by Sotiris Fousekas on
17th June 2021
16 min read
Welcome to our third episode of Battle of the Challengers US!
In our previous episodes we have pitched our competing Challengers against each other to discover which one has the best digital onboarding process and the best cancel, reorder a debit card and use virtual to pay.
Wealth management, why?
When we considered our third topic of the battles we instantly thought of wealth management. The pandemic forced many people to rethink how they spend their money and manage their finances with bank branches closed and people furloughed and supported by government schemes with reduced pay. That and cryptocurrencies’ sprint towards steadily becoming mainstream had us decide to shift the focus to wealth management for the next 3 episodes.
In this, the 3rd installment, the category for which the Challengers will be examined is helping customers towards saving for a future expensive purchase. We selected the following scenario that represents an every-day goal that consumers have contemplated:
I want to save money for the deposit for a new house I will be moving to in 6 months. I want my bank to offer me as much help as possible towards creating, organizing and fulfilling this goal.
The winner of this battle will be determined through the digital banking research platform, . If you want to know more about what each of the Challengers or any other bank worldwide offers to their customers across every channel, then head to FinTech Insights.
The award will go to the bank that combines a great journey for Creating a Savings goal and offering features that will make saving easier for users in the iOS app.
Of the 13 Challengers we will consider for this battle only those that offer the Set a Savings Goal feature, with which customers can set up a future goal to save a specific amount of money. This means that Varo, SoFi, Dave, Acorns, MoneyLIon, Aspiration and Chime will not be included as they do not offer their customers that journey.
Revolut, Betterment, Daylight, Stash, Envel and N26 are the remaining contenders, which according to offer this digital feature.
But of the 6, which Challengers is the one that helps the customers more in reaching their Savings Goal?
First, let’s take a look at what other features our 7 non-competing Challengers offer to their customers to help them save money.
- Varo bank offers customers Save Your Change and Save Your Pay. Save Your Change rounds up the money to the nearest dollar when a customer makes a payment and stores them in a Savings Account. With Save Your Pay, users can choose to save a percentage of their salary, which will immediately be transferred into their Savings Account.
- Customers of Acorns can select to enable the Spare Change feature where their money is rounded up to the nearest dollar (multiply that if they wish) and is transferred to their Investment account.
- MoneyLion allows customers to keep track of how much they save monthly with their transfers to their savings and investment accounts. Through the Financial Wealth calculator they can know their Save level which is calculated according to their savings and investments progress.
- Aspiration does Spare Change a bit differently. Instead of the rounded-up money being stored into a Savings Account, they are instantly transferred to an account for planting trees. Every purchase means money towards reforestation, setting the Challenger among the banks that offer exciting green initiatives that prompt customers into action.
- Chime offers their customers the Spare the Change feature which stores rounded-up money into their savings accounts. They can also opt in to transfer a percentage of their pay automatically when they receive it into their Savings account.
- SoFi customers can decide to turn on their round-up money feature which functions similarly to Spare Change. Additionally, customers can use Autosave where a portion of their every direct deposit (e.g., salary) will be automatically transferred to a selected savings vault.
- Dave does not offer any features to help customers towards saving.
Now that we’ve looked at the 7 that didn’t meet the full criteria for the Battle, it's to see how the 6 still competing!
So which one is the winner of the third Battle?
And the winner is… DayLight 🌈
Daylight has managed to create a convenient and immensely helpful user journey for its customers to Set a Savings Goal. In addition to that, it offers recurring transfers towards achieving this goal and includes the Spare Change feature that allows them to save every last penny.
While the LGBTQ+ bank faced serious competition from the rest of the 5 Challengers that met the criteria, what impressed us the most was the design and inclusivity of the Set a Savings Goal journey.
Customers can easily select the reason they are saving for, then type the target amount and date and be presented how much they would need to save each week to reach that goal. If this turns out to be too much or too little for them they can adjust the amount with a simple slide left or right automatically changing the projected completion date of the goal.
But, what makes Daylight the undeniable winner was the set of goals provided. As stated in its mission statement the LGBTQ+ banks proves to be a strong ally for the underbanked transgender people. In the goal selection customers can choose to save money for their transition surgery. They can select to save money for their top, bottom, hair removal and facial feminization surgery and be provided with statistics on the average cost of these.
This Pride month it is exciting to be having a true LGBTQ+ ally bank as the winner of our battle. When transgender people find their banking needs unmet, overlooked and at times completely disregarded by financial institutions it sure makes for a monumental change and a step forward to see a Challenger prove to actively care for their needs.
It also serves as a great reminder that there are still large portions of the population that are underbanked or completely unbanked that banks should shift their attention to and help cater.
This concludes our third episode of the Battle of the Challengers US.
Don’t forget to tune in next month. We will be talking about ways Challengers help customers monitor and improve their finances.
Want to know more about these Challengers (or any bank worldwide)?
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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.