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: Effortlessly manage your subscriptions with Programmable Banking and AI
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Effortlessly manage your subscriptions with Programmable Banking and AI

16 October 2023, by Aretha Cooper

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Managing subscriptions can be a lot of admin. That’s why Nic Botes has built a simple platform that leverages programmable banking and AI to make things easier and avoid unnecessary monthly charges. Nic demoed his solution at a recent meetup, hosted by the Make team. Check it out:

“Put your hand up if you’ve been hit with a card transaction for some or other subscription, and you just face-palmed because you’d forgotten about it.”

That’s how Nic introduces Subtrack. Instead of doing an MBA, he decided to try the school of life approach to building a business and came up with an elegant solution that utilises AI to help people keep track of their subscriptions.


Design principles and customer identification

Nic laid down some useful principles for himself when setting out to build Subtrack. He decided to use generative AI to offload a lot of the manual work, ensured data privacy and built in bank-grade security utilising the Investec API. ”Being the privacy officer at OfferZen, I incorporated privacy by design as a first principle to ensure that we encrypt data and keep it secure.”

Nic identifies four types of users for his service:

Subtrack could be particularly relevant for businesses, enabling them to keep track of, pause, cancel and generally manage work-related subscriptions, which is particularly handy in the age of distributed teams.

How it works

Once you’ve connected your Investec account, and Subtrack has access to the relevant data, it uses ChatGPT4 to classify your transactions into easy-to-parse rows on your dashboard. You can then

  • search your transactions
  • manually classify them
  • track particular subscriptions
  • and control payments

“You can block any payment to a provider through the app,” explains Nic. “The app does a callback to the server to prevent authorisation of the use of your card on that service.”

Another handy feature is the trends graph, which helps businesses track subscription fluctuations.

Subtrack is presently an alpha release. “I’m looking to speak to as many people as possible,” says Nic, “so I’d love it if you signed up, used it, and told me which features you like and don’t like.” He’s also released the API [api.subtrack.co.za/api/v1/classify] so that the community can experiment with it.

Moving forward

Nic is looking to add functionality to address one of the most common subscription billing issues: When you sign up for a trial of a service with your credit card, but need to cancel after a given time to avoid being billed.

Programmable Banking community members also raised the idea of fine-tuning a self-trained large language model to classify transactions, which would reduce the AI service cost to a negligible level.

If you have questions or want to say hi to the Programmable Banking Community team, you can mail us [community-investec@offerzen.com], and we will get back to you.

If you want to see what the community has been up to, you can:

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