With high competition for customers on both the lending and savings/deposit fronts, it is often the everyday transaction account that gets forgotten by many providers and consumers. Viewed by many as a simple vanilla account, many Australians are oblivious to the fact that there are some great, innovative products out there, all geared to help them save money.
For example, both BankWest and ING Direct offer transaction accounts that reimburse ATM fees. A more innovative product is Suncorp Bank’s everyday options account, which is an everyday account that can link to multiple savings accounts as well as lock away part of your funds to a term deposit “flexiRate”.
St.George’s latest offering, St.George SENSE Savings, is similar in many ways to Suncorp’s with a few different bells and whistles. The ‘SENSE’ account is effectively an amalgam of St.George’s leading savings and transactions accounts with a few clever gimmicks to help things along.
The first innovative add on is that you receive a combined statement for both accounts. SENSE also comes with a range of pretty snazzy and informative graphs that help you track your spending. One of them is a pie chart that breaks down your everyday spending by categories, such as leisure, home expenses, and transport. There’s also a bar graph version that shows these amounts month to month. Plus you get a graph outlining your savings progress in relation to your set target.
There’s also the Sense Rounding Contribution graph -and this is what really sets this product apart. What exactly is a rounding contribution? Well, every time you make a purchase on your debit card, the SENSE account automatically rounds up the transaction to the nearest dollar and takes that balance from your everyday account and puts it into your savings bucket. For example, say I bought a coffee and a croissant on my way in to work that costs me $5.30. If I pay using my SENSE account, $6 gets taken out of my account. $5.30 goes to the barista and the remaining $0.70 goes into my SENSE savings account. The same process also applies to all BPay transactions too. It’s a really nifty way to start saving without putting any effort in.
All the standard perks come too – if you deposit over $2000 a month into the account you don’t pay an annual fee, there’s no minimum balance required, a VISA debit card, and all the convenience of having linked accounts, such as ease of transfers and regular payments. The savings account comes with a reasonable 4.85% rate as well.
So hats off to St.George. They’ve managed to craft a simple, yet intuitive and innovative product that redefines the relationship between the transaction and the savings account. For all those that struggle with saving, or simply having to manage two accounts, this is one option that could make a lot of SENSE.
Find the best savings account rates at mozo.com.au.