bank accounts and multiple credit cards, they might be interested in a more robust financial organization system for their money management.

Australian entrepreneur Paul Chapman (based in Japan) has created Moneytree, a smartphone app that allows users to manage their spending by importing bank balances and card billing updates.

The app has a sort of artificial intelligence, and can sort your spendings into the appropriate categories. Its data analysis feature will surface trends about your spending too. In comparison to similar apps, Moneytree eliminates much of the manual work, as it just syncs with user accounts from more than 30 banks and credit card companies.

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The Moneytree team is working out of Co-ba, a co-working space in Shibuya. As to why they developed this sort of app, Paul explains:

People feel tracking their finances is a heavy burden. It takes too much time, so people give up soon after starting, and that makes you feel a sense of guilt. Moneytree is an app that seeks to do the hard work for you — after signing up, you just open the app on your device to see bank balances or credit card usage.

These days, with a growing number of e-commerce services out there, consumers will tend to use cash less often when purchase, preferring to use credit card or e-money. New payment methods, such as the Coiney app for example, could drastically change the Japanese payment market and increase the volume of credit card transactions.

It will be interesting to see where Moneytree will fit in among the forest of finance management options available in Japan.