Level Proven to Nudge Savers in the Right Direction

A report by the influential 'Nudge Unit' concludes that Level’s salary-linked saving tool is an “excellent addition” to the country financial infrastructure 


An independent investigation by the UK’s largest debt advisory organisation into the impact of salary-linked savings on the finances of UK workers reveals enormous potential.

The study, funded by the Money and Pensions Service and conducted by the UK government's influential Behaviour Insights Team (‘BIT'), revealed significant improvements in the savings habits of those using the Level app.

Specifically, when combined with the expertise of BIT, some variants of the service produced a 4x higher sign-up rate than control groups exposed to more traditional payroll saving scheme promotions. More encouragingly, usage was highest amongst those who had the most to gain, specifically workers earning under £25,000 a year and with little or no savings. The unit, which used to sit at the heart of the UK government, praised these findings as “an important vindication” of the new but promising salary- linked serviced industry.

Notably, the application also encouraged those most a risk of financial harm to engage proactively with their salary and savings, with most users logging in at least monthly during the testing period. This led to the majority of users taking huge steps towards improving their finical wellbeing and building up a savings buffer, often for the first time, as well as an increase in employee satisfaction metrics.

When asked how their financial wellbeing had changed as a result of using the Level app, many reported improvements and no respondents claimed their situation had worsened. Perhaps most encouragingly of all for this burgeoning industry, 88% of users were found to feel more confident about managing their finances after six months of using the product and saving directly from their wages. This outcome is especially gratifying when the previous financial situation of many users is taken into account; with one in three having had no savings at all before signing up, and another third saying they’d last “less than a month” if they lost their primary source of income. This highlights the very real risk of taking out high-interest credit that Level’s CEO, Stephen Holliday, cites as one of the problems the service was initially devloped to solve.

He went on to say that to report “represents only the start of the industry’s collaboration with policymakers”. He welcomed the behavioural insights unearthed by the report as a way to “help create an app that's even more powerful at encouraging sensible saving." This sentiment is echoed by the BIT, which concludes with a commitment to working further with the salary-linked services industry to find more ways to improve the position of those struggling with their finances.

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