Westpac expands banking app with new tools as 84% of Australians look to budget better
15 September 2022
Westpac has today announced it has started the roll out of several new features in the Westpac app to provide customers with personal finance insights, new budgeting tools and the ability to track and categorise expenses.
These features give customers with eligible accounts insights into their spending habits and puts them in greater control of their money.
The enhancements to the Westpac app are an important component of Westpac’s broader digital strategy shared in July’s Market Update and follow the acquisition of MoneyBrilliant last year.
"We are building a digital first bank and today’s announcement is another step forward in making banking simpler and more intuitive for our five million digitally active customers," said Westpac Consumer and Business Banking Chief Executive, Chris de Bruin.
"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," he said.
New Westpac research surveying 2000 people shows Australians are experiencing cost increases across the board including 87 per cent paying more for groceries, petrol (79%), utilities (71%), eating out (52%) bills like phone & internet (51%), transport (35%), mortgage (30%), rent (22%) and education costs (13%).
The data showed Australians are looking at ways to earn more money and cut back on spending (84%) with almost four in five (76%) people believing digital banking will help them better keep track of their money.
- 70 per cent said a banking app with budgeting tools would help them reach their financial goals.
- 72 per cent said a feature that categorises spending would help them feel more in control of their money.
- Two in three people (64%) said they wanted personalised insights into their spending through 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. 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,” said Mr de Bruin.
- Spend tracker: The ability to track and categorise expenses to help manage the cost of living. Customers will have access to the last 12 month’s transactions, so they can see how much money they are spending on a range of categories.
- Budget better: Customers can stay across their monthly income and expenses without using a spreadsheet, to reveal spending trends. The Westpac app will also allow customers to drill down into each spending category so they can better understand where their money is going.
- Top expenses: Customers can view their top expenses and biggest income earners over the last month providing personalised insights to help them make financial decisions.
- Bigger picture view: See financial information in the Westpac app, including accounts from other institutions, for a more complete picture of their budget.
- Help at tax time: Customers will have the ability to tag expenses throughout the year to help them prepare for their tax return.
- Carbon footprint tracker: Westpac has announced a new partnership with sustainability fintech Cogo to help customers track their carbon footprint and make more environmentally friendly spending choices. The Carbon Footprint Tracker will be rolled out to select customers from next year.
The new features will be progressively rolled out to Apple iOS and Android devices throughout September for eligible accounts. To access the new features customers will need the latest version of the Westpac app.
Safety and security
The new capabilities are underpinned by safety and security features, including:
- Dynamic CVC - Customers can access a digital version of their card in the Westpac app which can be used for purchases, or if their physical card is lost or stolen. The Digital Card has a dynamic CVC which refreshes every 24 hours for added security. Since the feature was introduced in the Westpac app in early 2020, it has reduced the incidence of fraud for the average customer with a digital card by 80 per cent.
- Lock or unlock cards - If customers notice unusual activity on their card or it’s lost or stolen, they can place a temporary lock on their card instantly via the Westpac app anywhere, anytime to stop unauthorised use. If it’s a false alarm, they can unlock their card ready for use. Or they can also permanently cancel the card and obtain a new digital one, via the Westpac app.
- Scam block - Westpac automatically blocks suspect online transactions from overseas retailers deemed high-risk of being a scam and notifies the customer via SMS.
About the research
The research was commissioned by Westpac and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 2,000 Australians 18+ with surveys distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission-based panel, between Friday 26th August and Friday 2nd September 2022. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
 Westpac App version 10.9.0