Posts

The Affordability Passport and Babies are Powerful Disrupters

Life will never be the same after a baby. I knew that. I expected that. And when Brodie arrived on the scene 10 weeks ago, I was prepared for things not being the same. Read more

Student Budgeting Apps Are Good But Don’t Come Close To The Affordability Passport

A whole new generation of students are about to leave home and embark on the adventure that is student life. For some, it will be the first time that they have had to manage their own budgets. And for many, they are watching, with a degree of alarm, the doors of the Bank of Mum and Dad (BOMAD) sliding shut.

But as BOMAD shuts up shop, the High Street banks are bombarding students with rail cards, Amazon Prime membership and restaurant vouchers.

But for this generation of students, there’s also the whole new world of challenger, digital banks, with a complex array of enticements aimed at students.

Digital Banks Are Changing The Game

Jessica Murray, writing on the Save the Student website, reviews the functionality and deals of the leading challenger banks such a Monzo, Starling and Atom as well as the range of budgeting apps and savings bots for managing and monitoring expenditure. There’s kWh for keeping the lid on energy consumption, mySupermarket and CheckoutSmart for driving food shopping costs down and Onanvo Extend for reducing data costs. There’s even the musicMagpie app for generating cash by recycling and selling on games and old CDs and DVDs.

And for any student who has a niggle that they’re spending too much on coffee, diet Coke or beer, they can scare themselves silly with Martin Lewis’s Demotivator. Punch in your non-essential item of expenditure, the unit costs and how often you buy it and Martin’s demotivator calculates how much that adds up to each year and across a working life.

If it’s a caffeine habit you have for example, then the demotivator is quick to flag up that just one medium sized Americano from Costa on the way to lectures and a couple over the weekend will cost a student £803 a year and £36,135.00 over their lifetime.

Students are smart and, with budgets under pressure, they are highly motivated to use all the resources out there to keep their finances on track. And many students will have their smartphones loaded up with a range of apps to help them manage their budget.

Its good news that students are using the array of financial management apps at their disposal and bodes well for future financial responsibility.

Are Students Missing A Trick?

But I wonder if they know, as they download scores of cool apps onto their phones, that the millennials and their parents’ generation too, may be one step ahead of them?

You could say that Castlight Financial’s Affordability Passport is, in essence, a whole lot of these cool apps all rolled into one. The Affordability Passport uses the same open banking technology as the digital banks and some of the budgeting apps, but instead of totaling up the numbers in a defined area of spending such as utilities bills, the Affordability Passport is able to categorise transactional spending across multiple personal accounts, categorising spending into 155 categories and a further 29 categories for income.

The Affordability Passport is powered by Castlight’s CaaS (Categorisation as a Service) software which is currently the most powerful categorisation engine in the UK. And now that it’s being widely used by the UK’s High Street banks, there are hundreds of thousands of UK customers who should feel pretty smug that, whatever numbers their student children may be crunching with their budgeting apps, its not nearly as cool as 155 categories of spending analysis.

No One Is Average

By Martin Hagerty, Chairman, Castlight Financial

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How to Halt Customer Leakage in its Tracks

By Martin Hagerty, Chairman Castlight Financial

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Financial inclusion in sight for UK’s renters

We have been following the journey of Lord Bird’s Creditworthiness Assessment Bill through the parliamentary process and I was very thrilled to see it progress through the committee stage at the end of last week, with widespread support and no amendments. Read more

Embracing the Spirit of the Law

Martin Hagerty, Castlight Financial’s Chairman, once defined company culture to me as “the things people do when they know they’re not being watched”.

I like that definition. Because it doesn’t just apply to companies. It applies to whole industries too. Read more

First Open Banking pilot goes live for Castlight Financial’s Affordability Passport

Castlight Financial, the Glasgow-based financial capability company, is partnering with Paradigm Mortgage Services and Foundation Home Loans to launch a major pilot of its Affordability Passport, an affordability tool powered by open banking technology, which allows brokers to process mortgages in under 10 minutes. Read more

Redemptive Technology

I wrote recently about the sea change in perspective in the lending landscape. The FCA is urging lenders to be more forward looking, to anticipate how borrowers will be able to repay their debt further down the line. Will they be able to weather a storm or will they go under? Read more

The Left Behind Generation Of “Second Steppers”

Gross mortgage lending in 2018 has been predicted to rise for the eighth year in a row to reach its highest level since 2007, according to the fifth annual market review and forecast from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association’s (IMLA), published today. Read more

ONS and Castlight track consumer spending

Women’s leggings and mashed potato will now be used instead of pork pies and lager sold in nightclubs to help calculate the cost of living in the UK. These changes, reported by the BBC, are part of the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) annual review of the basket of goods used to measure the UK’s inflation rate. Read more