How Wally can help you with your UAE spending habits

The UAE's very own personal finance app Wally has now launched an Android version. So here's the lowdown on how to track your spending whether on an iPhone or Android.

CEO and co-Founder of Wally, Saeid Hejazi. Wally, the mobile app for managing personal finances, won the prize for best Startup at the Arabnet closing ceremony in Beirut. Andrew McConnell for The National
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So Wally is back with a new Android version. Who’s Wally, I hear you ask. Well, for those not in the know, Wally is not a person but a personal finance app created by a team based right here in the UAE.

First launched in 2013, it is the brainchild of a Dubai-based company headed up by Saeid Hejazi, the chief executive and co-founder.

This app tracks your spending relying on you, the user, to log your expenses as you go. However, it does simplify the process as you scan in your receipts so that the app does all the maths for you. From what you spend on your morning coffee, to the school fees, the groceries and a dinner out and more, all of it must be recorded into the app to give you a clear picture of your spending habits - good and bad.

Since its launch Wally has become the number one finance app in 22 countries.

But until now it was only available for the iPhone; then the company launched Wally+ on Android last week, which is available in 18 languages - just in time for you to take control of your festive spending.

However, to gain access to Wally+ Beta you need to get in line to reserve your spot via the Android app stores.

For those that want to know more about how the Android version of this app works, here are the answers to all your questions from the team at Wally:

Why did it take so long for Wally to launch on Android?

We’re a small team, and we spent a year focusing exclusively on iOS. So we wanted to make sure we gave our fans on Android who had waited so long the best experience possible, taking all the lessons we learnt from our iPhone users and applying them to build Wally+.

What is Wally+ Beta?

Over the past year, we’ve received countless requests to build Wally for Android. We had the opportunity to build something new from the ground up, and we’re launching the completely redesigned Wally+, exclusively for Android users. To get started, we’re opening up Wally+ Beta. We want users to join and help us test it and put the finishing touches on. We also want users to invite friends, to help us test social tagging in Wally+.

What’s the deal with the line?

Before we make Wally+ open to the public, we want to ensure it’s stable and bug-free. We also want to make sure we can manage the demand on our servers, so we created a reservation system for beta access.

How does the line work?

When you sign up, you’re given a spot in line on a first-come, first-served basis. If you earn a badge you’re able to jump ahead in line. The number of spots you jump depends on the type of the badge you earn. You earn badges by sharing your code and recruiting more beta testers.

How long is the wait?

We are working as fast as possible to bring you Wally+ and the beta version will open up to the first people in line as soon as we can.

How about iPhone users? Will they get Wally+?

Yes, Wally+ will be available to iPhone users as soon as possible.

I’m an existing iOS Wally user. Can I use Wally+ on my Android phone?

Wally+ is currently exclusive to Android. Because it’s completely brand new on the inside, the iOS and Android versions are currently not compatible. We are working on a solution to make it easy to migrate your Wally data from iOS to Android, but that will come later. If you’re willing to start over on Wally+ without your existing data, go ahead and set up a new account on Android. But if you’re a loyal Wally iOS user with months of existing financial data, we recommend you wait until the full migration is available.

Are there any ads?


How do you make money?

Good question. The idea is to build a really good basic version that everyone can use and love. We plan to add some optional premium features in the future (ranging from $0.49 - $4.99) such as currency conversion for travellers or family management tools for users with children.

Is my data secure?

Absolutely. Your privacy is not for sale. Your information is safe and secure, and we will not sell your information to third parties.

Can I export my data?

Yes, you can email yourself a .csv (Excel) file with all of your Wally data. In the “Settings” screen, select the “Export All Data” option.

Can I save pictures of receipts?

Yes. With every expense you log in, you can take a picture of the receipt for your records. These will be attached to your expenses and saved to your camera roll, in an album titled “Wally receipts.”

Can I login from my computer?

We’re still working on it — stay tuned.

Can I sync between multiple devices?

Yes, you can – but right now only between Android devices (phones, tablets). Once we upgrade the iPhone version to Wally+ and have web access, you’ll be able to manage your money from anywhere.

Does Wally integrate with my bank?

We do not currently offer banking integration. It’s something we may offer in the future, but we never want it to be a prerequisite to using Wally.

Where can I download Wally+ from?

Visit the Google Play store or from your local Android app store.

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