B-Social is an app that aims to connect your personal finances with your social world. Read our review to find out how it works and whether banking and social should really mix.
What is B-Social?
B-Social is a new digital bank focusing on the social side of money. It claims to make it simple to stay on top of your shared costs.
The product on offer comes in two parts: the app and the card. Interestingly, even if you don’t want to sign up, you can use the app as a standalone product.
How does it work?
Using B-Social is pretty straightforward. You can create groups and invite others to join them. When you pay for something, you simply enter the amount you paid and select who you’re splitting it between. This can be a good way to track who owes you what, even if your friends aren’t on the app.
When it comes to settling up, without having the card, you won’t be able to pay one another through the app, but you can record payments made offline as cash, or by other means.
The B-Social card
The card has the same features as Monzo’s when it first started out. It is a debit Mastercard that can be used for payments and cash withdrawals, but not much more. You can top up the card in the app with Apple Pay or with a debit card.
The card can be used without any fees abroad, so you can take it on holiday and use it wherever Mastercard is accepted. As is the case with most banks nowadays, the card can be frozen inside the mobile app and unfrozen whenever you like.
B-Social fees, limits and pricing
B-Social is completely free. Transactions and cash withdrawals both at home and abroad are completely free. You can pay your friends through the app for free, and accessing customer support is also free.
There are limits, but they’re pretty generous. Limits include:
- Maximum of 5 withdrawals per day up to a total of £250
- Maximum of 3 top-ups per day to a total of £1,500 for Apple Pay and £900 with a debit card
- Maximum spend of £3,750 per day
- Maximum total payments to other users of £650 per day
How does B-Social make money?
At the moment, it doesn’t. We spoke to the team at B-Social, who said, “We are applying for authorisation as a bank, and once this is granted, we will be able to offer current accounts and other banking products. We are using this time to develop our app and prepare for our future as a bank.”
What can I do with it?
With just the app you can:
- Split and track group expenses. You can create groups within the app and use this feature to split joint expenses. It will then divide the total between whoever you choose.
With the app and the card you can:
- Receive spending notifications. Instant notifications to your mobile phone whenever you spend.
- Spend with zero fees. You can spend with no fees wherever Mastercard is accepted.
- Send money to other B-Social account holders. You can send money to your friends through the app for free.
- Top up with Apple Pay or via debit card. There are also plans in place to integrate Google Pay.
- Freeze and unfreeze your card through the app. Just like many other banking apps, this feature is useful for security purposes.
Is B-Social a real bank?
No. It is in the process of applying to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to become one.
The cards it offers are prepaid Mastercards, without a sort code or account number, so you can’t transfer money via bank transfer, have your salary paid onto it or set up direct debits.
Is B-Social safe?
B-Social is not registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The card is issued by Wirecard Card Solutions which is registered with the FCA to conduct electronic money service activities.
Pros and cons of B-Social
- Keep tabs on what you owe and who owes you and how much. If a second amount is requested, the total is added.
- Completely free to use.
- Not a real bank yet.
- Limited features available.
B-Social is a relatively new product, so it has a limited number of features. This would be a suitable account for anyone who has finance feuds with their housemates, such as students, and it’s great if you are looking for a better way to split your rent and bills.
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