New features of top rated banking app to encourage a saving spree

Updated mobile app from Nationwide makes it as easy to save as it is to spend

04 June 2014

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, 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, as well as allowing customers to ‘meet’ mortgage consultants based hundreds of miles away through Nationwide Now.

Nationwide has produced two short videos to demonstrate these new features in action;

Impulse Saver
Quick Balance

1Based on an assumed average cost of coffee at £2 per day, across the course of a year – calculation: £2 x 365 days = £730

2 – All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,581 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 11th March 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million members.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, on the telephone, internet, mobile app and post. The Society has around 17,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

About by Visa allows customers to upload multiple cards into a digital wallet. These are safely stored enabling customers to make future purchases without the need to repeatedly enter their card details. As card details are not being passed on to each individual merchant, by Visa is not only faster and easier, but also provides a more secure way of making payments.

About Zapp
Zapp is the UK’s leading mobile payment innovation. Zapp will put real-time payments on people’s mobile phones through their existing mobile banking application allowing secure payments to happen between consumers and merchants. Zapp was established through a strategic £16m investment by VocaLink. Currently Zapp remains a wholly owned, independent, subsidiary of VocaLink with separate board, management and location. VocaLinkdesigns, builds and operates world-class payment systems and ATM switching platforms that in 2012 processed over 10 billion UK payments with a value of over £4.5 trillion.

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