Monday, June 17, 2024

Data intelligence expert Bud selected by student finance platform Blackbullion to enhance its financial wellbeing solutions for higher education students

Bud Financial (Bud), a leading AI-powered data intelligence platform for the financial services and banking industry, announces its partnership with the student financial wellbeing platform Blackbullion.

Using Bud’s Assess and Engage solutions, Blackbullion will make it easier and faster for students in need to apply for additional funding, including support funds, scholarships and grants from their place of study and third-party organisations, through the Blackbullion platform. Blackbullion will also integrate Bud’s deep financial insights into the first financial literacy and wellbeing app built for students, to equip students with the money management skills they need to gain control of their financial lives.

Partnering with over 60 universities and colleges across the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, Blackbullion is the financial wellbeing platform and app equipping students with money skills for life. The platform also houses the UK’s largest hub of support funds, scholarships and grants for students. For those of Blackbullion’s partners using the Funds Management System (FMS) to manage an unlimited number of support funds, eligible students can apply for these directly through the Blackbullion platform. This process, however, often requires students to submit bank statement-related evidence, as proof of their eligibility, which has historically required long and laborious manual downloading of bank transactions, which are both time-consuming and limiting, and can often mean students wait months to receive funds, adding significant pressure to students who are already feeling stressed by their financial situation.

Using Bud’s Assess solution, Blackbullion is giving students the option to connect their bank account to their application so this evidence can be automatically pulled in. This saves the student significant stress and time – meaning they can now provide this evidence in just three to five minutes, whereas it was previously taking an average of 40 minutes per bank account. It also saves Blackbullion’s staff time by reducing the need for back-and-forth communication with students if something is missing from this evidence being provided manually. So far, nine in ten students who have been offered the option to use Bud’s Open Banking to provide this evidence automatically have chosen to do so.

In addition, Bud is also supporting Blackbullion to drive efficiency in its personal finance app designed specifically for students. The Blackbullion app is a personalised budgeting tool designed to help students put their financial skills into practice and make their money last until the end of the term. It uses Bud’s open banking and transactional AI solution to project students’ future finances based on their current trajectory. It also provides real-time insights into their spending and suggests areas where they can save. This brings a more proactive approach to supporting students’ financial wellbeing in the long term, and it can also significantly reduce the pressure students face, as they navigate the uncertainties of financial independence during university.

According to Blackbullion’s Student Money & Wellbeing Report for 2023, two in five students are worried that money is negatively impacting their optimism about the future – the biggest concern being the rising cost of living, with 78% of students showing grave concern. Blackbullion is now embedding Bud’s advanced AI and data enrichment capabilities to generate superior and more accurate spending insights, encouraging students to build financial literacy and resilience.

Blackbullion works with some of the UK’s leading universities, such as the London School of Economics, Imperial College, the University of Reading, and Liverpool John Moores, supporting both their staff and their students.

“Through our research we know that the current cost of living crisis has made students more concerned about their financial wellbeing than ever. That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with Bud to support students’ financial wellbeing, whether that be via consistent financial education through our newly launched app, or when applying for additional funding through our financial wellbeing platform. Ultimately, this partnership will enable faster, easier, and more accurate funding application processes – making sure students can access funds when it matters.”, says Vivi Friedgut, Founder and CEO of Blackbullion.

“One of our core focuses here at Bud is to improve the financial wellbeing of individuals, and what better place to start than with young people and university students embarking on their journey of financial independence. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to work with Blackbullion and deploy our data intelligence and advanced AI capabilities to spark financial resilience and financial success for tomorrow’s workforce. We generate a multitude of customer insights and dynamic financial breakdowns that equip universities, colleges and higher education providers with the right tools to make processing financial applications faster, fairer and just easier”, says Ed Maslaveckas, Co-Founder and CEO of Bud Financial.

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