Frollo talks open banking, budgeting and the importance of financial health

author-avatar By on October 30, 2019
Frollo talks open banking, budgeting and the importance of financial health

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Savings app Frollo tells Savings.com.au all about how it works, why it exists and how it plans to use open banking to help its users get better deals on financial products and services.

What is Frollo, and how does it work?

Frollo lauds itself as a free to use personal finance and budget management tool that allows users to securely link all of their financial institutions together, including their bank accounts, investment portfolios, overseas currencies and even loyalty points.

It allows for a form of wealth tracking where a customer can have a broad overview of their entire wealth – even their superannuation.

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Source: Frollo

Other key features of Frollo include:

  • Automatic categorisation for transactions
  • Set savings goals and challenges
  • Push notifications and personal insights
  • Bank-level security and encryption
  • Track tax-deductible expenses
  • Push notifications and personal insights
  • Bank-level security and encryption
  • A ‘Frollo score’ feature which gives users a financial health score between 1 and 1,000

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Source: Frollo

Frollo Sales Director Mark Zmarzly said Frollo’s primary reason for existing is to help Australian’s improve their overall financial wellbeing.

“We’ve found that the process to accomplish this goes from looking at a user’s financial data and provide insights that are actually actionable and relevant to meet a goal or improve overall financial health,” Mr Zmarzly told Savings.com.au.

“We try to empower our users by building a community where they can participate in challenges together or learn from proven strategies within the community and finally to show them an easy path to achieve visible impact on their road to financial success.”

Mr Zmarzly said many people might have already encountered Frollo’s technology indirectly through other apps of banks and lenders.

Frollo Sales Director Mark Zmarzly. Photo supplied.

It is similar to other popular apps like Pocketbook and MoneyBrilliant, and has proven very popular in Australia, with more than 100,000 users at the time of writing and more than $100 million in active savings goals.

But according to Mr Zmarzly, Frollo’s biggest growth is yet to come.

“We say this because of the new changes in open banking and the opportunity it will provide for customers as well as financial institutions,” Mr Zmarzly said.

“Budgeting has been around for many years but we’re seeing more demand for integrated tools that not only show customers where they are in their spending but, more importantly, what they should do about it.

“That’s really the future of savings and what will likely be a next generation of “super apps” in banking.”

Challenge yourself to save more

Another key feature Frollo has is its “take a challenge” feature, where users can set themselves a savings challenge and receive in-app savings prompts and notifications to help them reach it.

For example, users can take a fuel efficiency challenge to help them save on driving their car, or an Uber Eats challenge where they try to reduce the number of food deliveries they get.

According to Frollo it has more than $12 million in savings solely dedicated to these challenges, and 65% of users who set a challenge are successful.

“They can also see within the community how many other people like them are taking that challenge for added motivation.,” Mr Zmarzly said.

While the amount of money set aside for incremental savings challenges is promising, one potentially concerning trend Frollo has noticed is the correlation between users of buy now, pay later services (BNPL) and payday loans.

“Unfortunately, we also looked at BNPL usage vs. credit card usage and our data analysis showed that the users of the BNPL options were twice as likely to have a payday loan,” Mr Zmarzly said.

“That’s obviously something we’re going to continue to track and hope to impact by helping to pay off debt quicker and easier.”

Spend on BNPL, credit cards and payday loans are all things that can be tracked by Frollo’s app, allowing users to identify problem areas and cut back where necessary.

Looking for a savings account to help you save? Here is a collection of some of highest-rate savings accounts available in Australia.

Open banking to unlock value and transparency

Frollo was recently chosen by the ACCC as one of 10 CDR (Consumer Data Right) test participants following the passing of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2019 as Australia moves towards a regulated open banking economy.

Alongside Frollo are the likes of:

  • 86 400;
  • Moneytree;
  • Identitii;
  • Procure Build;
  • Quicka;
  • Regional Australia Bank;
  • Verifier Australia;
  • Wildcard Money; and
  • Intuit Australia;

The ACCC said the Consumer Data Right “will improve consumers’ ability to compare and switch between products and services”, while Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said the passage of CDR through Parliament would create the legal foundation for open banking, increasing competition across the industry.

“Empowering customers with the ability to use their data to drive a better deal on banking products has the potential to dramatically increase competition and foster innovation across the industry,” Ms Bligh said.

Mr Zmarzly said Frollo is very happy to have been selected as an early fintech “guinea pig” to test the sharing of financial data.

“We’ve been big data users for years but there hasn’t been a unified or mandated process for sharing this information in the past so we’ve not yet seen the full potential of data on consumer innovation in banking,” Mr Zmarzly said.

“As the work in this area unfolds, users will start to see better offers for personalised services that leverage one-time access to deliver more end value in the form of savings on existing financial products.

“Later on we’ll see utilities, telecom and super, follow suit.”

Mr Zmarzly also said Frollo is hopeful the new data future will “unlock a lot of value with more transparency”.

Open banking, at its core, will potentially give customers three key benefits in exchange for allowing their financial data to be shared:

  • Switching banks will be easier
  • It will encourage competition which should drive down prices
  • Highly personal offers to your financial situation can be made

Speaking following the release of Deloitte’s Open Banking Report earlier this month, Deloitte customer partner Robin Scarborough said it’s vital all organisations comply with new legislation and develop propositions to deliver value to customers.

“All banks, incumbents and challengers, and also potential non-bank competitors, need to see open banking as an opportunity,” Mr Scarborough said.

“There is a clear opportunity for banks to create the right experiences to meet customers’ needs.”


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author-avatar
William Jolly joined Savings.com.au as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research firm Canstar. In William's articles, you're likely to find complex financial topics and products broken down into everyday language. He is deeply passionate about improving the financial literacy of Australians and providing them with resources on how to save money in their everyday lives.

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