New Westpac tools ease cost-of-living management

Digital Reinvention
25/09/2023 News

Westpac is rolling out new digital banking features to help customers better manage their spending as more Australians look to tighten their budgets.

Westpac is helping customers identify potential savings and have a better overview of when their bills are due through two new personalised money management tools:

• Savings Finder. Helps customers discover potential savings from their existing recurring payments for subscriptions and other expenses. This can help them identify opportunities to cut back on non-essential goods and services.

• Bills Calendar. Allows customers to add upcoming payments to their bills calendar and receive alerts when these bills are due, helping them better track and manage their expenses.

Westpac Chief Digital Officer, Jason Hair, says the new features will help customers manage their budgets more effectively.

“With more than 450,000 customers accessing our budgeting tools each month, our data underscores the real impact cost-of-living pressures are having on everyday Aussies,” Mr Hair said.

“As the economic landscape evolves, it’s reassuring to see that many are taking proactive steps to adapt and manage their money more efficiently.

“We’ve particularly seen a growing number of customers scrutinising their spending through our categorisation feature, where customers are keeping a close eye on how much they’re withdrawing from ATMs, followed by how much they’re spending at bars and restaurants, as well as on groceries, transport, and entertainment.

“We’re also seeing more customers prioritising their savings with a growing number of people setting up dedicated ‘emergency’ or ‘rainy day’ savings goals.

“The new tools are designed to give customers even more visibility over their expenses with personalised insights that allow them to make more effective and informed decisions about their spending.”

While almost two thirds (64%) of Australians have been affected by cost-of-living pressures, half (51%) still feel confident about their financial future.

“These features build on our existing suite of budgeting tools we’ve made available in the Westpac App to help customers stay on top of their budgets, including the ability to review their spending and develop tailored savings goals,” Mr Hair added.

The new budgeting tools will start rolling out to customers later this month, adding to the existing suite of money management tools that are already available through the Westpac App.

Westpac cost-of-living tools:

• Personalised insights. Allowing customers to track income compared to expenses and better analyse their monthly cashflow.

• Spend categories. Customers can better understand how much they’re spending and where each month, so they can make more informed decisions about where they might like to cut back or save.

• Savings goals. The ability to bucket savings into different goals within the one account. Customers can also set up auto deposits to help achieve their goals.

• Digital Card. Customers can access a digital version of their card when transacting online. This has a dynamic 3-digit security code which changes daily for added security, reducing fraud by 80 per cent.

• Cancel direct debits. Customers can instantly stop certain scheduled direct debit payments. When activated, this places a temporary block on a company from debiting any funds.

• PartPay. Gives eligible credit card customers greater control and flexibility with the ability to pay for purchases of $100 or more in four payments.

• Bills Calendar. Customers will soon be able to add their upcoming expenses to a dedicated calendar to help them track any upcoming bills or recurring payments. Customers will then receive an alert when those bills are due.

• Savings finder. Will help customers identify savings opportunities based on existing recurring payments for subscriptions and other non-essential expenses. Customers can consider taking additional steps to reduce those expenses to help manage their spending.

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