by Divina Paredes

ASB learns from tech companies with development of its cashless moneybox

Sep 09, 2015
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ASBhas given its Kashin moneybox a digital makeover with the launch of a cashless interactive version, ‘Clever Kash’

The new-look elephant moneybox will enable parents to swipe virtual notes and coins from the ASB Mobile banking app to display on their child’s Clever Kash. The money in the child’s bank account will be displayed on Clever Kash’s tummy, with elephant noises that trumpet each time it’s used

“Clever Kash is our solution to this challenge in an ever-evolving digital era,” says ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman, during the launch at the North Wharf Innovation Lab in ASB’s headquarters.

Chapman says Clever Kash is the latest evolution of the Kashin moneybox the bank launched in 1964.

ASB CEO Barbara Chapman at the launch of Clever Kash

Clever Kash is our solution to this challenge in an ever-evolving digital era. Barbara Chapman

Children of ASB staff were among those who tested the prototypes

“Parents are telling us they’re finding it challenging to teach their children about the value of money as they don’t tend to use cash and coins for everyday purchases.

“Today, children are more likely to see their parents handing over a card to pay, and so may not appreciate how much things cost or see change calculated, as we do when paying in notes and coins,” says Chapman.

At the same time, she says an ASB commissioned survey notes how nearly all parents (96 per cent) believe teaching their children about money is an important life skill. But nearly three quarters (64 per cent) of the parents say they struggle to teach their children basic money skills as society becomes increasingly digital. She says Clever Kash makes cash tangible again so children can see first-hand how spending and saving is reflected on their Clever Kash display. James Bergin, ASB chief architect, says Clever Kash was developed using practices among many technology focused companies. “We are more than just a bank, we are a technology company that is licensed and trusted to provide financial services,” Bergin tells CIO New Zealand. “Money is becoming digital,” he says. “Yes, we consider ourselves a technology company first and foremost and are constantly looking to solve problems for our customers through innovation. That also means thinking differently. “We started to build a prototype,” he states. “We are using Agile technologies, we were iterating, dropping things every two weeks and saying, here is a new release. What do you think? “We tested and learnt as we went.” The bank also asked the children of ASB staff to test the different prototypes.

ASB chief architect James Bergin and executive general manager technology and inovation Russell Jones during the launch

We are more than just a bank, we are a technology company that is licensed and trusted to provide financial servicesJames Bergin, ASB

He says an early release of Clever Kash will soon be available as part of the product testing development.

Bergin says customers who want to be the first to trial Clever Kash can register their interest through the ASB Mobile banking app. They can also follow its development by subscribing to updates.

Clever Kash will connect with the ASB Mobile banking app via a secure and encrypted Bluetooth connection. Clever Kash is battery powered and if used a few minutes a day it will last roughly 16 days before requiring a recharge via micro USB.

“Parents can be safe in the knowledge that Clever Kash displays the account balance only and kids have no transactional ability,” he states. Bergin says the bank is already planning to widen the scope of Clever Kash to spending but any changes will be guided by customer feedback. He explains no account information is stored on the Clever Kash and communication is one-way, from ASB Mobile banking app to the Clever Kash moneybox. Data sent from the smartphone application to the Clever Kash device is controlled entirely by the parent/guardian. He says development of Clever Kash started a year ago, from ideation/concept to alpha prototype and beta prototype. ASB worked with the following on the project: Saatchi Saatchi (conceptualisation, experience design, communications specification, project management), 4Design (product design manufacturing), Kamahi (electronics engineers) and Assembly (product design film production). Bergin believes ASB is among the first in the region to launch the product. ASB has also filed a trademark application for ‘Clever Kash’ and also has a patent pending for the technology. He says Clever Kash is produced through “collaboration” with Kiwi companies, and states ASB parent company CBA (Commonwealth Bank of Australia) is interested in the concept.

How the prototypes evolved in the past 12 months

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