Digital opens up financial wellbeing for everyone

Graeme Bold

Graeme Bold

Workplace Pensions Director

We run our lives using apps, with around 4 million of them available on Google Play and Apple App stores alone*.

Streaming movies and music, ordering fast food and groceries, booking travel, and consuming social media are done via apps, so it’s great to see that managing our finances this way is really taking off.  

Apps are more secure than online, usually give a better user-experience and put people in control of many aspects of their life at the touch of a fingertip. Using them has become second nature, especially millennials and Gen Z’ers who’ve grown up in the age of digital innovation.

Apps build engagement

Scottish Widows’ app has more than doubled user numbers over the past year, with over 500,000 people now using it monthly to manage their pension, see what they’ve got, name beneficiaries, and choose funds. It increases people’s engagement with their pensions savings – and that’s just for starters. 

Earlier this year we added open finance technology into the app through our partnership with fintech Moneyhub. Using open finance data and the power of Lloyds Banking Group, the Scottish Widows app helps people build an understanding of their overall financial picture, now and in the future. We know from our data, and feedback from employers and members that pension adequacy and financial wellness are two big challenges we need to try to solve. 

Moneyhub lets pension members connect their banking, mortgage, pension, savings and investment accounts from hundreds of providers, if they choose to – with no need to jump off onto another device, app or website. Building the app as a one-stop window into people’s finances is why we didn’t rush into this – and we can already see how well it’s working.  

Filling the pension dashboard gap

The number of people using Money hub’s open finance functionality has snowballed in a short space of time with 6,247 connections since launch weeks ago. Around 51% of these are linked to people’s pension savings and investments, 42% to loans and 7% to mortgages with other providers.  

This helps them see their financial net worth across multiple accounts, in one place, which in turn can help them plan for a better financial future. 

What they’re also doing is effectively building their very own pension dashboard as we wait for the government to launch the industry-wide one. People see all their pensions together so that they know what they’ve got – and that’s a great first step.

Financial wellness is for everyone

As Sam Seaton, CEO at Moneyhub, said to me recently: “Financial wellness starts as soon as people start earning money, no matter how young they are. It’s all about life planning, not just retirement planning. People are forever struggling to find the right balance of living for today whilst planning for tomorrow.  More commonly now, retirement isn’t always the hard stop it used to be either, with people enjoying part-time work, often in new areas.” 

I’d suggest it helps to fill the advice gap too, as people will be able to make better decisions. This links in perfectly to Lloyds Banking Group’s purpose of Helping Britain Prosper. As part of that purpose, Scottish Widows is committed to helping to reduce the long-term savings and pension gap crisis.  

The next phase is to integrate personalised financial wellbeing into an even better digital experience, with more financial products available to meet people’s needs, helping them see their overall financial health as well as what their pension savings look like. And when they do that, we can nudge them to take action.

Watch the Moneyhub webinar

Graeme Bold and Sam Seaton, Moneyhub CEO, talked about how Moneyhub and open finance help people plan their finances for today and for retirement in a recent webinar. 

Watch the webinar

* January 2024, App download data (2024) – Business of Apps



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