Japan’s Photo Money app brings a visual approach to personal finance



We have witnessed a number of personal finance apps from Japanese developers over the past few years. Most notably, both Zaim and ReceReco have both taken an ease-of-input approach by implementing OCR technology into their apps for quick scanning of receipts. But today I’d like to look at a new personal finance app that takes a more visual approach to monitoring your personal spending. It’s called Photo Money.

Currently available on iOS in both Japanese and English, the application lets you take a picture of whatever you’ve bought, and add the price using a large calculator-style input. Note that you can input in just about any currency, so users all around the world can try out Photo Money if they wish. The result of logging your purchases in this way is a reverse-chronological gallery of your expenditures, which is a great visual overview of your spending.

The app also differs from other finance apps in that it presents only a weekly view. While this could be merely because of the space constraints of the photo gallery view, the developer states that it’s because one week gives you shorter iterations of time to improve your spending habits. So if you aren’t happy with your spending this week, you can try to do better starting next Monday!

Developed by RandyApps [1], Photo Money is ad supported, although I think many users would welcome a paid, ad-free version too. Photo Money is currently not ranked very high on the App Store, but I think if it was reclassified to be included in the less croweded ‘finance’ category (it looks to be classified as a photo app for the time being), it could gain significant visibility as applications like Zaim and ReceReco have.


  1. I’ve reached out to the Japanese developer, who may be based in Japan, or possibly Australia. I’m not certain.  ↩