Westpac upgrades banking app

Announcement comes as 84% of Aussies look to budget better

Westpac upgrades banking app


By Mina Martin

Westpac has started to introduce several new features in the Westpac app to provide customers with eligible accounts insights into their spending habits and puts them in greater control of their money.

“We are building a digital first bank and today’s announcement is another step forward in making banking simpler and more intuitive for our 5 million digitally active customers,” said Chris de Bruin, Westpac consumer and business banking chief executive. “Our customers are demanding more personalised insights into their spending and tools to manage their finances, particularly as the cost-of-living increases. We want to empower our customers by giving them more control over their money with faster and easier budgeting tools available on their smartphone.”

New features include a spending tracker that allows users to track and categorise expenses to help manage the cost of living, a “budget better” feature that enables them to keep track of their monthly income and expenses without using a spreadsheet, and a “top expenses” feature that gives them the ability to view their top expenses and biggest income earners over the last month.

New Westpac research revealed Australians are experiencing cost increases across the board, including 87% paying more for groceries, 79% more for petrol, 71% more for utilities, 52% more for eating out, 51% more for bills like phone and internet, 35% more for transport, 30% more for mortgage, 22% more for rent, and 13% more for education costs.

The data showed 84% of Australians are looking at ways to earn more money and cut back on spending, while 76% believe digital banking will help them better keep track of their money. 

Findings also showed that 70% believe a banking app with budgeting tools would help them reach their financial goals, 72% said a feature that categorises spending would help them feel more in control of their money, and 64% wanted personalised insights into their spending through a banking app. 

“We want to empower our customers through enabling them to better understand where their money is going to help them reach their financial goals,” de Bruin said. “These new features offer customers insights into their spending and income history over the last 12 months, breaking it down into categories such as groceries, kids, education, pets, and entertainment. It will also give customers better visibility of their spending on insurance, home, and personal loans.”

Other new features will also be progressively rolled out to Apple iOS and Android devices for eligible accounts, including a bigger picture view that enables users to see financial information on their app for a more complete picture of their budget, help at tax time that allows customers to tag expenses throughout the year to help them prepare for their tax return, and a carbon footprint tracker that will help customers track their carbon footprint and make more environmentally friendly spending choices.

Westpac also said the new features will be underpinned by safety and security features, including dynamic CVC, lock or unlock cards, and scam block.

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