Ally Financial has launched a mobile app that uses geolocation to caution smartphone-carrying customers when they are arriving at stores where they overspend.
Finding ways to help consumers with their spending indulgences has increasingly become a goal for banks seeking to add value to the digital experiences. Most recently, TD Bank in Canada launched a financial health app powered by neobank Moven. USAA has also published a mobile app meant to motivate millennials to save.
Ally's new app, called Splurge Alert, distinguishes itself by using geolocation technology to track its users and engages others to help keep users from making bad decisions. Users designate the stores and areas where they tend to overspend and select friends and family who can help motivate them to resist an unnecessary purchase. When they are nearby the danger zone, the app warns them that they are about to overspend, but also notifies the support network in hopes of encouraging the users to make better decisions.
"Many people believe that large one-time expenses can throw their budgets off track," said Andrea Riley, chief marketing officer of Ally in a press release. "But it's actually the everyday purchases – coffee drinks, smoothies, clothing items – that tend to be a problem area. The intent of this fun and insightful tool is to raise awareness for consumers about spending habits that may be keeping them from attaining their savings goals."