The best presentations you can give, I always think, aren't just the ones where you teach the audience something, but where they teach you something too. So, during my recent talk to the Financial Services Forum it was with great delight that I learned of Kublax.com, thanks to the marvellous David Lundholm of BGL Group Ltd (the guys behind Compare the Market, amongst other things).
Kublax is a fantastic, free, online financial management/budgeting tool that plugs what I've long seen as a big gap in e-banking services - the ability for you to analyse the data your bank holds on your money. As I wrote in my paper:
"With consumers set to take ever greater interest in their own data, brands need to start giving them access to their information, together with the tools to explore. Why doesn’t HSBC help me carry out some simple financial analysis when I use their internet banking, so I can manage my money better? "
Thankfully, the good news is that I don't need to hang around for my bank to get its arse in gear any more - and neither do you. With its secure encryption system (it uses the same tech as the banks), its easy to pull up data from all your accounts through Kublax, so you can view all your money as one. You can then get an easy overview of not just your incomings and outgoings, but what you're spending your money on (with automatic catagorisation) and even how your expenditure compares to similar users. Here's a couple of examples from my account (with some of the exact figures removed for modesty :)
So far, Kublax has one month's worth of my data. Where it's really going to get interesting is once I've been using it for a year or so and patterns & anomolies start to emerge. I'll also begin building a picture of myself through my transaction history. In a funny way, the proportions in that pie chart up there say something about me as a person. These days, as I said in this earlier post, data doesn't just report on what you do, it tells you who you are.
Aside from awareness, and being bothered to take the simple steps to set up your account, the main problem I think Kublax has is trust. It may say SECURE in big letters and have plenty of security accreditations and plaudits from reputable sources, but it's hard not to feel a twinge of doubt as you type in your internet banking ID and that secure code that your bank have told you NEVER to give out to anyone (even them!).
The solution for me would be for Kublax to either integrate its tech into existing e-banking software ("Kublax Inside") or arrange a spot of co-marketing, in partnership with the banks. For me, that'd be a real win-win-win situation. Kublax gets credibility, the banks look like the good guys for introducing people to this handy free tool and their customers get a new way to manage their money better, at a time when cashflow is a real issue for plenty of people.
Until that day, why not get ahead of the game? Grab yourself a Kublax account and take control of your finances for yourself.