Originally published at: https://blog.jupiter.money/2020/07/digital-banking-and-better-savings/
I recently learnt about a very interesting cultural code. The Amish, who are known for their aversion to technology (we’re talking television and cars), have a distinct method of choosing what technology they allow into their lives. The bearings they select are usually value-driven and purposeful. Essentially, they adopt a much more nuanced approach to the use of modern tech.
Most of us today live quite contrary to the Amish, if I were to make that blatant assumption. We’ve allowed modern technology to seep into every single aspect of our lives – from toothbrushes with timestamps to Alexa-powered homes. We let artificial intelligence and social media tell us how to live (evidenced by an Instagram feed that’s filled with fairy lights and intergalactic-themed sneakers).
So it’s quite astonishing that in the age of interactive VR movies and robot waiters, there’s a fundamental area of our lives that remains untouched by modern tech; an aspect that fuels this overly-consumerist lifestyle in the first place – Saving money.
In fact, the banking apps on our phones (the ones that are supposed to help us manage our money on the go) have done frustratingly little to help us save, and consistently failed to add value to our everyday lives. So much so that if we were to take the Amish approach to tech, we might just shun them altogether.
Banking today, and its role in our saving struggle
Our founder has an interesting way to sum up everything that’s wrong with banking today: “Looks digital, feels analog”. This is the most lucid description of the subject at hand, yet conveying the ‘deepest feels’ (pardon the use of this very millennial term). Which leads me down to the path of understanding how our current banking setup impacts our ability to save.
We surveyed users about their biggest saving concerns and here’s what we found:
- 34% of respondents didn’t know where to put their savings
- 22% weren’t regular with their savings, while 15% ended up spending what they should have saved.
People don’t feel they’re equipped with the right tools to save, and a lot of it is entrusted to sheer self-control. Money is complex, and providing personalized methods to save is a far cry from what our current banking experience offers. Our banks mostly act as a dummy locker to store moolah, rather than a smart advisor of all things money.
The takeaway from this is clear as day: As digital natives, our lifestyle encompasses manifold goals, and a cookie-cutter approach to savings with unintelligible jargon such as ‘Xtra FD’ does nothing to soothe our senses. To top that, we’re also usually left dealing with disappearing relationship managers and a mumbo-jumbo of incomprehensible investment terms and conditions, making us pretty damn clueless about how to save or invest our money. We need an overhaul, for real.
So what does banking reimagined actually look like?
Imagine a setup where all you had to do was input your goals with the date that you want to achieve it and let your bank do the rest? From saving regularly, to investing smartly.
Like if your app auto-saves a sum of ₹1,000 every time you run a marathon, for your goal of purchasing a suave pair of sneakers. And it also invests 10% of your bill, every single time you splurge on a Venti Latte at Starbucks (Goodbye Starbucks addiction). Think of this setup as hiring a spiritual guide for your savings. They show you the path and get you closer to your goals.
“And then what, Dr. Phil?” Invest it; automatically of course, based on your past behavior, risk appetite, and current market conditions. Obviously, those are three traits with the pesky habit of changing ever so often – but your banking app should be able to change or update your investment recommendations accordingly.
In fact, you never have to let your savings just…idle around. That’s where a modern banking app should not only be able to figure out the excess money you have, but move it into higher-yield, low-risk instruments like Liquid Mutual Funds and RDs.
“Oh boy! Sounds wild! Too bad none of this is real.”
Well, here’s the good news: An autonomous future for your money is pretty much on the horizon. And that’s the new banking experience we’re building. And we’d love for you to build it with us, one feature at a time. We’re not sure if the Amish will be pleased, but we sure as hell hope you are.