Innovation concept

Innovation in Internet Banking

Diversity is really important.  It leads to more innovation¹ – at Beyond Bank we are always looking at ways we can make customers’ lives easier. One of the areas we are looking at innovation in is in financial management.  And one of the first ways to do this is to review what people are actually doing.

This post provides some primary research we conducted on how a wide range of people and their differing budget levels approach looking after their money day-to-day.

Read on, and you might see some patterns that seem familiar – or you might not see any at all – in which case we want to hear from you!

We had the assumption that everyone is different, but it turns out that there are a few approaches that seem to be repeated – yet the details are almost always different.

Firstly, at least half of the people we interviewed didn’t actually have a method for managing finances. eg. if they had a bill, they paid it, hoping that they had enough cash each time. Usually this worked – but it can lead to stress!

The other half of our interviewed people had a bunch of ‘buckets’ for their money.  Some buckets were just in their heads, some were in Excel spread sheets, and some had software designed to keep track of where money went.  And there were lots of ways to get money into and out of buckets – different accounts, a once-per-month Sunday afternoon sit-down.  One person also said that they used shoeboxes to track spending, but I ‘think’ they were joking.

We asked what their buckets were – no more than 10 each – and – unsurprisingly, on average, each person suggested almost four buckets that no-one else had.  Things like ‘footy gear’, ‘body corporate’ and ‘gigs.’ (A bunch of people had a bucket called ‘entertainment’, but only one had ‘gigs’). The top five buckets were:

Category                    % of people who budget for this item
Groceries                  86%
Mortgage/rent           73%
Bills                            68%
Car expenses            59%
Savings                      50%
Insurance                  45%

So what you may ask?  Well, since we are designing solutions for our customers – and for the millions of Australians that aren’t yet customers that we think should be – and we want the solutions to be innovative and actually serve people’s real needs, we need your input. We also want to demonstrate that we are the other way to bank by sharing research we have done – and we’re really keen to know if you find it informative and do something interesting with it!

What this means is that in the coming months we’ll be using our blog to find out how you use things. Or if you can’t wait, feel free to leave a comment below!