The sobering message from the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that there is little time to avert dire consequences from the human-caused climate crisis. However, the silver lining might be that the climate crisis is finally getting the attention it deserves. Everyone must do their part to minimize the effects of climate change.
Automatic carbon scores for the people
This urgency to act is a big reason why we at Meniga developed Carbon Insight. Categorized transaction data is well suited to form the basis of carbon footprint estimations. Combined with peer-reviewed scientific research and high-quality publicly available databases, transaction data can automatically give a good picture of a person's carbon footprint. Importantly, estimations of carbon footprint in Carbon Insight are unique for each country. Banks can now show personalized and detailed carbon data to their banking app users. People who opt-in for this service are empowered to become more sustainable.
Use transactional data for good on a planetary scale
Many banks and financial institutions are reducing the carbon footprint of their operations or even pledging carbon neutrality. The Partnership for Carbon Accounting enables banks to assess and disclose greenhouse gas emissions of loans and investments standardized. ESG financial instruments are maturing and having a huge impact on the financial industry. Banks and other major companies have many tools at their disposal to calculate and reduce their carbon footprint. The same is not true for most of their customers. If people want to find out their carbon footprint, they often have to use a carbon calculator that requires manual input. Banks are custodians of people's transactional data, and therefore they are in a unique position to use this data for the public and planetary good.
Empower banking app users to be more sustainable
It is Meniga's mission to make people more financially and ecologically sustainable. We at Meniga have a proven track record of working with banks in leveraging transactional data to helping their customers in taking control of their finances. It is well established that people worldwide consider climate change a major threat, even in a middle of a devastating pandemic. By getting easy-to-understand, scientifically reliable data about carbon footprint, banking app users are empowered to take action. My feeling is that many people will be surprised to see how simple it is to reduce their carbon footprint significantly.
Build banking app engagement
Banks face unprecedented competition. They do not only face competition with other banks, neo banks, or challenger banks. Getting people to use your banking app is a challenge in and by itself. After all, the average smartphone user will have 40 apps installed on their device but use only ten apps daily. I am an outlier. I have 144 apps on my iPhone. However, my home screen has 16 apps which I use regularly. In total, I have six financial apps; of those, I only use two regularly. The stark reality is that your banking app must have unique insights and functionality to motivate people to use it regularly. Carbon data and insights derived from it can be a unique driver of engagement.
Drive uptake of green financial products
Green financial products can be a lot of different things. They can be personal loans to purchase electric vehicles, house insulation, green power installation, and so on. They can also be deposit accounts or funds that finance projects that are certified to benefit the environment somehow. These products all create win-win situations for financial institutions, investors, and the planet. Insights about carbon footprint coupled with invitations to save or invest in a green way can help banks introduce new innovative and planet-friendly products to their customers.
Help people to go green to save money
There is a common misconception that being environmentally friendly is expensive. The opposite is true. For most regular people making simple changes to their lives will significantly reduce their carbon footprint and spending. Walking, using public transport, or riding a bike is more economical than driving a fossil fuel-powered vehicle. Changing to an electric car or an electric bike might also save money. Plan grocery shopping to reduce or eliminate food waste is a great way to save the planet and cash. Making electronic devices last longer, buying clothes that last, or even getting second-hand clothes are also planet-friendly choices. Banks benefit from more financially healthy customers and a boost to their deposit products.
Going green is win-win, especially for your bank.