“Money Manager adds an unprecedented layer of usefulness to the electronic statement medium.” – Microsoft, 2010.

Nedbank Money Manager

In 2009 we developed a lightweight accounting application called Money Manager. Two South African banks heard of the product and approached us, asking for exclusive rights to license the software for their clients. We ultimately partnered with Nedbank, one of South Africa’s largest banks, who made “Nedbank Money Manager” available to their entire retail banking base. Money Manager went on to become the most widely used Personal Financial Management tool in South Africa.

Money Manager is fantastic. With the latest version I have actually been able to set a budget that I can understand, for the first time in 8 years.

Gavin Goodwin
I have always found Gary to be highly intelligent, innovative and extremely professional. He always brings his “A” game, and makes it his priority to ensure that Nedbank, as a client, is happy. Gary is honest, transparent, and highly ethical. Gary is a shining example of an individual that lives the values that Nedbank holds dear. I can, without any hesitation, recommend Gary and will gladly vouch for his flawless work ethic and approach to his profession.
Lee Albertyn, Head of Virtual Channels, Nedbank

Money Manager is the single product that revolutionized my whole financial thinking.

Ann Johnson

I run a bookkeeping company and Money Manager has made my business more efficient in my dealings with clients, I highly recommend it. Your software has changed my business and continues to make my life simpler with each build.

Stuart Beacham
Gary has always been extremely reliable in delivering the right products within budget and always on time. He also provides valuable guidance during the development process as he has a broad knowledge base which is used to enhance the product offering.
Brett Kinmont, Senior Manager, Nedbank Digital

Money Manager has helped me get a grip on my spending habits. I love it!

Norio De Sousa

A very neat and useful tool. Quick and easy to get started and use. Definitely recommended for small business and individuals.

Peter Mansfield

Money Manager is amazing and definitely simplifies the day to day running of a small business.

William Allison

We’ve been using Money Manager for years and love it! I use it to summarize my income and expenses for my small accommodation business. I honestly don’t know how I’d run my business without this software. Thank you so much!

Carol Sachs

Thank you. I have used QuickBooks and Microsoft Money in the past. Money Manager was one of the main reasons I moved my account to Nedbank, it is a great product.

Ewald Fock
Gary has been an absolute pleasure to work with. His quality of work and willingness to go the extra mile are second to none. He always offers a great perspective that often allows us to take initiatives to the next level. Gary’s knowledge and expertise have no bounds.
Ryan Scerri, Head of Mobile, Nedbank

What we were solving

Gary actually built Money Manager for his own use. He was tired of wasting time logging into bank accounts, downloading statements to Excel, trying to figure out what was going on. So he built a tool that did all of that automatically. The idea was always that it should be as easy to pull in bank statement data from various banks / accounts; categories those transactions (automatically where possible); view meaningful, useful graphs; do invoicing, and track which invoices had / hadn’t been settled – as it was to use email.

So that’s what Gary built, and it worked really well. He made the tool available on his blog and it rapidly went viral, and Nedbank and another major South African bank approached him and asked if they could license the tool for their clients. Gary ultimately signed with Nedbank, who made it available to all of their retail and small business clients.

Over the years we continued to enhance the product, based on feedback and requests from tens of thousands of users. The product received significant accolades from the press, Microsoft, and most importantly – our users.

How we solved it

There were many difficult parts to this puzzle.

First, when we built the original version (before we licensed it to Nedbank) we wanted to be able to login to all of the major banks in South Africa, and download all of their bank statements into a unified file format – automatically and without any user intervention whatsoever. We did that without any assistance from the banks, by coming up with some really clever automation and screen-scraping, using numerous technologies to get this all working without any user intervention whatsoever. In order for Gary to build all of that he needed bank accounts with all of the major banks to test on – some of these were his own, but many of them belonged to our users, who simply trusted us with their PIN / Password / Profile information in order to build and test the automation processes against live data.

That sense of trust and incredible community was how Money Manager was formed, evolved, and continued to thrive until it because the largest Personal Financial Management (PFM) tool in South Africa, and eventually got the attention of Microsoft who contacted us from their head office in Washington and asked to interview us for what we had managed to build.

The bank statement automation piece was just the beginning though. Automatically classifying transactions using what today would be called “machine learning” (although that wasn’t yet a buzzword when we built all of this) was another big piece of the puzzle. We did this by effectively building a machine learning layer / engine, which processed millions of transactions based on how actual users manually classified them – again, all with the help of our community. By the time Nedbank launched Money Manager to their clients we were already able to classify over 80% of transactions automatically and correctly (two different things). Within 18 months of Nedbank launching Money Manager to their clients that number went up to 96%.

Once we had those two important pieces in place (getting and classifying the data correctly and automatically), we then built all of the magic on top of that.

Could this benefit you?

We’ve actually been wondering this ourselves for some time now.

A few years ago Nedbank gradually phased out Money Manager, as they decided to build PFM-type functionality directly into their Internet Banking platform. We considered trying to support the product ourselves, without the Nedbank partnership, but we have always been better as a “pure tech company”, and not a marketing / support / help desk / all-of-that company.

We’ve often considered looking for a new partner for the product. It could also reasonably easily be expanded to support foreign banks.

If you happen to work for a bank, or another organization that might be able to roll this tool out to your client base, and would like to have this discussion with us, please get in touch.

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