Santander launches group money management mobile app

By Nicole Miskelly | 24 July 2015

Santander launched a group money mobile app called KiTTi earlier this week, which targets groups of people who want to pool their money for activities such as a holiday, wedding, house-share and sports club etc.

“The inspiration is the jar of coins in the pub or the group of university students in a shared house who need to pay their electricity bills,” said Ben Green, CEO of KiTTi at Santander.

In a bid to target the one person in a group of friends, family or work colleagues that becomes responsible for the collection jar, the virtual ‘cash kitty’ is open to customers of any UK bank and can be used on Android and Apple iOS phones together with a prepaid contactless MasterCard.

The organiser is able to invite people to join the kitty within the app and money can also be transferred to and from the kitty pot. “It’s perfect for the WhatsApp generation,” said Sam Nixon, head of KiTTi at Santander.

Developed by Santander in partnership with global mobile tech company, Monitise and payment tech services provider, Kalixa Payments Group, the app allows Santander to provide its own innovative edge to an increasingly competitive market and claims to have developed the first ‘digital kitty’ in the UK.

“The idea behind Santander’s KiTTi app, which is completely unique in the UK, is to make it much easier for groups of people to pay for virtually anything, and with just one single KiTTi prepaid card. It’s really that simple,” said Nixon.

The launch highlights Santander’s determination to fight against the threat that the bank and its high street rivals are facing from tech companies that have set their sights on the financial services sector.

Jonathon Bennett, CCO at Kalixa said: “The emergence of the shared economy where individuals pool resources, information and even consumption is an undeniable trend. Traditional cash based systems that are inconvenient and onerous for consumers are being replaces by simple, inclusive and sustainable services made possible by mobile. KiTTi is at the crest of this wave.”

The bank is hoping to have gained between 70,000 and 100,000 KiTTi owners on the platform by the end of the year, however, according to reports, the fact that the KiTTi has only been digitised up until the point of payment, could prove to be a hindrance to mass adoption rates due to the popularity of digital wallets, caused by the launch of Apple Pay in the UK.

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