Savings Providers Should Look To Play To Strengths

Experience Counts

As rates rise and providers inevitably begin to make savings account offering more appealing, consumers will be looking for the best offerings on the market meaning banks need to take a look at their in-app and online capabilities.

On desktop, there are a handful of features and functions that should be on every provider’s radar. Most now offer low balance alerts, while some have integrated the ability to set up and edit automatic savings and those leading the field are offering the ability to set and display savings goals. In-app, providers are playing to the channel’s strengths, and most offer remote deposit (check) capture.

However, there are many holes across the market in terms of what can and could be offered in each channel. 76% of providers tracked by the Digital Banking Analyzer offer the ability for savers to move money between accounts online, a figure that drops to 71% on mobile. The same count allows for transfers between externally linked accounts online and drops to 59% in-app (and a number of those providers do not offer the ability to see pending or scheduled transfers). Further, around a quarter of providers allow their users to transfer funds to a person on either channel.

In terms of transfer information 82% of providers allow customers to set up recurring or future-dated transfers online, a figure that falls to 65% in-app. Few market participants have set up referral facilities, with about a third doing so online and less than 20% on mobile.

There have been upgrades in recent months, however, that suggest that the market is moving. USAA, N26 and American Express have each rolled out new move money interfaces, and each have their merits. USAA’s new tile system lets users customize their homepage, which displays balances of externally linked accounts and allows the customer to view resources and savings goals should they choose to. Discover now lets users move funds to another person from their savings account using Zelle, adding an element of flexibility other providers are yet to embrace.

Considering a savings functionality mix is a conundrum for providers, and one that requires internal debate as well as market research. Over the past few years banks have started to think from the user’s point of view and for some customers the best way to save is to set up automatic transfers and forget that the funds are building. Hence the recent success in the likes of round-ups and the ability to hide accounts. Other customers react in a better way to regular saving performance assessments, frequently analyzed targets and notifications about deposit health.

While providers have well-grouped customer types and an increasing ability to interpret what their customer wants, the best option would seem to be the one that provides users with as many options as possible, within a well-constructed digital framework. By allowing users the ability to consider the way they want to engage with their savings, providers will create a far more positive savings experience.

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