PFM App MoneyLion Seeks to Kill Overdraft Fees with New Feature

EXCLUSIVE – As part of its ongoing crusade to make money manageable for the average American, PFM app MoneyLion has a new feature that will warn the user before an overdraft occurs.

The new feature, launched today, works by providing push notifications on a user’s mobile when an account balance is low and is likely to incur overdraft or other bank fees.

Additionally, the new feature uses algorithms to monitor the user’s money patterns. Based on their history of spending and deposits, the feature is able to tell users how often and when they are likely to make an overdraft. It provides personalized advice so that they can avoid such events by preparing for them in advance.

“Alerting our customers when they are hit with an overdraft fee in real time is one aspect, and when that happens we recommend they dispute that fee with their bank,” Tim Hong, MoneyLion Chief Marketing Officer told Bank Innovation. “But that’s after the fact. So that’s where the low balance notification comes into play. It gives customers a clearer picture of their finances and how to manage their money in order to avoid such overdraft fees. ”

This new feature comes after a comprehensive study of data gathered by the company from over 200,000 non-prime users that showed 51% of users had at least one if not more overdrafts per month, with 22% incurring fees from at least 3 overdrafts.

Indeed, in August, Bank Innovation reported on a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) survey which revealed that U.S. consumers paid a shocking $15 billion in overdraft fees in 2016, despite regulations requiring banks to get the consent of a costumer before charging an overdraft fee.

In addition to this new feature, MoneyLion has released a microsite with the focus of educating consumers about banking fees including overdraft ones. Users can take a brief quiz and learn about the numbers and statistics related to these fees.

This strategy of engaging the user through interaction is a typical MoneyLion tactic, that it is has been using since its establishment in 2013. In fact, the PFM app is based on a systems of  rewards and points system to engage its users to use even its basic tools (all of which are free). To add to this strategy, recently, the San Francisco based mobile finance app added gamification feature called Grow Your Stack, which allows users to see a visual depiction of the money their savings account.

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