LONDON (Web Desk) – A firm in the UK is seeking to put the buzz back into budgeting by giving bank customers an electric shock if they overspend.
Intelligent Environments has launched a platform that linked their bank accounts to the Pavlok wristband, a device which delivers a 255 volt shock, the BBC reported.
“This is all about giving customers the choice to control how they spend money,” said David Webber, the chief executive of Intelligent Environments.
Users can set their own spending limits and then decide how they would like the program, called Interact IoT, to respond.
If a user exceeds their self-imposed spending limit and their bank balance drops below a pre-determined threshold, Interact IoT will drop the heating down to a temperature also pre-determined by the user.
Dropping the temperature of your heating by three degrees can save up to £255 a year, Intelligent Environments claimed.
The company’s clients include the Bank of Ireland, Sainsbury’s Bank, Lloyd’s Bank and Toyota’s financial services business. The software is currently on the market, but it will take at least six months before banks can offer it to their customers.
No bank has yet announced that it will be offering the Interact IoT (Internet of Things) platform to customers but Intelligent Environments lists several British banks as clients for its existing online banking platforms.
“This is about reacting to changes in your financial well-being,” Webber said. “Willpower is great if you’ve got it – not everybody has.”
He dismissed the idea that the concept is too controlling. “If you get home and decide you can afford for it to be warmer you can turn it back up again,” he said of the smart meter’s automated “economy mode” for home heating.
The Pavlok wristband “shock” function can also be deactivated, Mr Webber added.
He admitted that it had “frivolity” but said it proved the concept.
However Prof Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert from Surrey University, said the more connections which are made between devices, the greater the risk of a security weakness.
“Having a convoluted interaction between systems is almost inevitably going to lead to unintended security flaws,” he said.