DNB Bank ASA is Norway’s largest bank and has been a main contributor to making banking digital in Norway. DNB Bank ASA was one of the first banking institutions to launch both internet and mobile banking solutions in the early 2000’s. When it was time to re-think mobile banking and utilise modern technologies, Deepinsight was one of the chosen partners to build their new mobile bank solution.

One of the first projects for Deepinsight was a feasibility study to analyse DNB data with regards to mapping internal capabilities to build smarter tools for both corporate and retail customers. One of many features that many users asked for was a Personal Finance Manager tool (PFM) for the mobile bank. We sat down to have a chat with two members of the mobile bank team, Severin Sjømark, Head of Data Science at Deepinsight and DNB Product manager, Afshin Khan Rashid.

A tailored experience

What exactly is a Personal Finance Manager?

- In short, a digital personal finance manager, gives you more insight into your financial health, your spending habits, your expenses and also helps you make better financial plans for the next coming months, Afshin explains. You would be surprised at how many people still use excel sheets for budgeting, and some people use accounting books to keep track of their finances.

- Categorization is the backbone feature of a PFM tool, says Severin, being able to sort and categorize gives users an overview on what they spend money on. Deepinsight created a first version that uses extensive rule registries, mapping various transaction attributes (e.g. merchant codes, merchant IDs and business account numbers) to spending categories. A recategorization feature was also designed to let users change transaction categories. This recategorization enables more personal categories and organic improvement by allowing users to add their own categorization preferences.

- The mobile bank also gives users an overview of subscriptions and other recurring payments, Afshin continues, making them aware of upcoming expenses and enabling them to plan ahead.

- The way we designed this, says Severin, is to identify recurring patterns in the transaction data within certain time intervals, as well as detect deviations from expected behavior of the recurring payments. By identifying these patterns one can use the information to forecast what the future account balance will be.

- With this tool, our users get an overview of subscriptions and other recurring payments, Afshin says. Our users have given us a lot of positive feedback, they describe the mobile app as helpful, and that makes me really proud of what we as a team have created. Many have given feedback that they are now more aware of upcoming expenses and that they can easily plan ahead. Financial health is important and we want everyone to be able to access good, simple tools.