Nationwide Building Society has today unveiled an updated version of its top rated mobile banking app, introducing two new innovative features: Quick Balance and Impulse Saver.
These opt-in features are the first of their kind in the UK and allow customers to manage their money in a faster, easier and more engaging way.
Quick Balance allows customers to see their account balance at a glance without logging in, helping members keep on top of their finances anytime, anywhere and at the touch of a button.
The unique Impulse Saver, allows customers to transfer pre-configured amounts from their current account(s) to their savings account(s) with a couple of taps, without logging in, encouraging customers to regularly save small amounts.
Making it easier to save small amounts, and rewarding those who resist the temptation to make those impulse purchases, may have a big impact on finances. Cutting out the daily morning coffee could save people over £730 a year1.
Nationwide already sees a quarter of a billion interactions on digital channels each year, and over half of these are from mobile devices. These new innovative features have been introduced following customer feedback and in-depth psychological studies into ways to simplify and enhance banking services. The features will enrich Nationwide's mobile banking app which was originally launched in 2012.
Tony Prestedge, Chief Operation Officer Nationwide Building Society commented: "By introducing new features like Impulse Saver and Quick Balance, we are once again challenging the norms and status quo in banking, transforming the way our customers can interact with us through the app. Now, at the tap of a button, people will be able to save or check their balances; Nationwide is making it easier than ever before to manage your money on the go.
"These new features are the latest in a long line of innovations which Nationwide has announced such as V.me, Zapp and Paym, based on customer feedback and in-depth research, to ensure that we continue to deliver new, effective and innovative ways for our members to make the most of their money."
Research, conducted on behalf of Nationwide, suggests that features like this will encourage people to save more, as the instant and rewarding nature of the Impulse Saver creates psychological triggers which encourage and reinforce savings behaviours.
When told that some people celebrate a night in by transferring the money they would have spent into a savings account, half of Britons thought it was a 'brilliant' (32%) or 'obvious' thing to do (18%)2. The Impulse Saver in the updated Nationwide app has been specifically designed to promote and reward these behaviours, encouraging customers to create a nest egg, and hopefully entrenching a savings culture across the country.
Dr Jack Lewis, Neuroscientist, commented on the research results and the introduction of the new features: "The modern world presents us with innumerable opportunities to fritter money away on impulse purchases. But, piggy banks and coin bottles notwithstanding, opportunities to save spontaneously are extremely scarce. The concept of Impulse Saving is a great idea.
Any time we wish to reward ourselves for exercising restraint with our spending the saved money can be effortlessly diverted into a savings. Just as small, easy, regular impulse spends can add up to a large drain on your bank balance, small, easy, regular impulse savings can add up to a sizeable fund. The key concept here is that small affordable quantities of cash gradually accumulate so that when you find yourself needing that holiday, new car or laptop, the money is already there ready and waiting."
The Building Society has announced unveiled a number of technological innovations including new payments methods such as Paym and Zapp, Visa's digital wallet V.me, as well as allowing customers to 'meet' mortgage consultants based hundreds of miles away through Nationwide Now.