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We’re here today with Bosko Tan COO of Pocketbook. Bosko thanks for your time. Are you able to share some of the background to Pocketbook.


Audio Transcription


Bosco Tan: [00:00:13] Yeah sure. I and my co-founder we’ve been friends for 20 years. We’ve kind of went through high school and university together. And early on in our careers we kept in touch and sort of looked at different business opportunities and we were always kind of tech focused founders and we always taught about starting something. But it really sort of hit the ground until you know we were approaching our 30s and looking at different products where we can manage our finances better. Tt the time we were leaving long term careers to do more contracting roles and at the same time you know looking at things like getting married having kids etc. It’s a big life financial decision moments and these were sort of the confluence of events really prompted us to create something for ourselves and our friends and that sort of caught fire. We built a small following on from there and now we’re tracking at over 350,000 Australians using the product.

David Tasker: [00:01:07] And what it’s pocketbook allow its users to do?

Bosco Tan: [00:01:10] So pocketbook is if you think about it’s the most simple way to track and budget and save for your personal finances. So really sort of all that package they used to have to do mental gymnastics and use spreadsheets for now it’s all ready with computing power inside your pocket on a phone. That’s why we call it Pocketbook.

David Tasker:
[00:01:31] And you’ve added an AI component to it. What’s the importance of that. Absolutely.

Bosco Tan: [00:01:37] It really is about t reducing the human factor and the manual work that’s required. So the more the computer can start to learn what you’re spending on and what your spending patterns are and start to classify those correctly into different buckets. The more we can add on top and build smarts on top of that layer. So we’ve got one of the best categorisation engines in the market if not the best. And I can say that in a global sense. And from that perspective we can really build some of the best smarts around around how people look after their money.

David Tasker: [00:02:12] And in a user case. What are some of the successes you’ve heard?

Bosco Tan: [00:02:16] So it ranges from really simple cases where people have been able to identify fraudulent payment or you know we put a notice on a bank feed that was charged in error and they’ve spoken to the bank and have that reversed. To really sort of transformational things. We’ve had users tell us that they’ve been able to save for a home loan simply because they’ve tracked their money and it’s all sort of right in front of them. Front of mind in a product like Pocketbook. So we’ve had the spectrum of those things. So I think we’re really affecting Australian lives.

David Tasker: [00:02:49] And how was the product evolved over the period?

Bosco Tan: [00:02:53] So it’s funny you should ask that. When we were starting up there wasn’t really a concept of mobile banking. The idea of paying a bill on your mobile app is just ridiculous at the time. So at the time we thought it was very much a web focused product because all the accounting products were on the web. So we built a website and that was all it’s about. Not only did we think about it in that way but so it looks like that the banks did also. It wasn’t only until about sort of 12 months later where all the users were trying to find us on the App Store that we discovered there was a huge demand there. And when we developed the app on the App Store we really increased our user base in our first month we tripled our user base. So so far we’ve been able to build a better user interface through the years. We’ve been able to build in more AI and more machine learning components and really make the app simpler to use and really much sort of very much that the smartest product they can have in your pocket. That’s that’s a value for money.

David Tasker: [00:03:58] And the business is owned ultimately by ASX Listed zipMoney. What’s the synergies with that business?

Bosco Tan: [00:04:05] So for us as zipMoney we see it as two sides of the one business. If you know what that money does they basically provide really simple consumer credit to millennials essentially trying to buy something on one of the well-known online websites or even install. So for us it’s been able to look after the millennial and have responsible and easy lending on that sort of credit side disrupting the credit cards which are clunky and difficult to use to. On the Pocketbook side being able to provide them something that helps them save money, create wealth and really look after what they’re spending on because everything is more expensive to date and then it used to be. So we like to think we’re the complete solution for a lot from the millennial and from a financial perspective going forward.

David Tasker: [00:04:57] And as a founder you were obviously excited at the beginning. Are you still excited about Pocketbook now?

Bosco Tan: [00:05:02] Absolutely. Today as we speak we just push the button on the new release of the Pocketbook App. Delivering one of the most requested features that users have told us. So one of the things that people wanted was to be able to budget from an envelope sense to take their paycheque put it in an envelope and really spend exactly what’s in that envelope. Now to mimic that successfully I’m on a mobile app. So from what we’ve seen no one in the world has been able to do it. And I believe we have a really good solution around that which just went live today.

David Tasker: [00:05:35] Thanks for your time. Pleasure to be here.

Bosco Tan: [00:05:37] Thanks David.

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