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Digital banking: Moven app may be a nudge too far

The benefit of banking digitally is that customers have an immediate record of their spending, but they don't want an app that judges them at the same time.


There are now so many digital lenders being launched that it can be hard to differentiate one from the next. Most offer better interest rates than traditional banks, low foreign exchange fees and cashback protected by regulators and conveniently accessed through one mobile application.

But the point is now being reached where, for digital banks to stand out from the crowd, the benefits of banking digitally are becoming blurred by gimmicks and ploys to get users to sign up.

In October, neobank Moven patented the technology behind its new financial wellness app, which covers "methods and apparatus for promoting financial behavioural change". Rather than giving you a breakdown of your spending habits retrospectively, Moven's patented technology can give advice and insight in real-time – when a transaction is being carried out by a user or even when a user indicates that they want to make one.

This is similar to being told that you won’t be able to raise a deposit for a house because of all the avocado on toast you’ve eaten – and we all know how well that went down

The app can also direct them to additional services, offers and discounts, to create "a cycle of positive behavioural reinforcement" and financial well-being with the overall effect to encourage "responsible spending and saving behaviours".

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