It’s one of the classic pillars of personal finance: pay yourself first. Meaning, before you do anything else with your money, put a portion of it in savings.
The tricky part has always been deciding how much. But now, a new artificial intelligence (AI) feature in the U.S. Bank Mobile App is here to help with that. It comes at a time when the pandemic has brought a renewed focus on savings: reflected by data from the Federal Reserve that shows Americans are saving at a record pace but at the same time fewer say they are “doing okay.”
This patented new savings tool is called, appropriately, “Pay Yourself First.” It can automatically identify intelligent ways customers can save – finding and offering recommendations based on their personalized cash flow patterns, all powered by AI. U.S. Bank is the first financial institution in the U.S. to offer this feature provided by fintech company Personetics.
“We are committed to providing our customers with tools and solutions that help them better manage their complex financial lives,” said Damian Warren, senior vice president of Consumer Digital Channels Experience at U.S. Bank. “One of the ways we are doing that is by leveraging Pay Yourself First, which helps customers build their savings by giving them intuitive insights about how best to do that, in a way that is personalized for their specific situation.”
Customers can set up the adjustable feature according to their personal preferences. The program analyzes customers’ capacity to save at each pay period, automatically moving an appropriate amount based on customers’ expected cash flows. Customers set the program to target a desired dollar amount or percentage of income, and the tool employs its AI algorithms to determine how much to save based on expense patterns until the next income deposit. A “do it for me” option, called the smart transfer feature, finds small amounts of money each week to help customers save – promoting their financial wellness.
“It’s common,” Warren said, “for customers to feel unsure about exactly the best way to save – it can be daunting. It’s also natural to think first about covering upcoming expenses, or to just be busy with other things in life. All of these tendencies can lead customers to be more conservative in how much they set aside. Pay Yourself First helps customers by removing these barriers and walking them through these decisions, providing smart, intuitive guidance for saving safely and wisely.”