SA’s Moneysmart closes down, team refocusing on B2B

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South African personal financial management tool Moneysmart has shut down, with its management saying they are now focusing on a business-to-business model.

Moneysmart launched in beta in 2011 before being revamped in 2012, offering automatic integration with major South African banks. The product also integrated with online banking, with transaction data uploaded and automatically categorised by the startup.

The management team said Moneysmart had been an “ambitious project with the potential to help people manage their spending, pay off their debts faster and find savings”, but the tool is no longer operational as of May 1.

“Since 2011, as a company, we’ve learned, evolved and gone on to develop more innovative technologies that empower the companies and institutions making up the financial services industry, by delivering better experiences and products to their customers,” the team said.

“As a result of the demand from the industry, our focus is now shifting to a business-to-business model. This is where we believe we can make a real difference while still serving your needs – only this time through your own trusted bank, lender, insurance, healthcare or investment provider and not a personal finance management tool.”

This shift in focus has been running in parallel to Moneysmart, with the team saying as a result it had “neglected to further update, improve and complete a new consumer-facing financial management tool”.

“And as a result of all of this, we’ve had to make the tough decision to shut down the Moneysmart personal finance tool and devote all our energy and efforts to our new business strategy,” the team said.

The Moneysmart Community Blog and monthly newsletters will remain active as a free education service, offering financial tips and tricks.

“We will continue to operate under our holding company, Limitless Technology Group, building new and innovative solutions. You will soon experience our service in a number of next-generation financial services companies. We will be sure to notify you once these solutions launch,” the management team said.

“We thank you for walking the path with us over these last few years and look forward to bringing you further financial technology innovation.”

Disrupt Africa reported in November Moneysmart founder Tobie van Zyl had launched Bsavi, a spend management tool that shows users exactly how much they can spend on a daily basis once they have accounted for their planned and fixed expenses.

The startup said people generally relied on mental accounting skills in order to budget between pay cheques, with Bsavi solving this problem with its single purpose “Daily Available Cash” feature, which acts as the catalyst for many forthcoming features such as credit monitoring, mobile payments and crowd savings.

“We live in the age of social networks, Google Now, and Artificial Intelligence, all of which have already started to shift the paradigm in how we connect, communicate and transact in the information age. Banking tomorrow won’t be a place you go to but something that you do. We aim to integrate into the way everyday people live, work and play with their money, essentially becoming the Google Now of personal finance,” said van Zyl.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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