A new study by consumer finance website www.satsuma.co.uk has revealed the potential damage the use of so called convenience apps is having on personal finances.

 

  • 76% say convenience apps like Uber, Deliveroo, Laundrapp and others make it easy to spend more money than they wanted to

  • 40% say they regularly overspend​ via apps

  • 61% are spending £720 a year or 3.6% of net annual salary on convenience apps

  • 71% say they have no budget ​allowance for this type of spending

  • 14% have no idea how much they spend per month on convenience apps

Driven by the rise in the use of smartphones, we are increasingly living in an age of on demand gratification; where getting a taxi, ordering food or having your laundry done is easier, faster and much more accessible than ever before. A few quick clicks and it’s easy to have whatever you want. But what impact is this quick convenience having on our personal finances?

Are apps like this increasing our impulse spending? And if so, what responsibility, if any, do these apps have to help consumers manage their transactions better?

www.satsuma.co.uk wanted to find out, so it asked 1400 users of convenience apps in the UK a series of questions around their spending habits, to understand whether convenience really is a price worth paying.

The results from these 1400 respondents were really surprising.

Satsuma discovered that 71% of spending by respondents via convenience apps is unbudgeted; 61% of respondents are spending almost 4% of their annual net salary; 14% of respondents have no idea how much they spend per month on convenience apps.

The data from our respondents shows that these convenience apps are not being included in traditional budgeting techniques, leading to overspending.

Satsuma spokesperson Tim Anson commented: “This study shines a light on people’s perception of how healthy convenience apps are for their personal finances. It’s all too easy to pull your phone out and order something with little or no thought of the cost of your actions. The fact that 39% of respondents say they regularly overspend via apps and 14% have absolutely no idea how much they are spending is a red flag for me”.

Tim added: “Obviously retailers and service providers are in the business of taking your money as fast as they possibly can, and fulfilling that request equally as fast. However, it is clear as a nation we are not in control of our spending via these apps. Consumers need app developers to help them out with functionality to assist responsible spending. I’m also concerned that 47% of people have no idea how convenience apps make their money which suggests the majority of people are not aware of potentially hard to spot service charges and fees.

The key points from the responses of 1400 users of conveniences apps are summarised below:

  • 40% use convenience apps once a week or more.

  • 71% do not have a budget allocated for this type of spending and say they should

  • 61% spend up to £60 a month or £720 per year or 3.6% of their annual net  salary

  • 10% spend up to £100 per month or £1200 per year or 6% of annual net salary

  • 45% said they do not overspend on convenience apps

  • 39% said they overspend on convenience apps

  • 15% are unsure if the overspend on convenience apps

  • 76% say convenience apps make it too easy to spend more money than you should

  • 55% say convenience apps should have spending caps or notifications like mobile phone data usage to help stop overspending

  • 23% say that the have uninstalled convenience apps because they spend too much money

  • 47% say they have no idea how convenience apps make money

  • 11% think convenience apps are free

  • 24% believe convenience apps make money by adding service charges

  • 14% believe convenience apps make money by marking up goods/services

Written by Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport, Mobile tech fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top rankings, Also working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show and Cavan TV. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Part time actor and security professional and brutally honest when it comes to opinions.

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