The National Australia Bank are entering the finance data game. Many years ago Mint.com made a big splash internationally with a startup that provided more information about the way consumers spent their money, than ever before. Fast forward a couple of years and we got our own version in Australia called PocketBook.
Below are some features NAB are offering with Money Tracker.
See where you’re spending
You can easily see where your money is going – shopping, eating out or bills. And you can always re-categorise your spend. More about managing your money
Split a transaction
Purchased groceries and petrol at the same time? “Split” your transactions and re-categorise them if you need to get a more accurate view. Show me how
Set Budget targets for future months
Budget targets are automatically set for you. You can always set your own each month – just change the amount in the target field. More about budgeting
Forecast your savings
You can use the Savings forecast tool to see how setting different budget targets can improve your savings. Learn more
Add a new scenario to plan ahead
Buying a house? Getting a pay rise? Add a new scenario to see how this could change your savings. Find out how we can help you
Don’t pay until you have to
Pay bills when they’re due, not before. That way you can earn interest for as many days as possible.
More about managing your cash flow
Could you spend a little less?
If you spent a little less on entertainment or clothes, how much sooner could you reach your Savings goal?
More about saving
While some of these tools are incredibly useful, there are some limitations. For example, if I select a savings plan to hit $30,000 by March next year, it does not enable you to base that on an existing account balance. Instead it starts at $0 and ignores what you have saved to date.
There were also some significant errors in the auto-categorisation of transactions. Maybe I was spoilt by PocketBook which got it about 90% correct, this will take you a lot more work to curate and achieve accuracy. The days of manually filling out spreadsheets are thankfully now dead thanks to automation services like this.
Overall, sure there’s work for NAB to do, but it is great they have finally made this move to provide more information about our money. The services that banks have provided really haven’t evolved for decades and they are uniquely positioned to assist customers in their personal finances.
With Money tracker providing more information on how customers can best achieve their goals, may actually have a net benefit for NAB. Creating a savings plan towards a house may mean they end up with more Home Loans than they otherwise would have, earning millions in interest over the next 30 years.
Nice work NAB, keep working on.