Home Resilience French central bank backs app to track daily spending

French central bank backs app to track daily spending

Digital finance: the 'Pilote Dépenses' app has a gauge indicating people's available budget | Credit: Global Government Fintech screenshots

France’s central bank is among ten organisations that have teamed up to launch a smart-phone app to help citizens track and manage their everyday spending.

The ‘Pilote Dépenses’ (expenditure) app, which is primarily aimed at households and individuals who are struggling with their budgeting, enables people to monitor their finances in real-time.

The Banque de France worked alongside public-, charity- and private-sector organisations under the stewardship of a non-profit organisation, Agence nouvelle des solidarités actives (Ansa), to create the app.

The aim, according to a joint-announcement from the Banque de France and the nine further organisations, is to help citizens ‘avoid difficult ends of the month’. It goes live as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the economy and increase the pressure on many people’s personal finances.

The organisations highlight a survey published last November by banking comparison service Panorabanques that found that more than half (51 per cent) of citizens had been overdrawn on their bank account during 2020.

Gauge to display current finances

Creation of the app follows the launch of a similar app, called ‘Pilote Budget’, by a coalition of financial inclusion groups in 2018.

Pilote Budget allows people to calculate how much money they have to live on each month after deducting fixed charges. Pilote Dépenses is, in effect, a complementary tool that facilitates the tracking of more granular day-to-day spending.

Users are able to record each expense using either voice input or their phone’s keypad. A gauge indicates the level of available budget.

For users in financial difficulty, the app – which citizens are able to download for free from Google Play and the Apple Store – promotes public support channels by means of links and resources on citizens’ rights and social benefits. It does not promote private-sector solutions and also carries no advertising.

As well as Banque de France, organisations were involved in the Pilote Dépenses app’s creation include Crédit Municipal de Paris (regional municipal credit bank), Banque Postale, nationwide charity Emmaüs France, Fédération Nationale des Caisses d’Epargne (FNCE) and the Fédération Bancaire Française (French Banking Federation – FBF).

France’s government unveiled a national economic recovery plan entitled ‘France Relance’ (‘Relaunch’) worth €100 billion (about £87.7bn) – with €40 billion coming from the European Union – in September 2020.