Some people just suck at saving money. Whether it’s a wired predisposition or just bad financial habits they developed over the years, it’s a reality some folks will have to live with. But could those people suck less if a robot behind the scene orchestrated the saving for them? That’s what Digit, a money-saving service, hopes to accomplish.
A digital piggy bank of sorts, the service will automatically take small amounts from your bank account into a special Digit account, automatically building up a savings profile that’s separate from the account you use for paying regular expenses. It does this autonomously, using an algorithm that analyzes your checking account’s activity (deposits, withdrawals, payments), then proceeds to transfer small amounts (usually between $1 and $150) when it deduces that you’re unlikely to miss that money in the immediate future. Kinda like how we always imagined robots will steal our money from under our noses, except this time, it’s bundling the cash up for you.
To use Digit, you start by signing up with your information, including linking the service to your bank account and your phone. You will also be asked how aggressively or conservatively you want it to save, which will dictate how much money it tucks away. It doesn’t come with an app, instead relying on good, old text messaging. Basically, you send SMS commands to a special number, which then replies with the corresponding information (e.g. your account balance). All money siphoned from your checking account is put in your Digit account (which, technically, is a separate FDIC-insured savings account), with no fees charged.
The catch? Digit still needs to make their money, so instead of charging fees, they just pocket any interest your savings actually makes. Sure, the idea that money you could be making is going to someone else can be a tiny bit grating, but it seems like a nice trade-off for a service that will help you save money with0ut bombarding you with ads.