Off the back of new research that revealed Australians are looking for ways to cut back spending and budget better amid cost-of-living increases, Westpac has introduced new budgeting and tracking features on its banking app.
The tools allow customers with eligible accounts to view insights on their spending habits, categorise their expenses, and help them to take better control of their money and make better financial decisions as costs continue to rise.
“We are building a digital first bank and today’s announcement is another step forward in making banking simpler and more intuitive for our five million digitally active customers,” Westpac’s Consumer and Business Banking Chief Executive, Chris de Bruin, said.
“Our customers are demanding more personalised insights into their spending and tools to manage their finances, particularly as the cost-of-living increases.
“We want to empower our customers by giving them more control over their money with faster and easier budgeting tools available on their smartphone.”
This comes after Westpac conducted a survey on 2,000 Australians that showed rising costs were heavily impacting customers, with groceries up 87 per cent, petrol up 79 per cent, utilities rising by 71 per cent, eating out up by 52 per cent, phone and internet bills up 51 per cent, mortgage up 30 per cent and rent up 22 per cent.
The survey showed the majority of Australians are searching for ways to earn more money and reduce their spending (84 per cent), with just over three-quarters of respondents turning to digital banking to help them keep track of their expenses.
Just under 75 per cent of respondents said “a banking app with budgeting tools would help them to reach their financial goals”, 72 per cent said “a feature that categorises spending would help them feel more in control of their money” and 64 per cent said they wanted “personalised insights into their spending through the banking app”.
“We want to empower our customers through enabling them to better understand where their money is going to help them reach their financial goals,” de Bruin said.
“These new features offer customers insights into their spending and income history over the last 12 months, breaking it down into categories such as groceries, kids, education, pets, and entertainment.
“It will also give customers better visibility of their spending on insurance, home, and personal loans.”