It’s an exciting day for us at Xero because we get to talk about Xero Personal for the first time.
We’ve been working on Xero Personal for some time. We need to talk about it now as it’s about to go into external partner testing. It will be available in early 2010.
So what is Xero Personal all about?
One of the first reasons we looked at doing a personal edition is because many small business owners blur their personal and business expenses. Rewards points on credit cards are a good example of why this happens. So a key function of Xero Personal is to allow business owners to separate their personal and business expenses. Personal will work great on its own but it will also complement Xero Business.
The second reason is because this space is a good opportunity – ripe for a new business model. Looking at the state of the personal finance software market it’s undoubtedly becoming a hot space. A recent example is Intuit’s recent $US170 million acquisition of Mint. Personal products generally fit into two camps.
- Those that are stand alone and require some sort of advertising based model for revenue. There has been some great innovation here but we really don’t like cluttering things up with an advertising based model.
- Those solutions that are provided inside online banking. The problem with this approach is the difficulty to innovate and try new things as they are constrained by the requirements of working inside the banking environment.
We wanted to do something that hasn’t been seen before. A hybrid that leverages our great relationships with banking partners, while allowing us to innovate on our own platform. As we discovered with Xero Business – it comes alive when connected to a bank. So we wanted that for Xero Personal. Connecting to banks allows us to do some really exciting things and make it very easy for our customers.
What does Xero Personal do?
In terms of what the software does, we wanted to go past the initial hit of just classifying transactions and seeing the depressing reality of what you spend your money on. We want to create a new service that people use each week to set their goals and track progress. We want to change how people save and how they act with their money. All of us were blown away when our interaction team walked us through the early designs several months ago. We think we’ve built a tool that people will enjoy using again and again.
In New Zealand we’re working closely with the BNZ. It’s been so much fun working with their team. We intend to take Xero Personal to market with other banks around the world over time. We’ve designed it to support bank branding and provide a collection of widgets that can be displayed inside online banking. Xero Personal still works great without a bank connection – but working with banks and getting data moving around automatically will be an even better experience.
Xero Personal is a new code base, but we reused a lot from Xero Business. We’re excited to be able to get many more people to have a Xero experience with this product.
How and when?
Stay tuned for more information over the coming months as we complete testing and get into production.We’ll let you know as soon as it’s publicly available and how you can get it – early 2010. You can register your interest at www.xero.com/personal and we’ll email you updates.
Any questions, please let us know.