HSBC’s SmartSave App Automates Your Savings

by Jason Unger

There’s nothing better than saving money — and not having to regularly think about it.

Automating your savings makes the process of putting aside money for an emergency fund, retirement or other goals easy … and automatic.

So I clearly love tools that help you automatically save, and there’s a new one that may be worth checking out.

HSBC has partnered with Pariti, a fintech startup, to launch a new app called SmartSave aimed at helping you automatically save.

As Engadget explains:

By analysing your bank account, the app will determine when it’s “safe to save,” and you can set up daily, weekly or monthly transfers if you want a really structured regime. Alternatively, you can use one of the smarter options. Every time you spend, for example, the app can round the transaction up to the nearest pound and transfer the difference into your savings account, a few pennies at a time. You can also tell it to punish you for shopping at user-defined “guilty pleasures” stores, putting a small amount aside each time you treat yourself to another unnecessary item of winter clothing.

You don’t need to have an HSBC account to use the app; it will happily connect to any bank account, HSBC or otherwise.

The app isn’t going public with a wide audience yet, however. Starting in the next week, about 2,000 customers will be invited to a six-month trial of the app.

It reminds me a bit of Bank of America’s Keep the Change program, which rounds up your purchase to the next dollar and moves the change to your savings account, mixed with automatic transfers and any other rules you set up.

I’m curious to see how people will react to the “guilty pleasure” setting; will it change their behavior about shopping at specific stores? Maybe it will just encourage people to purchase more things they don’t need, since they can justify it by saying that they’re saving money by doing it.

In any case, having another tool that encourages automatically saving money is a winner in my book.

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