Money Resolutions: How banks can help customers with New Year’s goals

Money Resolutions: How banks can help customers with New Year’s goals

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As the New Year turns, people promise to eat better, train harder, and exercise financial health. But as February approaches, good intentions often get lost in old habits. While banks don’t have a say in how their customers spend their day, they increasingly play a vital role in supporting them with their spending.

In 2021, finance apps reached 5.9 billion downloads—up 75% in three years. Today, mobiles act as wallets and banks, offering customers convenience and the underbanked access for the first time. Balance checks, payment transfers, budget organization, and contactless payments are now all possible from a smartphone.

But banks can do more than get customers' finances in order; they can help them live healthier non-financial lives too. And the best part? An accomplished customer means a successful bank.

So let’s take a look at what banks can do to support customers with their New Year’s resolutions.

Take a leaf from the retailer’s book

Rewarding customers isn’t new to banks, but non-financial brands are one step ahead. Today, popular supermarkets are leveraging customer data to offer coupons to support them with healthy eating during periods of peak inflation. The deals include the top 20 products customers buy most often, with fruit and vegetable favorites such as cauliflower, strawberries, bananas, and carrots. In return, the retailers bring customers back to their stores.

While banks might not hold data on their customers’ favorite nutritious foods, their data shows where customers like to shop, their spending frequency, and item necessity. With incoming and outgoing financial data, artificial intelligence (AI) could help analyze customers' behaviors, spending habits, and financial capabilities.

For instance, if a customer orders $25 takeouts for dinner every night, their financial app could encourage them to swap this for $5 pre-made supermarket meals, saving them $140 a week. That’s over $7,000 a year. All it takes is some data analytics.

Automate good habits

At BOND.AI, we found 28% of our banks’ consumers had the potential to improve their financial health that they were not harnessing. With AI-powered tools, like our EmpathyEngine®, banks can see their customers’ spending patterns and healthy-habit potential. Data provides evidence to back up prospective savings and motivate the customer, while automation drives the consistency that puts change into action.

For example, to continue with the example above, imagine you have a customer who frequently orders takeaways. While making yet another new food delivery payment, your bank could send them a text:

‘Hey Henry, your $25 DoorDash payment was a success! Did you know you could save up to $7k a year by swapping out your takeouts for $5 dinners? Want to learn more?’

Let’s say the customer says ‘Yes.’ Banks could start to automate daily notifications to remind the customer to collect their $5 dinner from the supermarket on the way home.

Banks can also automate transfers of $20 a day into a personal ‘takeout savings fund’ within their bank account. This way, the customer can automatically begin to save their $7k. If said customer does choose to use a delivery app again, banks can send alerts asking them if they would actually like to remove their saved amount from the fund—another step that causes them to rethink their old habits. An additional automated message could let customers know how much they could have saved.

Habits don’t change overnight; they are linked to the autopilot part of the brain that acts unconsciously. But new automated messages from banking apps could help encourage a step in the right direction. They can entice customers to switch up their spending—like avoiding a daily parking fee and setting a 15-minute earlier alarm instead.

Want to increase your retention rate and help your customers meet their resolutions?

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