Toronto-Dominion Bank’s (TD) recent partnership with Moven is a material strategic move to help the bank’s customers advance their personal financial fitness. Moven, along with other nontraditional mobile banking providers like Simple and GoBank, are challenging the financial industry’s line of thinking of what a mobile banking app can be. These types of bank apps offer budgeting tools that can help customers prevent overspending and learn how to more effectively save money.
Moven, the New York-based “neobank” founded by Brett King, brings TD the opportunity to offer customers more advanced financial management tools in their mobile app, including instant notifications about spending patterns and a variety of budgeting capabilities for each purchase. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership for Moven, who will now be granted access to three million TD Bank customers in Canada.
"The TD agreement with Moven offers our Canadian customers access to leading-edge technology with a simple, convenient and innovative way to manage day-to-day financial choices alongside long and short-term financial goals," said Rizwan Khalfan, chief digital officer, TD Bank Group. "The addition of real-time money management capabilities to the TD mobile app demonstrates our commitment to comfort and convenience and to our growing leadership in the digital banking space. Customers will be better informed on how they use their money and empowered to improve their financial wellness with each spending decision they make."
TD is primarily located in Canada and in the northern U.S., yet consumers outside of these areas may be familiar with the bank because of TD’s #TDThanksYou campaign video that flooded the Internet this past summer, showing that TD Bank is making major advances in communicating its message in the digital age. The tearjerker video shows real TD customers being surprised by an ATM that has been transformed into an “automated thanking machine.” A voice from the ATM surprises different customers with gifts picked out just for them—a Blue Jays fan gets a personalized shirt, is surprised by baseball player Jose Bautista and gets the chance to throw the first pitch at an upcoming game. A mom of two boys is given an all-expense paid trip to Disneyland because she had never been able to take them. These and other heartfelt stories allowed the YouTube video to get over 6 million views in only one week. The video now has over 18 million views, making it one of the most successful viral videos to ever come out of the financial industry.
TD Bank’s most recent announcement about the launch of Moven is also getting the attention of the banking industry, as the majority of banks are still figuring out how to differentiate their mobile banking, while ensuring each move they make is customer-focused.
“Can I afford it?” is one of the most important questions people have to answer about their financial lives. That’s why the budgeting categories serve as one of the main features of Moven’s, and now TD’s, mobile banking app, allowing it to become more than just a list of transactions, but instead, a resource for every shopping decision. The categories are used to get people to focus on things they really need and separate that from the luxuries that can tempt people into overspending.
“If you want to get people to save money, you’ve got to stop them spending, so we’re helping them understand where they’re spending money,” said Brett King, founder and CEO of Moven, in a recent interview with The Globe and Mail. “What we start to see, after three to six months [of usage] is that people in certain categories—dining out, catching taxis—start to level off.”
Yet the financial industry may question—is teaching customers not to spend money going against the best interest of the bank? Moven and TD Bank understand that their best interest is helping customers, and one of the most valuable ways to do that is to help people spend money in a smarter way with the type of advanced technology that consumers of today demand.