Intuitive features are what make a digital banking design memorable and lovable to customers. To honor the most exciting features out there, the Scientia team decided to showcase the best of them worldwide in our new monthly category.
Welcome to Digital banking features that matter!
Subscriptions are not by any means a child of the digital age. Ever since the first newspapers and magazines were published people wanted to make sure they would receive the latest news first. Thus subscriptions model was born. What the digital age did was accelerate the subscriptions business model adoption by many companies worldwide seeing how companies like Amazon and Netflix offering such models were a massive hit with customers worldwide.
Deloitte in its 15th edition of the Digital media trends report has found that 82% of US consumers subscribe to a paid video-streaming service. They subscribe to an average of 4 different paid video-streaming services. It also reported 67% having a paid TV subscription and 62% a music streaming subscription with an average of 2 separate music-streaming services. 45% subscribe to a gaming service while 31% to a fitness service.
Customers really respond to a model that allows them to control how much they spend and where for their services. But, with the subscription model going mainstream in the business world, customers have to juggle various subscriptions for different services which can lead to fatigue. They get confused about how many subscriptions they have and to what and spend a lot of time trying to put them in order and manage them.
This brings us to this month's impressive Digital banking feature: Subscription management.
This feature represents one of the newest digital banking features introduced that directly meets an emerging customer need: to have an overview and manage the different monthly, yearly subscriptions for any provided service through their iOS channel.
What is Subscription Management in digital banking?
To answer this question we used our digital banking research platform, that analyzes banks and fintechs worldwide in video and step-by-step flowcharts. Customers through this feature can have an overview of all their paid subscriptions. The digital banking application automatically recognizes a service or a payee (e.g., Spotify, HBO Max, Guardian) and sets it as a recurring subscription.
Alternatively, they can manually set up a specific recurring payment they might wish into a chosen subscription. For example, they could set their local dance studio monthly payment or bi-monlthy botanical herbs box order as a subscription and manage it as such.
Once they have automatically or manually set their subscriptions then they can easily manage them. Customers can cancel a subscription. If they choose so they can restore it later and resume paying. For example, they can block their subscription to Apple iCloud directly from their digital banking application without having to log into their Apple ID to remove or change their plan. This ultimately provides a single place to manage all their subscriptions through their digital banking app without having to manage each one of them manually.
Which banks offer Subscription Management?
bunq customers can easily find one of the payments they have made to video-streamer Disney and automatically set-up as one their subscriptions. They can also select one of their recurring payments to a service and set it up to be included in the subscriptions list. They can if they wish, add and remove any subscription from this list and have a total overview of this list of payments.
However, the Challenger bank does not offer the ability to customers to handle their subscriptions through the iOS app. Specifically bunq customers can't cancel or re-start a subscription but only add new ones to have a full view of their monthly subscriptions spending.
Users of Vivid, another European Challenger, can view their Subscriptions to magazines, streams etc. summarized in one screen as the “Planned Payments”. From then on, while they can't set any other recurring payment they want as a subscription, they can cancel any of them and effectively stop being subscribers to that service. Later, whenever they want they can reinstate them and enjoy these services again.
Revolut, which is launched in 35 countries, including Europe, the UK, the USA, Singapore and Japan, allows its customers to both view all their automatically set subscriptions but add new themselves. Additionally they can manage their subscriptions by removing any they wish from the list and even blocking and unblocking them, therefore canceling or re-starting subscriptions in one place rather than different web pages and apps.
Finally, Yolt, the UK-based Personal Finance Management (PFM), also allows its customers to have an overview of their subscriptions as well as set a recurring payment as one. Unfortunately, the fintech does not offer its users the feature of blocking payments to these services so that they can’t cancel them through Yolt and not each individual account.
Being able to have an overview and manage all subscriptions through digital banking can immensely simplify money management for customers. As with their utility bills, rent and groceries, subscriptions is the new spending category that customers need to be able to monitor smartly and easily take action to reduce their spending when needed. Knowing the total amount they spend for all their subscriptions can help them choose which of them they can cancel to decrease monthly cost or re-start an old one.
With the increase of subscription business models and customers strongly responding to these the Subscription management is undoubtedly a smart feature that all banks should consider offering.