HSBC tests phone app for moving money automatically to savings account

Updated: 

A mobile phone app that can automatically move money into a customer's savings account if they decide to make a "guilty pleasure" purchase is being trialled by HSBC.

The HSBC SmartSave app will allow people to pre-set rules for moving money into their savings, to help them boost the size of their cash pot by regularly putting small amounts of money away.

The app can be set up in different ways, depending on how the customer wants to tailor it to suit their circumstances.

For example, someone could pre-set the app to move a small amount of money automatically into their savings account if they shop at a store that they have pre-listed as one of their "guilty pleasures", depending on their own personal shopping habits.

It can also be set up so that when someone spends money, the app rounds up the amount to the nearest pound and sweeps the difference across into the savings account.

The app can also be set up to save regular amounts, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, for example.

If the app thinks someone should be saving a different amount than they currently are, it can also notify the customer of this.

Up to 2,000 of HSBC's customers will be able to download the app for the trial, which is a collaboration with financial technology start-up Pariti.

Customers taking part in the trial must use an HSBC account to pay savings out of and an HSBC savings account, such an instant savers account or an Isa, to pay savings into.

But the app can calculate how much someone should be saving based on their spending from non-HSBC accounts as well as as ones held with HSBC.

HSBC said the app will not automatically move money into people's savings unless there are sufficient funds in the account, and people can choose to keep a certain amount of cash as a safety net in the account from which money is paid out. 

Raman Bhatia, HSBC's head of digital UK and Europe, said: "We are pushing the boundaries of what is possible and looking beyond conventional savings to help our customers start or improve their savings habit."

Pariti chief executive Matthew Ford said: "The partnership with HSBC is a great example of how FinTechs and major banks can collaborate to deliver innovative and intuitive mobile services to banking customers."