Raise your hands if you have ever been confused trying to get details of what you spent money on in a particular period. Now, did you tell yourself that budgeting is a better way to counter-fix your issue, how did that work out for you?
Being financially disciplined isn’t an easy task, people go day-by-day spending money that they can’t account for, and to top it off have no structured budgeting plan, you may have tried jotting down your expenses or creating an excel file to record your transactions. Although the latter may seem more efficient it still doesn’t erode that feeling of not financial accountability.
Sadly, a lot of us have faced and continue to face these issues, and some people have taken it upon themselves to free Gen Z's from the shackles of financial indiscipline.
In August 2021, Oluwatimilehin Ogunme, a final year Babcock student faced a similar experience. He noticed he was spending a lot of money and couldn’t account for all of it properly.
He tried using budgeting apps but they were built for foreign accounts, so he went on searching for apps that were compatible with Nigerian accounts. Ogunme eventually stumbled upon a tool, after using it for some months, but he still wasn’t satisfied with the app. After much deliberation and research, Timilehin saw an opportunity and decided to take matters into his own hands.
He then decided to pitch his idea to his best friend, Rasheed Aro. Together with seven other members all of who are still university students with half of the team being Babcock students, they launched Trakka. On May 18, 2022, the Trakka app went public, and since then recorded 30,000+ transactions and has over 3000+ downloads, a remarkable feat for the young Gen Z founders.
An uncontrolled spending habit
In a report by Morgan Stanley Gen Z’s spend an outsized portion of their income on eating out, mobile devices, transportation and housing, etc.
The issue of financial discipline continues to haunt them as they look to take hold of their finances. The report also shows the increase in income of Gen Z’s compared to that of Millenials when they were younger, who are more likely to have uncontrolled Spending culture.
In Nigeria the case is still the same, In a NIBSS report as of 10th April 2022, more than 54 million Nigerians are reported to have a registered BVN. The report also shows that there are more than 133.5 million active bank accounts. Using the above data, we can estimate that the ratio of bank accounts to BVN holders is 1:3, meaning each BVN holder has three accounts on average.
The problem of spending is a lingering one intertwined with poor budgeting skills. People budget and aren’t consistent with responsibly aligning your finances to your status. While budgets and spending patterns change due to economic and personal factors, the discipline of managing finances remains constant. Spending can be tied to several factors, one major factor is income Gen Z’s tend to earn higher than what millennials would have earned if they were still young.
What is Trakka’s gameplay?
Trakka is the first product from its parent company finstaq. On building their first financial tool Timilehin says ‘we started Finstaq to build financial tools that matter, Trakka is to become a financial tool that matters, he further said.
"We noticed that individuals want to spend + save their money in the most efficient way possible," despite having numerous money management methods they still don’t solve the main issues - ‘regular management methods are outdated and inconvenient for people who want to take their personal finance seriously’ Timilehin says.
Trakka was built from the pain point of its founders, and seeing that the financial space isn’t too saturated with personal finance tools makes the application even much needed today. The action of spending now and budgeting later continues to be a pain in the neck, but Trakka wants its users to be more intentional about their finances.
Regardless of the several bank apps, one may have, the Trakka business model takes the market by surprise. Trakka wants its users to make better financial decisions. The founders have been able to recognize that Gen Z's spend a lot of money without thoroughly thinking about whether or not such a purchase is essential.
Trakka users don’t have to scroll through several bank apps to understand their current financial situation, rather users can link several bank accounts to the app and monitor their expenses and have a glimpse of how their financial life is faring.
How does Trakka work?
Trakka has been able to build a very interactive and friendly app that gives its users optimum control over their finances. It focuses on three pillars of personal finance; spending, saving and budgeting with a curated feature for each structure.
Trakka is available on both IOS and Android Play store, To sign up with the app users are required to give their names and email addresses, Trakka allows only one bank account to be synced. Thereafter Trakka charges a fee of 500 Naira each month to link more bank accounts.
So let’s dive into its amazing features:
Kicking off with its budgeting feature, Trakka wants users to be financially disciplined. "One of our main goals was to create a super budgeting system that fits all income classes," he said, First off when you have a budget, this feature allows users to create custom-tailored categories for each of their expenses, users can also break their budget goals for any period, say weekly or monthly.
It also comes with an in-built auditing tool that gives users information on how much they are spending in real time and shows them a notification when they’re overspending the set budget.
Trakka also has another feature called manual transactions, "We got overwhelming feedback from a couple of our users concerning features they’ll love to see on the app, one of which was manual transactions," according to Timilehin.
Despite the increased volume of mobile money transactions, Cash is still the most widely used form of payment and Timilehin didn’t want to exempt this type of payment, hence building manual transactions for its users. Manual transactions give users the ability to record cash-based expenses on a selected category therefore still accounting for all forms of payments.
Trakka wants to do away with manual input for transactions; the team built an AI-powered categorization and insight tool that automatically sorts your expenses under tags and gives users a periodic overview of their expenses across all their bank accounts. This way users don't have to worry about manually sorting all their expenses.
Trakka's smart categorization tool has an 80% accuracy rate in being able to sort bank transfers, data subscriptions, mobile airtime, bank charges and other daily expenses made from its user's bank account.
Tracking the future
Trakka understands the essence of building features to help existing and prospective users. They plan on rolling out more features to help its users, it plans on rolling out a payment integrated channel to allow users to interact more with the money in their account, and the new update will allow users to make payments, pay bills, and buy airtime from Trakka.
So far Trakka has raised an undisclosed sum from an Angel investor and plans to raise more seed rounds in a couple of months. There’s still more in line for Trakka. The founders believe Trakka can change the game of personal finance and help a lot of people become more careful in handling their money.
This article was contributed by Kevin Aigbekaen, a writer covering stories around the African tech ecosystem.