TD partners with Moven to help users watch their spending

If you bank with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and want to rein in your spending habits, you may be in luck – TD will be providing a new personal finance service for users who want to be kinder to their wallets.

This week, TD announced it’d be partnering with Movencorp Inc., a U.S.-based app that helps consumers keep track of their spending. After acquiring Simple, another banking startup, in February, Moven also raised about $8 million this summer to get its product to market in countries outside the U.S., namely New Zealand and now Canada.

Now, it’s done just that by entering an exclusive agreement with TD. The service will be available to users of TD’s mobile banking app sometime in 2015, says Rizwan Khalfan, chief digital officer at TD Bank Group.

Similar to Mint, a popular personal finance app, the TD-Moven partnership will allow users to monitor their spending. However, instead of reminding users of how much money they’ve spent after the fact – which is basically a bit of a guilt trip – Moven will show users their spending patterns through instant notifications, before a purchase is made. That way, users can decide whether they still want to go ahead with buying something, or if it’s a frivolous expense.

What’s also key is that customer financial data – like their banking credentials – will be staying behind TD’s firewall, and will not be accessed by Moven.

TD had been on the lookout for personal finance management tools for some time, Khalfan says. But up until this point, it hadn’t found the right product for its customers.

“The traditional [personal finance management tools] had very low adoption because it’s cumbersome … Typically, it always gives you a discouraging experience, saying you missed so-and-so, because it’s very planning and budget and tracking-oriented,” he says, adding Moven is more like FitBit. However, instead of tracking the number of steps taken in a day, it helps people track their spending and purchase history.

“What it does is it gives you an in-the-moment experience,” he says. “It gives you advice so you can be better about your decisions.”

Partnering with a financial tech startup is an interesting move on TD’s part. However, TD is joining the wave of banks that are differentiating themselves by offering more tech-powered ways of doing banking. For example, banks like Scotiabank Tangerine and CIBC allow users to snap photos of their cheques and deposit them by smartphone, instead of requiring them to trudge to the nearest bank machine to do it.

Nor is this the first time TD has announced it’s offering its users a better experience through tech. In November, TD and PC Financial said they’d be partnering to offer the Ugo Wallet, a mobile payments service that allows Android and BlackBerry users to make payments and store loyalty cards.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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