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UK Research: How consumers use savings apps

OBIE UK | Jan 6, 2022

Savings apps - UK Research:  How consumers use savings appsAs part of new research conducted for the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) by independent research agency Marketing Means, we interviewed a small number of UK consumers, from a wide range of age groups and income brackets, who shared their experience of the market-leading savings apps.

How can apps help the saving habit?

Open banking savings apps offer a handy, ‘low impact’ way of helping individuals to save.

This works in two ways: providing an additional means of saving for more established savers, or in some cases, provide a way of saving to individuals who have otherwise struggled to do so.

Q. What are the positive aspects of using your savings app?

A. “I really like the saving round-up feature. I’d say overall they’ve met my expectations and exceeded them. And using it, I’ve matured as a saver.”

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A. “It’s all very easy. How much goes in varies, as it runs itself in the background, but I really like the way I can slow down or speed up the savings rate through the app. It really gives me confidence that if I’m having a heavy week, I can adjust it.”

A. “I save through two apps. One has a fairly standard account but there are some issues with getting money out of that one. I’ve had some delays on withdrawals, so I tend just to leave the money in there. On the other app, I’m more engaged as I’ve got money going into two funds. One is a standard one but the other one has a higher risk rating. I enjoy doing that one. It’s satisfying seeing what happens with it, and fun as well.”

A. “The advantage was, I didn’t want to replace my bank account, so I didn’t want to go down a Monzo route. I wanted an additional savings facility that would link to different accounts I have.”

Q. Was the app easy to use and did it help you understand your finances better?

A.”I really like how the app slows me down. Because it’s a restricted access, I can’t just dip into it as I have done in the past with others. But also, that makes me reflect and means I can think about my money more. It’s changed the way I am with money, for the better.”

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A. “I like the flexibility. You can dial the savings rate up and down. You can boost a payday. I can use it flexibly to save when I’ve had a bonus. And I like the way they describe the investment plans – ‘standard’, ‘balanced’ – I think that’s a useful way to explain them, easy to understand. The app has a really good dashboard, it almost feels as if you’re getting a bespoke savings service that’s easy to use.”

A. ” I was attracted by the way it saves in the background, so you hardly notice it’s happening. When I started, I thought I’d build up a substantial fund really quickly. I’ve got a more realistic view now, but I’m still really happy with it.”

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