BNZ launches YouMoney – the next generation of online banking

BNZ has launched ‘YouMoney’ – an innovative new online banking system built from the ground up to capture a bigger share of the youth “digital natives” banking market.

“Young people told us they want their personal banking to be easy and intuitive – so that’s what we’ve created,” says BNZ director of retail, Andy Symons.

In contrast to the standard internet banking format seen across New Zealand banks, BNZ’s new YouMoney has been designed to be experience based rather than task centric.

“The result was an experience that is brilliantly simple and allows a customer to manage their money in a new and inviting way that make sense to them.”

Designed to be a completely customisable platform, YouMoney has an app-like appearance that will feel particularly familiar to Apple users. The screen is divided in two – one half featuring customisable icons representing accounts and payees while the other displays the transacting history of the selected account.

Users have the ability to ‘drag and drop’ when making transactions, moving money between accounts or to payees as required. The back-end of the system then figures out the requisite transactions and executes the technical steps required to move the money.

A smart search function providing the ability to filter transactions by amounts or keywords, part of a feature-set implemented to educate users about their spending habits and trends. Also part of this are graphing and calendar functions to provide further context.

MyMoney users also have the ability to open and close accounts on demand at no cost, giving them tangible uses for both short and long term money management. Users can opt to have their accounts accessible or not on their bank cards and add savings goals to their accounts which are represented with coloured bars.

All of these features are designed to bring money out of the spreadsheet and into a graphical, more easily understandable format that will help users more easily visualize and understand their money.

“Your banking style no longer just has to suit whatever is available to you. YouMoney can be personalised to reflect your future plans, your spending patterns, or even just your favorite colors, says Symons. “We’ve identified significant opportunity in the youth segment so, we’re amplifying our relevance to this area of the market through innovation and forward thinking.”

YouMoney is available now and is free for students, graduates and apprentices – part of the BNZ’s active pursual of an increasingly lucrative youth market.

Symons was adamant however that YouMoney was for everybody, not just students and announced that the BNZ will be offering YouMoney for a $5/month fee those who don’t fit into one of the complimentary access categories.

In banking terms, $5 per month would seem to be a largely nominal fee, but online users have been known in the past to be hesitant to pay for known commodities, let alone new products.

It of course remains to be seen whether or not the products market penetration in the non-student demographic will be hindered by the monthly fee. Internet banking has traditionally been a free service offered by banks, including the BNZ.

YouMoney has the opportunity to innovate the way internet banking is done globally and become a tangible selling point for the BNZ.  The introduction of a fee at this stage could be viewed as short-sighted if uptake for paid users is slow.

YouMoney is available online now with the BNZ  planning a mobile rollout on March 1 with support for both the Android and Apple platforms.

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