UK bank Lloyds TSB is launching a new savings scheme that automatically rounds-up customer spending on debit cards to the nearest pound and routes the extra cash into a savings account.
The 'Save the Change' scheme is being marketed as the modern-day equivalent of putting your loose change in a jar or piggy bank and a simple and innovative way to save.
Research conducted by Lloyds TSB found that nearly a quarter (23%) of the UK population doesn't have any savings and of these, one in ten (nine per cent) have never saved. However nearly a third of people (29%) are using their debit card more often than they were 12 months ago and 36% are using cards for smaller purchases.
The scheme will launch next February and Lloyds TSB says it will match the funds paid into customers' Save the Change accounts for February and March.
The Bank of America launched a similar 'electronic change jar' scheme - dubbed Keep the Change - in the US last year. Customer purchases made on debit cards are automatically rounded up to the nearest whole dollar and transferred to savings account at the end of the day.
The Lloyds TSB scheme has been spearheaded by Terri Dial, a former head of retail banking at US West Coast bank Wells Fargo who joined the British bank as group executive director, UK retail banking in May 2005.
Commenting on the UK scheme, Dial says: "We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get into the savings habit and the beauty of Save the Change is that it won't even feel like saving but, at the end of the year, customers will have a nice nest egg to build on for the future."