Financial Health Solutions: Targeting Small-Dollar Savings Suggestions to Low-Balance Customers
In partnership with BECU, the largest credit union in Washington state, this study examines the impact of a new mobile app savings feature, Quick Save, which allows members to spontaneously transfer small amounts to their savings accounts with the swipe of a button.
Our findings provide valuable information for financial institutions dedicated to helping customers build emergency savings, with insights into designing a savings tool that appeals to customers with low to moderate incomes.
This study is part of a series highlighting Leaders Lab member innovations.
Subgroups of low- and moderate-income BECU members responded differently to opportunities to save small dollar amounts spontaneously. Customer segmentation can provide insights into the financial health impact of new products and features.
Quick Save drove a 17% increase in savings balances for BECU members who had $5.01 – $500 in savings when the feature launched. Support saving behavior by targeting suggestions to save small dollar amounts to those with low savings balances.
Approximately 1 in 8 eligible BECU members used Quick Save at least once; however, the majority of Quick Save users made contributions during fewer than four of the 22 weeks of the pilot. Use automated features to leverage the appealing nature of small, frequent savings contributions.
The Quick Save feature was more helpful to certain groups of customers based on their initial savings balances. BECU members with smaller savings balances ($5.01 – $500) who were invited to Quick Save increased their savings by $179 (17%) more than members who had similar savings balances but were not invited to Quick Save. This indicates that a tool such as Quick Save may be specifically useful for people who have opened savings accounts but are experiencing challenges in growing their balances.
This report is made possible through the generous support of MetLife Foundation, a founding sponsor of our financial health work.
About The Financial Health Leaders Lab
The Financial Health Network helps companies incorporate behavioral science principles into their product design and rigorously test the financial health impact of their products. This research was conducted through the Financial Health Leaders Lab, a program available exclusively to Financial Health Network Members, which supports a select group of companies developing and testing innovations to improve financial health.