Zip-owned personal finance app Pocketbook to close

pocketbook

The Pocketbook and Zip team with David Koch in 2017. Source: LinkedIn/Pocketbook.

A personal finance app owned by buy now, pay later stalwart Zip will close next month, 10 years after it was founded with a mission to help Australians better manage their money.

The Pocketbook team informed users on Thursday that it made the “difficult decision” to close the Pocketbook app and web service from August 5, while also thanking them for “all the support and feedback along the way”.

Founded in Sydney in 2012 by Bosco Tan and Alvin Singh from a single spreadsheet, Pocketbook aimed to make personal finance “ridiculously simple” by allowing users to monitor their bills, minimise bank fees and late payment penalties, and track their budget and savings goals.

The startup quickly attracted hundreds of thousands of users, was named a finalist in multiple startup competitions, and set about raising capital in 2014.

It was acquired by Zip in 2016 in a reported $7.5 million deal but continued to operate as an app in its own right under the leadership of Tan and Singh, who in 2017, decided to address negative feedback by releasing a video with the team reading out mean comments from customers.

According to information posted on the Pocketbook website, the startup had more than 800,000 users in 2020.

While information posted on the company’s website does not indicate customers will be moved to the Zip ecosystem, it does state that Pocketbook is closing “so that we can focus effort on reimagining and rolling out some of the features you have come to love in Pocketbook, via the Zip App”.

Similarly, when Zip unveiled its updated brand in July 2021, it stated in a press release that it “plans to integrate functionality from its 5-star personal finance app Pocketbook into the Zip App”.

This would allow Zip customers in Australia to “track spending across multiple, bank, credit and Zip accounts, giving them a holistic view of their financial position and upcoming spending”, the company said at the time.

Zip expressed a similar sentiment in a statement to SmartCompany on Friday, saying the decision to close Pocketbook was made “in order to reprioritise resources to focus on delivering sustainable profitability in our core ANZ market”.

“Zip’s operating environment has changed significantly in the last few months and we need to adapt out strategy on the factors we can control, and accelerate our path to global profitability,” the company added.

Pocketbook users will be able to continue to use the app and website until August 4, after which time their accounts will be closed. The app will not be available to download from August 5 and users will not be able to log in to the mobile app or website.

The company said all personal data provided by users will be deleted from August 5, including names, email addresses, mobile numbers, and personally identifiable account and transaction details.

Users who wish to keep a copy of their own data, can do so by extracting a CSV file before August 4.

“We’re proud of the product we have built, but even more so, we are thankful for the role you have played in making it grow and get better over the last 10 years,” said the Pocketbook team.

SmartCompany has contacted Pocketbook for comment.

This article was updated at 3.20pm on July 8, 2022, to include a statement from Zip. 

COMMENTS

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Jerome
Jerome
1 month ago

Please suggest the best alternatives.

Michelle
Michelle
1 month ago
Reply to  Jerome

PocketSmith is a great alternative, it’s incredibly powerful!

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