New Digital Bank Launches To … Encourage Saving

PurePoint Financial, a new division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A., announced the inception of its new hybrid digital bank aimed at committed savers. The offering is in direct response to a U.S. savings rate of only 5.4 percent.

Finextra reports that PurePoint developed the new offering after it polled respondents on what they would need in order to save more. At the top of the list were market-leading rates, 24/7 accessibility and a readily available savings professional to assist when necessary.

“It’s clear that Americans want and need to save more,” said Pierre Habis, president of PurePoint Financial. “That’s why we are committed to helping them save, and we’re determined to grow the personal savings rate in the U.S. over the next five years. Our pledge is to help Americans save conveniently, effectively and with results that will enable them to realize their goals and dreams faster than they ever thought possible.”

Built on a new platform, PurePoint Financial’s business model eliminates much of the paperwork and processes typically associated with a full-service bank. By offering only savings accounts and eliminating checking accounts, loans and other services, the company is able to significantly reduce operational costs that translate into better rates.

PurePoint Financial Centers are now open to the public in Dallas, Tampa and South Florida, with additional financial centers scheduled to open in Chicago, Houston and New York by the end of this year. Each center will offer a modern, streamlined and cashless experience with a relatively smaller footprint than traditional banks (2,000 square feet on average), and there will be savings professionals on hand to help answer questions.

According to a PurePoint survey titled “Saving Habits in America,” only 15 percent of Americans feel at ease with their savings, while 74 percent believe they should be saving more. “Power savers” are few and far between, but the survey did indicate that those with a fixed goal in mind actually save their money better. The primary incentive for half of those surveyed was a vacation. Unfortunately, in the case of an emergency, most people don’t have nearly enough saved. Fifty-eight percent of Americans confess that a sudden expense of $1,000 would be a “very large financial burden or impossible to afford.”