Times Internet Limited (TIL) has launched an Android app called SmartSpends which organises a user’s spends into categories like travel, dining and entertainment etc. It also claims to organise spends by merchants and accounts, and set an automated bill calendar, with the help of algorithms. The app, whose chat interface has been powered by Freshdesk, is free to download and use. TIL claims that SmartSpends will support all Android versions running 4.0 and above.
Early last month, we’d reported that TIL was planning to launch this app which would provide users with a know how on where they have spent money, organise spends and send alerts for bills etc.
Extracts info from transactional SMSes: The company claims that it does not store bank account details or passwords. It also claims that the app reads only transaction messages from a user’s phone, ignoring the other SMSes. However, it says that it knows the last 4 digits of the user’s credit and debit card, taken from the same transaction SMSes sent by the bank. It claims to identify these SMS alerts and extract amount, merchant and date information from it.
SmartSpends currently supports SBI, ICICI, HDFC, Citi, Axis, AmEx, Indus, Kotak, Standard Chartered, HSBC, IDBI and Yes Bank. It also supports telecom providers Vodafone, Airtel, Idea and its own couponing platform Coupondunia, which it is likely sourcing its deals from.
Spends and card usage suggestions: Apparently, after adding an item, the app displays the spend a day after the transaction has taken place. This feature is activated when a user adds a daily spend like breakfast or lunch and the expense is automated for a select period of time.
The company told MediaNama that for transactional messages, the app picks up the info from the SMS instantly. There is also a feature where you can ignore a particular expense if you do not want to see it in the month’s expenditure.
The app also lets you start a conversation/ask a question. This feature, the company says, is a live support chat, where if users face issues using the apps, they will be able to interact with the company through the chat. When I tried this feature, I had not gotten a response till the time of publishing the article. TIL claims that the feature called Card Suggest will suggest the user which of their credit or debit cards should be used for savings and offers deals and discounts based on the user’s spending pattern for that market.
The SmartSpends feature gives suggestions for optimal cards to spend from and lists offers for added cards. The app also creates a bill calendar where a user’s bills are aggregated into one category and provides alerts when the due date approaches.
Note that the app needs permissions to read sensitive log data, accounts on the device, contacts, location, read the user’s SMSes and MMSes (if you still have those, by the way), photos and media, files and network connections among others.
There’s a host of expense management apps on the Google Play Store and SmartSpends competes with apps like MoneyView, Expensify, and Mubble (for internet data and call balance usage). There is also an app called Zoho Invoices for business.