Keeping the money mobile

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 10:47 15/07/2014

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New Zealand is one of the first target markets for United States start-up Moven, which will launch its mobile money management service here in the next six months.

Moven is not a bank, but offers a free smartphone-based account with a debit card through a bank in the US.

Users can make mobile payments through the Moven app, receive real-time spending alerts and access budgeting tools.

Integration with Facebook means they can also map out how social events affect their spending behaviours and send money to friends.

Moven recently secured US$8 million (NZ$9.1m) of funding to expand into new markets, with New Zealand and Canada at the top of the list.

Chief executive Brett King said Moven would launch here in the next six months.

Moven would work through a "major bank brand" in New Zealand, King said.

The bank, which had approached Moven before it announced its plans to expand outside the US, would be identified next month, he said.

"So New Zealand sort of came to us," he said.

The factors that made a country attractive were high smartphone penetration, ability to make tap-and-go payments, and an increased use of app-based financial tools and alternative financial service providers, like PayPal or Google Wallet, King said.

Besides New Zealand and Canada, Australia, Poland and Britain were also demonstrating those trends, he said.

Moven had a waiting list of 100,000 users before it became publicly available in March.

The company has outlined ambitious plans to use its partnership strategy to reach 10 million app downloads over the next few years.

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