The future for personal finance management applications


Vicky Whiting

In our recently published ‘SmartLife’ report, personal finance management applications featured strongly. Online banking and contactless payments were top for awareness and familiarity, ahead of other smart applications such as Smart TVs, Smart Watches and Digital wallets or Smartphone payments. The benefits of convenience, control and diminishing security concerns has led to 89% now familiar with online banking, of which 70% rate it as very useful.

Open Banking initiatives should expect barriers similar to those experienced in the early days of online banking, and providers will need to allay data security concerns, especially amongst their older customers. Younger consumers, who use mobile banking in far greater numbers, tend to feel more comfortable about the security of their personal data. Around 2 in 3 Millennials are willing to share their personal data with companies for more targeted products and potential cost savings.

The chart below highlights whose customers are open to the idea of companies accessing their data to help provide better suited, or lower cost products and services.

Willingness to share data sm

The data indicates that HSBC, First Direct and Bank of Scotland customers are most willing to share their data in order to save money on relevant products and services, while customers of RBS are most willing to share their data for personalised products and services. Customers of Yorkshire Bank and Nationwide are least willing to share their data, which could be linked to an older demographic customer profile of these traditional building society brands.

Download the SmartLife executive summary for Financial Services here.

It is clear that the opportunities for Open Banking are vast and once consumers begin to see the benefits in terms of convenience and control, and are assured that there will be the same level of security as provided by online banking, we would expect take up to be strong, and driven by the Millennials. Traditional banks, however, should note that Millennials and the generations to follow are more likely to look to Fintech innovators to provide ‘smart’ services. The strong sense of trust with banks to handle data securely has greater resonance with older consumers, especially those aged over 55, amongst whom 70% feel most comfortable with their bank providing their Smart payment services, compared with 42% of Millennials.

Notes: Harris SmartLife is nationally representative self-funded research on The Internet of Things and all things smart in the home, car and life in general. It is aimed to fully understand the UK public’s awareness, hunger and concerns about a smarter tech life with wide coverage of smart applications and brands used.

The report is free and the executive summary above contains information pertinent to the financial sector. For more information about SmartLife and what it means to your organisation, please contact me Vicky Whiting.


  • Banking Apps
  • personal banking
  • personal data
  • smartlife report