BNZ makes play at youth market

By Ben Chapman-Smith

BNZ's new YouMoney online banking product is aimed at the youth market. Photo / Supplied
BNZ's new YouMoney online banking product is aimed at the youth market. Photo / Supplied

BNZ has launched a marketing push to capture a bigger share of the youth market by launching a customisable internet banking product designed to be as easy to use as Facebook.

Customers who sign up for the bank's "YouMoney" product will be able to add photo avatars to accounts and payees, open and close new accounts with one click, and set savings goals which can be tracked by progress bars.

The product is part of the bank's focus on being relevant to those in the 18-29 age group, which presents a "significant opportunity", said director of retail Andy Symons.

"New Zealand banks have traditionally not seen young customers as 'uber-attractive' from a profitability point of view."

"But a bank that doesn't stay relevant will just fade away."

A key message which emerged during discussions with focus groups was that internet banking was typically complicated and boring, Symons said.

"We kept hearing that Facebook's really easy but banking's not."

"Young people told us they want their personal banking to be easy and intuitive so that's what we've created," he said.

Symons described YouMoney as "the future of banking".

Features include being able to filter transactions by key words or amounts, drag and drop funds between accounts and payees, and creating accounts with a relevant photo.

Someone saving for a trip to the South Island could use a photo of Mt Cook as the profile image for that particular account, for example.

"YouMoney can be personalised to reflect your future plans, your spending patterns, or even just your favourite colours," Symons said.

Those who use the product will pay a flat fee of $5 per month for an unlimited number of transactions, and it will be free for students and graduates.

It is available on desktop from today and goes live for Android and iPhone users in March. The bank has no plans to launch on Windows 8 yet.

BNZ plans to develop the product further, based on customer feedback, Symons said.

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