05 December, 2018

New smartphone app helps Kiwis keep track of their stuff

New Zealanders can now keep an up-to-date digital record of all their belongings in one convenient place, thanks to a new free smartphone app.

beContento™, powered by Westpac, allows users to catalogue and photograph their household items, from furniture and electronics to jewellery, providing an online backup if items are lost, damaged or stolen.

Westpac employee and beContento founder, James Lee, pitched his idea at a company brainstorming event, or “hackathon”, as a way to better appreciate his belongings.

“Basically it’s a digital inventory of your life,” he says. “It’s a lifestyle companion app that helps you work out exactly how much you own and what’s important to you. In a nutshell, it helps you manage your stuff.”

As he began developing the app and with his insurance background, Mr Lee soon realised beContento had a wider potential.

“A few years ago, I felt as if I was spending more time complaining about the things I didn’t have than appreciating the things I do have,” he says.

“I’m quite a visual person, and so I thought having a digital view of what I owned would help me to be more content with life.”

beContento is easy to use and removes the hassle of keeping physical records of purchases. Users can simply take photos, add receipts and warranties – or even selfies with their new or old belongings – and upload them to one convenient place.

They then enter the value of each item, creating a running tally which they can add to whenever they make a new purchase. The information is held in the cloud, meaning users can retrieve it even if their phone is replaced, damaged or stolen.

beContento helps users work out how much they should be insured for, and is designed to be useful if they have to make a claim. Police statistics show 65,310 burglaries and 125,905 other thefts were reported during the 12 months to June 30, 2018.

Westpac NZ’s Head of Ventures, Lewis Billinghurst, believes the app will appeal to individuals who want to protect and appreciate their valuables.

“We’re excited to bring James’ visions and ideas to life. The feedback we’ve received from our testing groups has been very positive, especially those who have experienced theft or robbery.”

beContento is available now for free in New Zealand on iPhone and Android devices.