NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Americans lost $15 billion to overdraft fees in 2016. For the 46% of Americans who would not be able to cover a $400 emergency, these charges represent a major and growing barrier to overcoming their savings shortfall. To tackle the challenge of overdraft fees and NSF (non-sufficient fund) fees, which affect a disproportionate number of its 1.5 million users, MoneyLion has launched new features in its mobile app to prevent and reduce consumers’ vulnerability to overdraft fees and other bank charges.
“Excessive bank charges are putting many hard-working Americans in a bind,” said MoneyLion’s CMO, Tim Hong. “Consider the example of an individual who swipes their debit card to buy lunch and again to pay for a medical prescription on their way home, while their phone bill goes through the same day. If their account balance happened to be below the combined value of these purchases, they’d be looking at anywhere between one and three overdraft charges. At an average of $34 each, these charges could even exceed the value of the initial purchases.
“We believe that most of these charges can be avoided with advanced warning and a little planning, and our new mobile app features have been put in place to help users head off future charges and better manage cash inflows and outflows.”
Data collected by MoneyLion between July 2015 and June 2017 on the checking accounts of over 200,000 non-prime users revealed the following insights about the size and frequency of overdraft fees incurred:
- 51% of users averaged one or more overdraft fee per month and 22% averaged 3 or more overdraft fees per month
- 43% of users who went into overdraft were charged multiple overdraft fees on the same day, since each transaction triggers a separate fee
- 86% of accounts that incurred at least one overdraft fee in a given month will incur additional overdraft charges sometime over the next 3 months
- Overdraft fee charges most frequently occurred 3 days before a customer’s paycheck deposit
Together, these data points illustrate the regularity of overdraft and other bank fees in the financial lives of middle class Americans, and represent a significant impediment to their ability to build meaningful savings.
MoneyLion has made a suite of free personal finance tools and personalized alerts available on its mobile app to help its users prevent unnecessary charges, better manage cash flows and ultimately, save more. Key features include:
- Account balance monitoring: Using sophisticated algorithms based on historical spending and deposit patterns, the mobile app provides personalized advice to users at risk of moving to a negative balance, so that they can transfer funds from another account or take other actions to prevent overdraft charges.
- Mobile app alerts: Push notifications for overdraft and other bank fees, as well as low account balance warnings provide users with a clearer picture of charges they incur.
MoneyLion has also launched a microsite to help educate American consumers about the drain of overdraft fees and other bank charges on their finances. On the site, users can access a number of statistics about overdraft fees by taking a brief quiz. The intention of the site is to help consumers understand the prevalence of overdraft fees and other bank charges so that they can take active steps to mitigate the impact on their own financial health.
“MoneyLion’s mission is to make finance more approachable for Americans at every stage of their lives,” said Hong. “Offering users a clearer picture of how their habits and external factors are impacting their finances is the first step in helping them remove the barriers blocking the path to their financial goals.”
MoneyLion is a leading mobile finance platform that empowers consumers to take control of their financial lives through free spending, saving and credit tracking tools, and smarter credit products. Founded in 2013 by a team of leading technologists and financiers, MoneyLion uses superior analytics and machine learning-based risk technology to gain a 360-degree view of its users’ personal finances, enabling better underwriting and the development of tailored financial product offers. With its built-in system of Boosts, points and rewards, MoneyLion endorses good financial behavior. MoneyLion is headquartered in New York with offices in San Francisco and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For more information, visit www.moneylion.com or download the app here.