Digit Automated Savings Bot Comes to Facebook Messenger
After helping users to save a reported quarter of a million dollars since launching in 2015, Digit is now introducing a new platform for their service: Facebook Messenger. With the company’s new bot customers will be able to get updates both on their checking account as well as on their Digit automatic savings account. The bot also includes a bit of fun such as .gifs and memes to interact with and entertain users as they reach their goals.
While the idea of automatic transfers to savings is hardly new, Digit goes one step further. As VentureBeat reports the service employs algorithms that assess customer spending habits to determine how much they can pilfer away for savings without the user noticing. CEO Ethan Bloch explained his company’s philosophy to VentureBeat, saying “We think there’s a great place for machine learning and automation around this idea of making sure you can pay all your bills on time and in full.”
In addition to general savings, Digit can help users reach specific goals such as saving for a vacation or other large purchase. Furthermore in years past the company has run a promotion to encourage users to save a portion of their tax refund. That program will return this year and also make its Messenger bot debut.
What makes the new Messenger integration exciting is that it not only opens up the possibilities for Digit but could also help lead the way for more personal finance-centric bots. After all this comes at a time when, despite a few other such bots already in use, security concerns have been blamed for keeping more advanced AI offerings at bay for now. In that aspect there could be a lot of eyes on Digit’s bot to see how it performs both in terms of security as well as in popularity.
Another interesting note in regards to Digit’s story is how this FinTech company has operated in partial partnership with a traditional bank — at the moment all of Digit’s savings accounts are held by Wells Fargo. In fact Bloch goes as far to say that his company, “would not exist today were it not for Wells Fargo.” Unfortunately 2016 was not the kindest to Wells Fargo following scandals involving unauthorized customer accounts. In turn Digit is working to offer more banking options for customers who might not want to give their business to go to Wells Fargo.
Digit’s simple idea of helping people save more money automatically by adding smart solutions personifies what the FinTech sector is all about. By bringing their service to a platform as large (and growing) as Facebook Messenger, they’re also opening the door to a new market that may not even be familiar with such financial technology offerings. Ultimately this company and their new bot will be one to watch in 2017 and beyond.