Online banking giant Ally is working to revolutionize the savings game for people at all different points along their financial journey. No matter if you’re brand new to saving or you’re well along your way to reaching your goals, Ally can help. Through innovative technology, the company is changing the ways customers view savings and how and when they contribute to their savings accounts.
“Americans are facing a savings crisis. We have seen a 60-year downward trend in the personal savings rate. Four in ten, if hit with a crisis, couldn’t come up with $400,” says Anand Talwar, deposits and consumer strategy executive at Ally. “Our new smart savings tools will help people save more money faster and with less effort than ever before.”
Two of these new innovations for savings are Ally’s Buckets and Boosts. Both products help users better visualize their savings goals and increase the effectiveness of their savings plans. There’s a reason Ally’s new savings account is currently ranked the best savings account option. Couple the new technology with an impressive APY rate for all funds from a trusted bank, and you’ve got the equation for a top-notch savings option.
What are buckets?
It’s common for workers who get tipped in cash to place their earnings in separate envelopes or jars to allocate toward different savings goals. Many people like to compartmentalize their savings goals in order to better see how close they are to these separate goals, instead of seeing one number and dividing it in their head.
The concept behind Ally’s Buckets is exactly the same. These buckets allow users to move their funds into separate “digital envelopes” without having to open up multiple savings accounts.
Each bucket is fully customizable to reflect the exact items you’re looking to save for. For example, if you’re looking to save for a rainy-day fund, an upcoming family vacation and a new laptop, you can have a separate bucket for each of those. You’ll be able to see exactly how much you have saved for each without doing any math at all.
The maximum number of buckets you can have in one account is 10, which should be plenty for even the most complex of savings plans.
When you transfer funds into your Ally savings account, the money goes into your core savings bucket. From there, you can divvy the money out however you choose your specific buckets. Ally lets users see their savings as a whole or separated into buckets in several visually helpful ways including lists, charts and tables.
For those concerned with how separating their savings balance might affect the interest earned, you have nothing to worry about for two reasons. First, Ally offers the same annual percentage yield (APY) of 1.60% on all balance tiers no matter how high or low. Second, while you see your savings funds broken apart into separate buckets, Ally still views them as a single account. So, if you have $100 each in 10 different buckets, Ally still counts this as a savings account with a $1,000 balance.
What are boosts?
Boost is Ally’s unique savings tool that helps you optimize and maximize your savings plans. More specifically, boosts are the options you select to determine when and how much money will be put into your savings account. Currently, Ally has two boost options — recurring transfers and Surprise Savings.
Recurring transfers give you the option of setting up automatic transfers into your savings account from your other Ally banking accounts. Customization is the name of the game with this boost as you can decide the amount, frequency and destination of your automatic transfers. All of these options can be adjusted at any point in time to fit any changes in your savings plans. While many financial institutions offer recurring transfers into your savings, few offer this level of customization and user-friendly features.
The second and more unique savings booster from Ally is the Surprise Savings option. When selected, this feature is linked to your checking account and begins analyzing your spending habits, cash flow, upcoming bills, and overall financial picture. From there, it’s able to identify “safe to save” amounts of money that can be moved to your savings account.
Much like the recurring transfer option, you can choose to turn Surprise Savings on or off at any point. The program has self-imposed limits, so you get an idea of the maximum transfer amounts that the program could make on your behalf.
These limits are transactions no larger than $100 and no more than three transactions per week. However, the program will only hit these maximums if it feels the savings are a smart move that won’t leave you short on cash. If more money than you like is ever transferred, you can always move the money right back into your checking account.
The bottom line
Ally is working hard to revolutionize the way people save money. By changing the way we view our savings and the way we choose to add to our savings, the entire process is more streamlined.
Additionally, the company provides tools to show you your progress in saving along the way. Several tools and charts show you your historical progress as well as your projected progress for the future. Not only can this help you to see how far you’ve come and if you’re on track for your goals, but it can also motivate you to ramp up your saving efforts and get across the finish line faster.