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The tech behind our new, smart savings tools

What we'll cover

  • How automated savings tools works

  • Strategies to help you save

  • How savings tools can help you reach your goals

If you could make saving money easier with the click of a button, would you? The idea sounds great — but offers like that usually sound too good to be true, right?

With the incredible technology available to you today through online banking, however, it doesn’t have to seem out of reach. So, what are the benefits of online savings accounts?

The answer lies behind the screen.

At Ally, we’re dedicated to helping you  make the most of your savings  account through buckets and boosters, features of an Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account. These tools combine smart technology with a dose of behavioral science so you can feel more confident and more in control of your money.

Read on to take a look at the tech behind our  smart savings tools .


The buckets tool, which is a feature of an Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account, is simple when you look at it from a technical lens. You can think of it as digital envelopes that allow you to separate your money. But the real power of buckets comes from the behavioral science associated with the positive force of visualization.

Buckets allow you to organize different savings goals, all within one account. You can create up to 10 customizable buckets for goals like “vehicles,” “emergencies,” “new laptop” or “living room furniture.” When you see your goals specifically named in your savings account, it can be  easier to picture yourself achieving them.

You’ll likely feel more empowered to dedicate your hard-earned cash to a new car fund (or whatever goal you’re saving for), rather than putting money aside toward an unidentified lump sum. By divvying up your savings, you can see exactly where each dollar is going. As your money grows, your motivation to keep saving can grow, too.

Sometimes even the most basic technology, like a savings organization tool, can be incredibly powerful in influencing positive behaviors. That’s what you’ll find with buckets.

The technology isn’t tricky to navigate and you don’t have to do any fancy math to save toward different goals. Buckets eliminate the need to open multiple savings accounts (one for each savings target) and allow you to track all of your goals in one place. Plus, your savings will continue to earn interest under one account.

Just keep in mind when you deposit money into your  Ally Bank Online Savings Account , your funds will automatically go into the catch-all “Core Savings” bucket, unless you set up your transfer to divide into specific buckets. You can always organize your savings into buckets manually when you’re ready.

Recurring transfers

Do you know one of the best strategies to save money?

Pay yourself first. This means that as soon as you get your paycheck, you put some of it in savings — essentially paying the future "you." While this may seem simple enough, it can be all too easy to forget to transfer money from your checking to savings regularly.

That’s where  recurring transfers  come in.

With this savings tool, you can set up automatic transfers to your Ally Bank Online Savings Account, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to make them yourself. You can choose the amount and the frequency of your transfers. (Both of these actions are easily adjustable whenever you need to make a change.)

Savings strategy: If you utilize buckets, you can have specific amounts deposited in each one. With a set-it-and-forget-it strategy, you can streamline your savings and have peace of mind knowing you’re saving toward each of your goals.

Surprise Savings

The  Surprise Savings  booster is where our online banking technology really comes into play. By linking any checking account (where you keep your income and do the most spending) to your Ally Bank Online Savings Account, we can analyze your spending patterns and find extra cash that could earn more in savings.

To do this analysis, we use financial aggregation technology, which allows you to consolidate financial data from several bank accounts in one place. From your dashboard, you can add your bank accounts with our aggregator platform. This typically requires sharing where your account is held, the username or account number and your password. That way, we can securely access the details and data from your other accounts as well as your Ally account — all with your permission, of course.

By being able to see your spending and savings habits, our technology lets us identify extra cash that could be working harder for you and automatically transfer it. Whether it’s $5 or $85 a week, you’ll continue to add to your savings and take advantage of a more competitive interest rate than in a checking account.

We’ve also built in a buffer to the Surprise Savings booster to help keep you from overdrafting or reducing your account balance too much, our

Banking with an online bank can have several benefits — from more competitive interest rates compared to traditional brick and mortar banks, to fewer fees. Best of all, online banks are digital first, meaning you can take advantage of a number of tech perks.

By giving you the tools to maximize your savings and the information you may want to feel confident, you can say hello to increased savings and the financial freedom that comes with it.

Round ups

Have you ever heard of round ups? Some financial services companies offer opportunities to round up transactions to the nearest dollar, which are deposited into your account. It's the same with Ally's booster. We’ll track your Ally Bank Interest Checking Account for transactions we can round up to the nearest dollar.

This booster rounds up your spending to the nearest dollar and then automatically transfers the money from your Ally Bank Interest Checking Account into your Ally Bank Online Savings Account once you've accrued at least $5. For example, if you spend $70.72 at the grocery store, you’ll be $0.28 closer to a round-ups transfer. This microsaving strategy can help you save little by little toward your goals.

Now you can save money every time you spend money. To add boosters, go to the Optimize section of your Ally Bank Online Savings Account.

The round ups booster tracks what you spend. You can watch your round ups accrue in your progress bar or by taking a look at your round up activity. We’ll always transfer your round ups from your Ally checking account to help you increase your savings balance.

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