App case study: ASB bank Digital piggybank for kids

Digital marketing industry case study library

ASB, one of the leading banks in New Zealand developed a modern spin on the classic moneybox will help make saving magic again. This case study looks at how the Australian firm brought the piggybank into the 21st century.


Case study summary

• Australian bank wanted to modern way to get kids to save through rewards (and win future custom)

• Developed app and ‘digital piggybank’ device that gave rewards for each investment

• Won a Cannes Lions Cyber award in 2016

The challenge

Trying to teaching kids the value of money has always been a tough task. Money already seems like an abstraction to them, but in a cashless society the concept becomes even more ethereal. Gone are the days when parents tossed loose pocket change at their kids, and teenagers might just as soon prefer getting Bitcoins instead of the traditional birthday check from their grandparents. Cash and coins are simply a lot less common these days, and this absence of tangible currency has made the future for piggybanks look pretty bleak.

The solution

Working with Saatchi and Saatchi, ASB developed Clever Kash, an innovative device in the shape of an adorable toy elephant that uses Bluetooth technology, WiFi and online banking to bring the piggybank into the 21st century.


The app and device let parents swipe virtual bills and coins from ASB’s mobile banking app, digitally transferred to their child’s Clever Kash elephant.

The money in the child’s piggybank (technically, it’s the child’s own savings account at ASB) is displayed on Clever Kash’s tummy screen, with elephant noises trumpeting each time it’s used. Sounds are triggered and badges awarded when a child makes their first swipe to Clever Kash, or when they reach a milestone on their savings journey, or complete a savings goal. It’s like PFM Jr.

Clever Kash, which measures approximately 6″ tall (15cm), connects with the ASB Mobile banking app via a secure and encrypted Bluetooth connection. Clever Kash displays the account balance only and kids have no transactional ability. Clever Kash is battery powered and if used a few minutes a day will last roughly 16 days before requiring a recharge via micro USB.

No account information is stored on the Clever Kash and communication is one-way, from ASB Mobile banking app to the Clever Kash moneybox. Data sent from the smartphone application to the Clever Kash device is controlled entirely by the parent/guardian.

The results

The response from kids played a major role in getting the product made. During the early testing phase children were shown three different designs, and the product that ASB revealed was the prototype that the children responded to best.

Bergin explains that this project is the latest example of ASB extending beyond the remit of banking into something that more closely resembles a tech startup.

“Here at ASB, we’re increasingly starting to think about ourselves as more than just a bank. We’re trying to think about being a tech company that’s licenced and trusted to provide financial services. And we’ve tried to approach this problem, and in fact this whole product launch, as an innovative product company would.”

The campaign scooped a Cannes Lion Gold award at the 2016 event, and got 38,000 people signing up.

Copyright ©2000-2019 Digital Strategy Consulting Limited | All rights reserved | This material is for your personal use only | Using this site constitutes acceptance of our user agreement and privacy policy