An end to missing bills

It’s an awesome feeling to have an ‘aha’ moment after you push out a critical piece of a product and see it working right off the bat. I had one of those moments last Friday when we put the final lines of code into our ‘bill predictions’ feature. Below is the picture I saw. Initially I actually thought there was an error in the code/data.

Pocketbook was telling me that I was over a week late in paying a Telstra bill. Not only was Pocketbook detecting that I had missed the bill, it was telling me the total amount I was missing.

Immediately I searched and found in my email the Telstra e-bill and yes – it had actually been due and I hadn’t paid it this month. And it really was $22.95!

I had simply forgotten – they had sent it over 30 days earlier and I’d lost track of it.

Bill Prediction

So it’s exciting to launch our bill prediction feature to help keep you on top of your bills. Based on the your previous bill payments, we’ll do some heavy lifting to determine when the next bill is due and how much it is likely to be. You’ll see these colour coded in blue in the calendar (e.g. 1st picture last row). Your previously paid bills are show in green and missed bills will show in a hi-vis orange. Easy.

In the coming weeks we also plan to roll out notifications built around our bills feature so stay tuned.

When my partner sees letters coming in the mail with words such as “Overdue Payment” or “Please pay immediately”, I know I’m not going to be in her good books. It’s not that I don’t want to pay – it’s just hard to keep track of when and how much to pay. Pocketbook now takes care of that. And you.

Alvin

How much did you spend on your car last year?

This was the question I asked the 1,000 strong audience at the SydStart event last Monday. There weren’t many hands up.

Why is it that so few people know? Well, a hazardous guess would be that people just really don’t care. And in lean-startup fashion – how do you verify this? By talking to people! It quickly becomes evident that they do care. The real problem here is that it’s too hard to work out – at least with the current set of traditional tools at your disposal – receipts, bank transactions, spreadsheets etc.

And that formed the basis for our pitch to SydStart – we make it ridiculously simple to manage your money.

And it resonated with the audience. Many people came up to me after the 5 minute pitch to find out more about what we were doing. Although we didn’t win (shout out to the winners ProcessGo), it was great to get Pocketbook in-front of an audience.

What we really wanted from SydStart was early users – and we got that in spades. Building a startup for a long period without getting actual users is a terrible idea.

How do you know they will like it? How will they use it? Do they find it useful? These are the questions we are trying to answer. So if anyone is reading – go to your address bar – type getpocketbook.com – press enter. Hopefully you get delighted by what you see. If you are not delighted please let us know! Feedback tab on the right.

So if you’re wondering how much you spent on your car last year. We’ll help you answer that. And we’ll tell you much you spent on your fuel, insurance and repairs.

Here’s my spending straight out of Pocketbook for last year (took me 15 secs from sign-in to get this info!).

Parking: $59
Insurance: $1045
Fuel: $791
Other Costs: $797

Total: $2692

Alvin

Pocketbook

After putting many many man hours of work into the now named Pocketbook, we finally managed to ship this week.

What is it and what are we doing?

Trying to manage one’s own finances is hard at the best of times. It is none the more evident during tax time when your scrambling around trying to find invoices and receipts to work out your deductions. In Australia, we passed the end of financial year a few weeks ago, so it was out of this that Pocketbook was born.

We are trying to make managing your personal finances less painful. And without having to be a rocket scientist. The goal is to make it a frictionless and pleasant experience.

We are starting with connecting with your bank. Banks generally don’t do a great job at giving you insights into your spending. Some banks give you monthly statements giving you a very generic overview – but this has quite a limited use. Pocketbook is much much more powerful with features around auto-categorisation & tagging, searching and bill detection.

Currently we are supporting the major banks in Australia including Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ, NAB and St George.

If you want to give it a try, just go to our website at Pocketbook and signup.

This is just the beginning and we plan on bringing some innovation into this space.

Happy 0′th Birthday Pocketbook!