- The research undertaken for this Impact Report gives a unique insight into how these services are helping to build consumers’ financial health.
- In the improved financial decision-making outcome area, we found a high proportion of customers reporting that services helped them keep on top of expenditure (69% net agreement) and keep to a budget (55%).
- These consumers also reported that the services were helping them to reduce unnecessary expenditure (53%), shop around more (46%) and reduce fees and costs (45 %).
- In the increased savings outcome area, we found similarly strong evidence. The services improved consumer confidence that they could reach their financial goals (65%) and helped to build a financial cushion (64%).
- We also found that 64% claimed the apps had increased their total level of savings and 22% reported that the app was their first ever adult savings account.
Background and methodology
In this second Impact Report, we have, for the first time, been able to research the extent to which users of services are seeing longer term positive outcomes in terms of their financial health. While the results are very positive, we should be mindful that many of the customers have only been using the services for a few months. Of our sample, 47% had been using the service for less than three months, not enough time for real long-term changes in consumer outcomes to materialise. We include full details of the research methodology in Appendix 3. We set out the ultimate outcomes we were seeking to identify and track in Figure 15:
Figure 15: Theory of Change: Ultimate outcomes for two selected outcome areas
A significant number of consumers said that services helped them keep on top of expenditure and keep to a budget
Enhanced financial decision-making
We framed several questions in the survey that explored these outcomes and goals. We asked PFM users to indicate on a five-point Likert scale, the extent to which they agreed with the following statements. We set out the responses from users of the selected PFM apps in the tables below.
Consumers said that services were helping them to reduce unnecessary expenditure (53%), shop around more (46%) and reduce costs and fees (45%)
Increased savings and investments
Similarly, we asked users of savings apps how much their use of the service was helping them to achieve various desirable outcomes as set out in the Framework. We set out a summary of responses in the tables below.
Savings apps help drive saving habits
As the data shows, these savings apps appear to be driving a set of extremely positive behaviours, particularly in the context of the significant proportion of the population who have no or insufficient savings. The proportion who now felt more confident that they had a financial cushion (71%) as a result of using one of these services is striking.
It is also particularly noteworthy that when we look at the profile of the respondents who claimed their savings had increased: 37% of these customers also stated that they were concerned about their level of savings, suggesting that these apps seem to be encouraging consumers who have had historic problems saving to start to put aside some money.
To explore whether the use of open banking-enabled saving propositions was encouraging non-savers, we also asked whether the account was the first adult saving account that respondents had opened. The results are set out in Figure 16 below.
While, predictably, a high proportion of respondents aged 45 and over had previously had a savings account, even in this age category use of the app had encouraged saving behaviour. A quarter of those aged under 45 had never previously saved.
Figure 16: Research findings: First adult savings account
64% of consumers claimed the apps had increased their total level of savings and 22% reported that the app was their first ever adult savings account
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