The evolution of Money Fitness for credit unions

Tom Stinton reveals how ieDigital’s approach to creating new digital experiences for credit unions led to the creation of a solution that resonates with their members, guiding people to get their finances fighting fit as well as forging closer links to their community.

Money Fitness was a concept that originated during one of ieDigital’s creative hackathons a few years ago. The team that devised it saw how people were using fitness and lifestyle devices, and apps – such as those from FitBit – which help people monitor and improve their health through small, timely interventions. We asked ourselves, why isn’t there a service that can help people manage their financial health? After all, many people find keeping on top of their finances just as difficult, if not harder, than maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

This led to the birth of Money Fitness.

As with the very best fitness apps, Money Fitness analyzes a person’s data and makes recommendations to help improve their habits. In isolation, these small steps amount to small improvements that, over time, help people become much better with managing their cashflow. As a result, Money Fitness can enable people to become wealthier with minimal conscious effort.

Although not a direct response to the principles of nudge theory, Money Fitness does share a lot of similarities with this behavioral science. Nudge theory is something that’s gaining a lot of traction following the award of the Nobel Prize for Economics to one of its founders, Richard Thaler.

Money Fitness nudges take place through notifications that are delivered to the customer at a time where they can make an informed choice to improve their finances. We also look to make the interactions that these nudges lead to as engaging as possible, and, where possible, fun.

The opportunity for credit unions

Through our work with credit unions, community banks and building societies, we spotted an opportunity to enhance the Money Fitness proposition. Because credit unions are focused on specific communities, they are in a position to encourage their members to share a small slice of the wealth that Money Fitness helped them create within their community – to chip-in to projects that are going on around them.

Not only does this type of involvement help the community that the credit union serves, it gives the members who chip in a feeling of fulfilment about themselves that reinforces the positive habits they’re fostering. Additionally, chipping in to their community via their credit union helps to develop a deeper bond between the member and their credit union, wherever they happen to be living in the world.

The commercial opportunities

Clearly, Money Fitness helps organizations retain customers and increase the pools of capital they provide. In addition to this, because Money Fitness is in regular contact with people through the timely nudges it provides, there are many opportunities to generate new product sales that benefit both the member and the CU.

Because the people that use Money Fitness find it useful in their day-to-day lives, they trust the service and are more likely to trust a suggestion to open and fund a new product.

Every solution we build for each of our clients is unique, so there’s no single view of how Money Fitness looks. However, to help bring it to life, we have created an app that demonstrates one way that Money Fitness for credit unions can be developed. We’re showcasing this at FinovateFall 2018 in New York, so keep an eye out for us (and vote for us!) if you’re attending. If you’re reading this after the event, I hope our mics didn’t fail.

We’d love to demonstrate Money Fitness to you, and show you how ieDigital’s digital banking platform could support your organization’s digital experience goals. Drop us a line right here, or find us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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