Delay to Pay

Sometimes spending is instinctive - we respond to certain cues by paying or buying certain products. The heatmap etc. are really good for identifying when this spending occurs, but could it be taken a step further? A feature could be introduced that actively slowed down the ability to make a transaction, so you’re forced to think about whether you really want to make it, and so can stop the automatic habit loop that is followed when you see certain triggers.

For example, if I always buy a coffee at 4pm, but I want to stop this habit, I could set it so that I have to perform a certain task to be able to access my money at that time. This could be before I can make the transaction I have to write 100 words about why I want to make it, or I have to tap or break down a virtual ‘wall’ locking out my money. It wouldn’t need to be arduous, but could provide a pause to consider if I actually want to do this spending. Physically taking cash out of wallet or typing in a PIN used to provide this, but I think it has been lost with contactless payments.


This is very interesting, thanks for this Lauren.

I remember hearing a concept similar to this that has been tested before (… though IIRC it was about stopping ‘late night texting those with whom you’ve had a previous relationship while under the influence’ …) but the behavioural nudge is similar.

The heatmap is, indeed, a first step to behavioural change by being able to identify these patterns. I’m not sure if it would be appropriate for us to add a delay to payments, but there could be some user-defined message that could pop up with certain transactions patterns that could act as a personal negative reinforcement.

Taking cash out of your wallet had another cue which was to remind you how much disposable income you had available as well, and that is why we also include the Track function and this information appears on the ‘Home’ page of the app.

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