UBank has tapped fintech Basiq to help it prepare for open banking. The first phase of the partnership is an update to the bank’s in-app budget tool which uses machine learning to provide insights into consumers’ spending habits. 

By next year, the partnership will offer customers predictions of future spending behaviours within their UBank app.

Basiq, which is backed by Salesforce Ventures, NAB Ventures and Westpac’s Reinventure, offers a platform which provides access to financial data from over 60 institutions. As more open banking APIs become publicly available in February 2020, Basiq aims to provide a fuller financial picture of a customer’s data across all of their banks.

UBank’s first application of Basiq is a machine learning model – which draws on several external data sources to enrich historical banking data – that gives customers more detailed and accurate spending insights across 40 categories. Customers will be able to see how much they have spent in each category or at a particular merchant. 

In 2020 UBank will use the Basiq platform to predict upcoming bills. It also aims to helps customers adopt positive spending behaviour by predicting how much they are likely to spend by the end of their pay cycle, after each transaction. 

“Budgeting is still a need that is widely underserved,” says UBank CEO, Lee Hatton. “What used to be tracked in unwieldy spreadsheets or ledgers – if it was tracked at all – can now be tracked in a simple app. Giving Australians richer insights into their spending data means they can make smarter decisions without lifting a finger – it’s how we can truly set them up for success.” 

UBank is also introducing new features to assist gig economy workers to manage their finances. The feature allows customers to input multiple income streams and maintain just one budget, instead of having to navigate their spending and saving in fractions.

“We’re living in the era of the side hustle, which means we need to factor in the reality of more intricate financial management. With this in mind, we’re committed to making financial decisions easier for every Australian,” says Hatton. “That means we have to factor in the reality that around 7 per cent of our population now faces, holding more than one job and having to more closely manage their day-to-day finances. If we can automate this for them, it’s one less hassle in their day.”

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