by Sotiris Fousekas on
15th July 2021
15 min read
Welcome to our fourth episode of Battle of the US Challengers!
As we mentioned in our previous installment, Episode 3: Help me Save Towards my Goal for this episode and the next one in wealth management. In the previous battle we discussed how these Challengers can help customers save money for a future purchase through their digital banking. The winner was Daylight!
The bank joined Dave and SoFi, the winners of the very first episode: Digital Onboarding and KYC, and Aspiration, the winner of episode 2: Cancel, Reorder Debit Card and Use Virtual.
Which Challenger is gonna take this round?
This time our focus will be shifting towards budget management. Budgeting is a fundamental skill for proper money management, one that is hard to be taught and used daily. Customers are in dire need of ways to easily and efficiently take control of their monthly expenses and optimize their spending budget.
Due to their digital-first strategy, Challengers set customer convenience and ease at the forefront. It goes without saying then that they should be trying to help their customers in this vital part of their finances management. Budgeting features can immensely simplify customers’ daily money management. Since it represents such an important customer need we decided to set it as the battleground for this month’s fight.
We will examine our 13 US contenders on their iOS digital banking features for:
- monitoring customer spending
- setting a custom budget of 100$ for a spending category
- boosting their attempts to better manage their spending.
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Of these 13 US Challengers, according to only 3 of them will be competing in this category. Specifically only Revolut, SoFi and Stash offer their customers the ability to monitor their spending and set their own custom budgets for spending.
What about the rest of the US Challengers?
- Acorns, Aspiration, Betterment, Chime, Daylight, MoneyLion and Varo bank offer neither the Monitoring nor the Set a Custom Budget feature.
- N26 provides its customers with an analysis of their transactions and payments according to purpose of spending (e.g., utilities, friends and family).
- Envel customers can have their transactions sorted in different categories i.e., health, entertainment, crypto, and beauty. They can also choose to transfer an already completed transaction to another virtual account to better organize their spending.
- Dave customers while they have access to the Monitoring analysis this is available only if they set a recurring incoming payment or salary to that account. Accordingly automatic and not custom budgets will be created for each spending category.
Now that we have looked at the 10 Challengers that did not meet the criteria for this battle, let the real fight begin!
Revolut vs SoFi vs Stash
And the winner of the fourth installment of the battle of the US Challengers is….
The EU-born Challenger that was quite recently launched in the US market offers its customers the best feature set for them to Monitor their spending, analyze it and Set their own Custom Budget for each of their spending categories. Through an analytical expense analysis customers can see how much they have spent per category, merchant and country.
Revolut Budget Analysis
Revolut customers, in their monthly spending section they can have an overview of their past spending behavior. They can also, if they choose so, create new spending categories according to their unique spending needs.
Revolut Set a Budget user journey
Setting a Custom Budget with Revolut is a quick process of 13 steps. They simply have to type their amount, the duration of their budget cycle (monthly, two-monthly etc.) and the category they need to assign a budget for (i.e., utilities).
Lastly, with actionable budget insights customers can have their spending patterns analyzed and tap into spending forecasts that will inform if they are on track or not and within their budget limits. From there, the iOS app allows them to easily re-adjust any budget category they might have set, according to expenses statistics and remain on top of their spending.
The EU Challenger manages to offer a very handy tool that allows customers to track their spending and with custom budgeting regain control of their spending and better manage it.
Budgeting is fundamental in proper money management for all customers. Revolut, SoFi and Stash seem to have understood the importance of providing such a useful feature that makes their daily financial lives a bit simpler. People feel more in control of their finances when at any time they can see how much they spend and where and take action to be back on track. It’s one of the features that we consider very important for any bank or Challengers’ digital banking.
That’s that, with our fourth Battle of the US Challengers.
Tune in next month for the 5th installment and the third of the wealth management offerings: Investments!
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Here’s the US edition
And don’t forget the UK edition
Sotiris is VP of FinTech Insights Product, crafting the roadmap and operations. New metrics, new ways of presenting the data, deep-diving into the analytics and the continuous evolution of the product, based on FinTech Insights user’s feedback, are his main areas of focus.