In the past few years, it’s been really exciting to see the big financial players in town come out with innovative new features to help Canadians better manage their money, and the latest player to do this is RBC.
Back in August, they launched a pilot program for their two new digital services — NOMI Insights™ and NOMI Find and Save™, and as of this fall, these two services will be available to all RBC customers.
As a personal finance blogger with a lot of blogger friends in the US, it’s soul-crushing seeing all the cool finance apps they have access to the we don’t here in Canada. And although it can feel like financial institutions are comparatively slow to keep up with what’s going on south of the border, it’s a relief when a big bank like RBC comes out with services to help automate people’s money even more.
Why Automation Is the Secret Sauce for Saving
And yes, automation is a really good thing! Automation is literally the secret sauce when it comes to managing your money better. From all the people I talk to who have a hard time budgeting and saving, it’s because they’re trying to do it the hard way (or they just aren’t doing it any way at all). If it wasn’t for the set it and forget method of paying my bills or moving my money into savings and investments, there’s no way I’d be as financially secure as I am today.
Luckily, automating your personal finances has gotten easier over the years thanks to advancements in technology, but even still RBC is the first bank in Canada to use artificial intelligence to automatically track customers’ spending and fast-track their savings. Way to pave the way RBC!
So, What Is NOMI Insights™ Exactly?
Okay, let’s dive into what these two NOMI services are actually all about. First, there’s NOMI Insights, which you can probably guess what it does based on its name. Its main focus is looking into your account data, compiling insights about your spending habits and your recurring expenses, then sending you suggestions based on this info.
I remember a few years ago I was actually a judge at a fintech hackathon where competitors had a fixed amount of time to come up with an innovative finance app. I saw some great apps, but not one of them was a way to simply look at your data and give you suggestions based on those insights. Not one! It’s a fairly simple solution for a huge problem, and yet not one of the Silicon Valley-esque whiz kids understand that this is what people actually need.
To give you an example of how this works using NOMI, let’s say you generally pay $80 for your heating. NOMI Insights would track that info and store it for future use. Then, one month your bill jumps to $200. NOMI would notify you that your heating bill is abnormally high and you can make some changes to get your bill down to save you more money.
NOMI Insights will also show you a simple to understand and categorized spending analysis as well as cash flow analysis. Essentially, it’s what I do every single month by hand in my budget spreadsheet, but this way it’s completely automatic.
And What’s NOMI Find and Save™?
The other service is less about spending and more about saving. It sounds actually quite similar to a couple apps in the US that I was really sad we don’t have access to here. Essentially, it uses predictive technology to find money in your cash flow and then automatically moves that money into your savings.
So basically, it’s helping you save without doing a thing. And no, it never sets aside more savings than you can afford, so it won’t mistakenly make you go into overdraft or not have enough money to pay your cell phone bill. You can also receive push notifications on your phone alerting you of every time money is moved into your savings so you’re always in the know.
Now, why this is actually a really big deal is because saving small amounts over time could accumulate to a big chunk of change and really help you in the long run. Again, this is something I try to do manually, but it’s easier said than done. To have this feature do it automatically, I think it might become something other banks replicate because I can see once you start using it, you’d never want to stop.
My Final Thoughts
Yes, this is a sponsored post, but honestly when I heard about NOMI I actually got really excited about it. This rarely happens because like I’ve mentioned, advancements in the Canadian finance space seem to be slow.
But finally (FINALLY!) I feel like they are starting to ramp up. And that really just means it will become easier for us all to save better, spend more consciously and just be all around more mindful of our money. Gone are the days when we have to use a budget binder with a pen and paper to get our financial life together! Now, all you need is access to the internet and choose to bank with a financial institution (like RBC) that is clearly not just trying to keep up with the pack, but striving to be leader of that pack.