Auto-saving Apps

When you sign up for automatic saving, you give a bank or fintech permission to regularly put some of your money aside in a separate bank account, wallet or pot. These banks or fintechs use their technology to estimate how much you can afford to save and then save that amount for you automatically. Several new apps focus on auto-saving, but we have highlighted below, the essential need-to-knows of the popular ones. While many big banks have also begun offering auto-savings, in this post, we focus on the new apps that specialise in auto-savings.

auto saving iphone mockup

The Details

Top Auto-saving Apps

We've summarised the most important need-to-knows of 5 popular auto-saving apps - Tandem, Plum, Chip, Cleo and Moneybox. Click on the tabs below to compare them.

Top Features
  1. Tandem calculates how much you can afford to set aside and saves that amount automatically.
  2. It has features such as Round-Ups and Regular Deposit. For example, with Round-Ups, your card transactions are rounded up to the nearest pound, and it saves the difference (e.g. if you spend 90p on a snack, Tandem saves 10p automatically for you).
  3. It also offers a fixed savings account if you want to lock up some money for 1 to 3 years and earn some interest.
  4. It offers both automatic and manual saving.
  5. You can withdraw your money anytime.
Cost

Free

Interest

0.5% AER*

FCA Regulated?

Yes. Tandem is a fully regulated UK bank.

Does it connect to my bank account?

Yes, but only if you want to. To personalise the amount Tandem puts aside for you, it requires read-only access to your bank account through Open Banking.

Where is my money held?

In your Tandem savings account.

Is my money safe?

Your money is protected by the FSCS up to £85,000. This means that if Tandem goes out of business, you will get your money back up to £85,000.

Referral Scheme?

No

How do I get the app?

Visit Tandem's website here or download the free iOS or Android app.

Top Features
  1. Plum calculates how much you can afford to set aside and saves that amount automatically.
  2. It has some fun features - Round-Ups, 52-Week Challenge, Pay Days and Rainy Days. With Rainy Days, for example, Plum will set aside extra cash automatically, each day it rains where you live.
  3. It keeps an eye on your energy bill and notifies you if you're being overcharged.
  4. You can withdraw your money anytime
  5. It also offers auto-investing. Learn about Plum's auto-investing here.
Cost

Free

£2/month to access features such as 52-Week Challenge, Rainy Days, Pockets and Diagnostics Report.

Interest

None, but you can put your money to work and earn interest by investing.

FCA Regulated?

Yes, to carry out payment services activities.

Does it connect to my bank account?

Yes, to personalise the amount Plum puts aside for you and to identify when you are being overcharged on utility bills, it requires read-only access to your bank account through Open Banking.

Where is my money held?

An e-money wallet administered by PayrNet (a subsidiary of Railsbank), which is regulated by the FCA.

Is my money safe?

The e-money wallet is not FSCS protected. This means you won't be entitled to the £85,000 per person protection offered by savings accounts. However, Plum has said the wallet is subject to strict European regulation. In the unlikely event that both Plum and the bank go bust, you will get your money back.

Referral Scheme?

Yes. Earn £15 for each 3 successful referrals. Download the app and use the 'invite' tab in the app to share your referral code.

How do I get the app?

Visit Plum's website here or download the free iOS or Android app.

Top Features
  1. Chip calculates how much you can afford to set aside and saves that amount automatically.
  2. If you feel the app is saving too much or too little, you can adjust the amount.
  3. You can cancel transactions anytime before 3 pm, and pause auto-saving whenever you want to.
  4. You can withdraw your money anytime.
  5. It offers both automatic and manual saving.
Cost

Free if you save less than £100 every month OR

£1 on every £100 you save in a month.

Interest

None

FCA Regulated?

Yes, to carry out payment services activities.

Does it connect to my bank account?

Yes, but only if you want to. To personalise the amount Chip puts aside for you, it requires read-only access to your bank account through Open Banking.

Where is my money held?

In your Chip account. Your money is kept in an e-wallet and stored in a ring-fenced account in Barclays.

Is my money safe?

Chip is not a savings account and doesn't have FSCS protection. This means that you won't be entitled to the £85,000 per person protection offered by savings accounts. Since, your money is held in Barclays, your money is safe provided Barclays doesn't go out of business.

Referral Scheme?

No

How do I get the app?

Visit Chip's website here or download the free iOS or Android app.

Top Features
  1. Cleo is a fun budgeting app that also helps you set money aside regularly.
  2. It offers other features such as overdraft prediction and notifications.
  3. It is unlike any other app we've reviewed here. The service is essentially a chatbot on facebook messenger or the mobile app that helps you manage your finances in an entertaining way. Check out Cleo's Instagram page to get a feel of what the app is like and what its users say about it. If you find finance and savings boring, this app might just change your mind forever.
Cost

Free

Interest

None

FCA Regulated?

Yes, to carry out payment services activities.

Does it connect to my bank account?

Yes. To personalise the amount Cleo sets aside for you, it requires read-only access to your bank account through Open Banking.

Where is my money held?

In your Cleo wallet which is powered by a third party, MangoPay.

Is my money safe?

Your Cleo wallet is not a savings account and doesn't have FSCS protection. This means that you are not entitled to the £85,000 per person protection offered by savings accounts. However, your funds are protected in a 'ring-fenced' account in a European bank. Cleo also pledges to provide protection for up to £85,000 in losses to UK bank accounts and credit cards where the losses are attributable to Cleo's technology.

Referral Scheme?

Yes. Share your unique referral link with a friend, and you'll both get £5. As soon as your friend signs up, connects their bank account(s) and creates a Cleo Wallet, you'll receive a message with instructions on how to claim your £5.

How do I get the app?

Visit Cleo's website here or download the free iOS or Android app.

Top Features
  1. Moneybox helps you save your spare change by rounding up your card transactions to the nearest pound and saving the difference (e.g. if you spend £2.30 on a snack, MoneyBox saves 70p for you).
  2. Your money can be saved in either its 95-Day Notice Account or Cash Lifetime ISA. For example, with the 95-Day Notice Account, the money will be available after 95 days when you make a withdrawal request.
  3. Moneybox also offers auto-investing. Learn about Moneybox's auto-investing here.
Cost

Free

Interest

0.5% AER variable* plus a 0.5% introductory bonus on savings for the first year (Cash Lifetime ISA).

0.60% AER variable* (95-Day Notice Account).

FCA Regulated?

Yes, to carry out payment services activities.

Does it connect to my bank account?

Yes, but only if you want to.

Where is my money held?

This savings account is powered by their partners, Investec. Investec is an FCA regulated bank.

Is my money safe?

According to Moneybox, your savings are protected up to £85,000 by the FSCS.

Referral Scheme?

No

How do I get the app?

Visit the Moneybox website here or download the free iOS or Android app

One more thing...

AER* 💷
AER or Annual Equivalent Rate allows you to easily compare different savings or current accounts. It illustrates what the interest rate would be if interest were compounded and paid once each year.

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