Source: Hang Seng Bank
A Hang Seng survey of over 1,000 Hong Kong consumers in the 18 to 64 age range has found that the majority still use pen and paper or computer spreadsheets to manage their personal finances.
One reason is that many digital budgeting or bookkeeping tools currently available are not particularly user-friendly as they require users to input data manually, constantly remind themselves to enter all their expense and outgoing items, and consolidate information from different accounts.
To address these pain points, Hang Seng Bank has developed an innovative in-app savings and budgeting tool - ‘Saving Planner’ - that automatically consolidates expenses from a customer’s Hang Seng bank and credit card accounts, bringing ultrasimplicity to those looking to save money and effectively manage their personal finances to achieve goals such as saving for travel, shopping and investment.
In March, selected customers are being invited to try out ‘Saving Planner’. The new smart saving and budgeting tool is embedded within the Hang Seng Mobile App. Once customers input their monthly income and set a savings goal, their Hang Seng bank and credit card accounts will be instantly linked to the tool and all expenses will be tracked and logged automatically, meaning there is no need to manually enter expense items one by one. Regular notifications will be sent to users to remind them to monitor and review the progress on their savings, helping customers to establish good finance management habits.
In response to demands for a high level of data security, ‘Saving Planner’ offers a safer and more reliable service as customers do not need to share their account details with external parties.
Margaret Kwan, Executive Director and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at Hang Seng, said: “We are excited to be the first bank in Hong Kong to launch this smart in-app saving and budgeting tool that automatically consolidates customers’ bank and credit card accounts for expenses tracking. ‘Saving Planner’ offers a brand new service experience. Our survey tells us that while this tool is considered useful by customers in all age groups, it is particularly welcomed by our younger customers who often have many short-term and long-term savings goals, including travel, getting married and further studies.”
Among respondents aged between 18 and 30, 71% found the ‘Saving Planner’ to be attractive to use. The most appealing features include the simple interface, customisation options, good security, and automated functions.
Hang Seng has introduced a number of initiatives over the past year to help younger customers enhance their understanding of good financial management and better manage their wealth as it grows, including the launch of the brand new ‘SmartInvest’ financial education and investment platform and the lowering of the minimum subscription amount for selected investment products.
Ms Kwan added: “Our ‘Saving Planner’ innovation reflects our firm goal to offering customers a simplified banking journey that is facilitated by technology and our people. We are continuing to enhance the capabilities of our digital service scope to meet the evolving needs of our clients. Further new initiatives to give customers greater flexibility and choice in managing their wealth are in the pipeline for launch this year.”