NAB's UBank to teach spendthrift Aussies discipline

By David Tuckwell on Tuesday 11 July 2017

Alternative Lending

Australians are terrible at saving money. Ubank hopes to change that

Everyone prefers spending money to saving it, but Australians are particularly bad.

Australians lack the self-discipline to save money and are happy to pile up debt in order to buy lifestyle goods, a new study commissioned by NAB's fintech subsidiary UBank has found.

More than two million Aussies have under A$1,000 in savings and one third do not even have a savings account.

In a series of shocking findings that the study’s authors attribute to weak impulse control and a culture of immediate gratification, almost half the country does not budget or have any kind of financial plan.  

“Many Australians are favouring immediate rewards over long-term gains because they’re actually quite disconnected from their future selves,” said Lee Hatton, CEO of UBank.

“We conducted this experiment because we want to help Australians be smarter with their money.”

In an effort to exploit this and help Aussie’s save, UBank will be building an algorithm into its fintech platform aimed at nudging savers’ behaviour.

The platform will be “similar to the way fitness apps support wellbeing,” UBank said. It will help consumers plan for regular costs like shopping and phone bills, as well as irregular costs like vet appointments and car insurance.

The company has also published savings tips on its website. Tips include using cash, which can help visualise savings, as well as asking yourself “what would my partner think if I bought this?”.

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