Ubank’s new bills and budgeting tools help customers see their money clearly

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In a bid to help customers see their money clearly, NAB-owned digital bank ubank is progressively rolling out new app features and functionality to help them better manage their bills and committed expenses.

Ubank’s new Pay Cycle displays in the app the time until the next payday.

According to ubank research, the top three reasons for financial stress include difficulties in budgeting due to the rise in living costs (36 per cent), savings running low or running out (34 per cent), and not having enough savings for emergencies or unexpected expenses (33 per cent).

To combat this financial stress and contend with the rising cost of living Gen Z Australians are embracing increasingly ‘cash conscious’ behaviours including ‘loud budgeting’ and ‘no and low-spending months’.  Ubank’s Pay Cycle and Bill Planner features will support this ‘cash conscious’ attitude and aim to alleviate the reported guilt[i] and stress[ii] customers feel making financial decisions.

Customers sync their pay cycle

Ubank’s latest Pay Cycle feature simplifies this in the app by displaying the time until the next payday and will provide insights into income and expenses in the coming months, thereby empowering customers to manage their cash flow effectively.

“We know our customers are increasingly facing the same challenges week on week; how long does my pay have to last, how much of my pay is already committed, what trade-offs can I make, and what’s safe to spend,” said Andrew Morrison, ubank’s Chief Product and Growth Officer.

ubank Chief Product and Growth Officer Andrew Morrison.

“The first thing our customers want to know is how long the money they have in their Spend account has to last till they get paid next,” Morrison said.

Since December, approximately six per cent of ubank’s active customers have already set up their unique pay cycles just by seeing and engaging with the new feature in their app. Of those, over three quarters (63 per cent) have set up their pay cycles fortnightly.

According to recent data from the ABS, 52 per cent of employees are paid fortnightly; 33 per cent are paid weekly; 12 per cent are paid monthly; and three per cent are paid quarterly or infrequently[1].

“As we market this in the coming months, we expect to see many more customers engage with this feature,” he said.

A dedicated place for bills

The next phase of ubank’s bills and budgeting proposition involves the introduction of

The ubank Bill Planner feature offers a customisable approach to managing customers committed expenses.

“Now customers can log into the ubank app and manually add and edit bill reminders, aligning them with their pay cycles for better budgeting,” he said. “Future iterations will include predictive capabilities anticipating upcoming bills, further streamlining the budgeting process.”

Accompanying the Bill Planner is the new Bills account, designed to simplify bill payments and budget allocation.

With a dedicated space for setting aside bill payments, customers can ensure they have the necessary funds to cover their committed expenses. The inclusion of a digital card provides added convenience, allowing seamless transactions directly from the Bills account.

Knowing customers

Morrison said the digital bank dedicated to customer-centric innovation and solicits customer feedback through various channels, including a newly launched research panel.

“This is where we can iteratively improve our app offerings based on user insights. This approach ensures that features like Pay Cycle, Bill Planner and Bills account and our broader proposition will evolve to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” he said.

Morrison continued by saying with insights into committed bills and expenses, and evolving features and functionality, ubank customers can make informed decisions about their spending habits.

“Once they’ve budgeted for the committed bills and expenses and saved with their savings goals, what’s left over is the stress-free money.

“It’s the money our customers should be able to do whatever they want with and feel absolutely no guilt because they know that they’ve already taken care of their savings goals and commitments.”

“Once you know how much you’ve committed to your bills and expenses, you know what you can safely spend and what’s left over for that bigger savings goal. We want to help our customers make thoughtful spending decisions more often.”

 

[1] Weekly Payroll Jobs methodology, Week ending 11 November 2023 | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au)

Ubank’s latest app features including Bill Planner and the Bills account with an accompanying digital card is live in the ubank app from February 22. To download the ubank app, visit the Apple iOS or Android store.

 

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