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SBN Member profile: KokoTala by Ivamere Nataro
Published in Samoa Observer 21/01/2019
In this digital world, keeping updated and connected to the changes occurring around us is essential.
A start-up technology company, KokoTala, plans to do just that with their new Tālā App that helps with financial literacy.
KokoTala is on a mission to change people’s spending habits and normalise financial behaviour such as budgeting, saving, spending, investing and talking about money either as an individual, family or tribe through this free technology solution.
Established in July 2018, KokoTala has made it easy for everyone to access the app from any location, but the primary target market is the Pacific and Maori people of all ages.
“We believe that financial well-being is a shared responsibility between individuals, families and communities. The Tālā App will help build financial literacy and capability, increase individual and family savings, networth and ease debt – and in doing so, transform lives,” Founder, Ruth Malo said of why the business was established.
“The Tālā App will be designed with Pacific culture in mind and it will be forever free. We will never sell your data - period. It will be available in English, Samoan, Tongan and Māori with other Pacific languages added at a later stage. Users will have the ability to share their information and chat with others.”
Ruth said they invested their own money in setting up the business and also their time, with a modest funding from the Ministry of Social Development’s Building Financial Capability Fund in New Zealand.
“We have engaged with everyone from potential users, Pasifika and Māori groups and communities, Government and a whole heap of other people and organisations. Feedback has been overwhelming positive with some saying that the app is long overdue for our people.”
Ruth hopes to launch the app early 2019 including in Samoa and Australia.
She acknowledged that challenges she encounters are to do with future funding or investment to scale the business.
“We’re excited to be starting out on a journey with the community to change spending habits and connect and save with family and friends anywhere in the world. The Tālā App is a simple-to-use, easy-to-understand key to improving and enhancing our financial story.”
Sign up on their website www.kokotala.com to be notified of the launch date.
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