BBVA teams with fintech Digit on phone bill savings

Calculating the average U.S. phone bill to be around $80 a month, San Francisco-based Digit has established a way for consumers to more easily set aside money for that expense.

The new Phone Bill Pay feature, established through Digit's partnership with BBVA, sets up the Digit financial management app to save small amounts of money over the course of a month and make payments directly to the service providers. Digit says the tool currently supports providers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Cricket, T-Mobile and Metro.

"We're focused on addressing the many pain points that prevent people from achieving and maintaining financial health," Eric Brownrout, product manager at Digit, said in a Wednesday press release. "In today's world, it can feel necessary to be connected at all times, however the cost of being connected is usually over $1,100 a year."

Through user research, Digit found that a major concern was that users wanted to ensure they stay connected, Brownrout added. "With this in mind, we enhanced our goals feature to automatically save small amounts through the month and make the automatic payments."

When using Phone Bill Pay, users create a phone bill goal on the Digit app and inform Digit of the provider, the bill amount, due date and account ID. If Digit cannot pay the bill in full, the app sends a reminder when the rest is due.

After Digit is connected to a user's checking account, it analyzes income and spending to set aside small amounts of money for the user. Those funds go into the app's "Rainy Day" fund for bills or other financial goals, such as paying off student loans.

Digit has worked with other financial institutions in delivering its services. Last year, the company collaborated with JPMorgan Chase to connect to The Clearing House's Real-Time Payments network, enabling consumers to instantly move money from a Digit savings account into a checking account.

Since rolling out its service in 2015, Digit says its users have compiled more than $2.5 billion in savings, with the average customer at roughly $2,500 in savings per year. About 75% of Digit users have a credit card account, and the company says the average Digit customer using the app to reduce credit card debt is generally on track to pay off debt 11 months faster.

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