June 2018 – The Big Save: Spending and Savings Tools

Spending analysis and savings tools help customers with the critically important but difficult task of understanding spending habits and saving money. Only seven of the 19 firms in our coverage group offer either a spending analysis or a savings tool, a severe missed opportunity for the 12 firms that do not offer any sort of tool. A bank is already holding a customer’s cash on deposit, so it should help them figure out how to best manage their cash, particularly for everyday spending. If not, customers are likely to turn to third-party platforms such as Intuit’s Mint, which we cover in this report, for financial management tools. Not only do these external platforms decrease engagement, they may also—as Mint does—recommend other firms’ products and services to maintain a free service. Nevertheless, we found that the firms covered in this report mostly offered intuitive interfaces with extensive functionality, modern design elements and customization.

Aside from Capital One 360, each firm made improvements or additions to their interfaces since the last time we covered this topic in June 2014. While some firms added new functionality, most firms made improvements in design and customization. Improvements in these areas enhance overall usability and accuracy, which are critical for customer engagement. In general, firms covered in this report offer similar spending analysis, budgeting and savings goal tools, with some going a step further to offer extensive customization or multiple viewing options. All firms except Capital One 360 analyze spending by categories and subcategories, represented as a pie chart, bar chart or progress meter. These firms also offer a categorical budget tool for users to monitor spending, visualized with progress meters. Lastly, all firms but Citibank let customers track savings goals for various life events.

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