Online army bank USAA has enlisted vendor Nuance Communications for the launch of a virtual assistant app dedicated to helping millennials save money.
The free Savings Coach app enables users to track when they skip a purchase, like buying a coffee, and moves the money they would have spent on the purchase from their checking account to a savings account. A gamification element is designed to encourage use by ensuring members are rewarded through points, badges and new levels within the app.
Unlike older Americans, millennials are not saving money, according to data from Moody's Analytics. But USAA says that during a four month pilot of its new app, 800 participants saved close to $120,000 between them.
Eric Smith, VP, technology architecture, USAA, says: "Virtual assistants, like the one used in Savings Coach, are evolving to become much more personal and proactive in nature. We've seen the benefit proactive financial information can bring to our members through Savings Coach."
USAA already works with Nuance on a speech-based virtual assistant called Nuance Interactive Natural Assistant (Nina). "USAA was the first financial services firm to leverage the virtual agent capabilities of Nuance’s ‘Nina’ through our mobile application and we are excited to again leverage the capability within Savings Coach to more broadly help our members manage their finances," concludes Smith.