An exciting and clever new way to save

Spending is fun, impulsive spending is even more fun. Apps that get you to spend impulsively are engaging, exciting and keep you hooked with their smart deals. E-commerce sites work furiously to track your spending patterns and suggest products that you are likely to find interesting - to tempt you to get into even more impulsive spending.

Now consider savings oriented apps and sites. Save regularly. Start early. Save for your future. Save for a rainy day. That's what most of them say, one way or another. Consumer verdict: boring, dull. Doesn't excite you to save. Doesn't engage you. Doesn't get you hooked to saving as easily as you get hooked to impulsive spending.

That's changing in India now, with the launch of an innovative new app called Balance - a fintech start-up incubated at Zerodha - one of the fastest growing online financial intermediaries in the country.


Ankit Kumar and Abhishek Malik - co-founders of Balance, approached the idea of saving from a new angle. In a world where consumers are hooked to impulsive spending, is there a way we can get them to save impulsively too? Is there a way we can integrate saving into their current lifestyle? Is there a way we can make saving an engaging conversation to have with today's consumer? A conversation she would want to be a part of?

This quest led them to develop Balance - which their tag line says is all about clever ways to save. At the heart of Balance is a set of innovative "Recipes" - smart little BOTs through which Balance gets you to save in an engaging manner.

Get your spending and saving in balance

There's the Spend BOT - which tracks (after due permission) SMS alerts on your phone of all your card spends, tots up your weekly spends, tracks weekly patterns for a few weeks and then presents you suggestions to save appropriate amounts, to get your spending and saving in "balance". Recommendations are offered in a simple and engaging way, which you can either agree with or skip.

Making your "chutta" count


There's another clever one called RoundUps. This one tracks the amount you spend each time, and "rounds up" to the next round number, an amount that it encourages you to save. So, if you spent Rs. 1897 on something, it will immediately suggest that you put away the "balance" of Rs.103 into a savings pool. Think of cash - you would hand over a 2000 rupee note and get back Rs.103 as change - that's the amount that Balance will encourage you to salt away - which most of us will say yes to. Now, when this amount of salted away money gets to a round investible figure of say Rs.1000 or Rs.5000, it will then encourage you to put it away into a liquid fund (if you want instant liquidity) or invest in an ELSS fund (if you want to commit that money into long term wealth creation).

Engaging way to plan and track spending goals

Balance has an engaging way it encourages you to save for spending goals. Here are some screen shots that tell you how:


Fun ways to integrate savings into your lifestyle

If you are a cricket fan, you can choose your favourite team. Each time your team plays, the app will track the game, flag it for you and if your team wins, will put away an agreed amount into your savings pool. If you are a fitness freak and set daily targets on your FitBit, the app will track achievement of your fitness target and put away an agreed amount each day that you achieve your targets. In short, every time a lifestyle goal is achieved, put away some money into your savings pool - that's incidentally when you will be most likely to impulsively save, if a trigger presents itself just then. Clever thinking indeed!


Off to a great start

Balance was launched just 9 weeks ago. In a short span of just 2 months, the app has seen over 10,000 downloads and average weekly saves being recorded in the app are in the region of Rs.1500-2000 per customer. That's 6000-8000 rupees per month of impulsive savings per customer - that's a tidy amount being salted away in a fun and engaging manner. Clever ways to save indeed!


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