Kroo

Kroo review: A UK-based social banking app

Kroo is a newly minted bank. It says its aim is to make paying bills with friends easier. Find out what else you need to know.

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Innovative sharing functions
Not issuing new accounts yet

London-based Kroo was established in 2016 with the aim of removing awkwardness from financial interactions with friends and family – splitting a restaurant bill, for example. Previously known as B-Social, Kroo announced it had become a fully licensed bank in June 2022.

What is Kroo?

Kroo offered a free, digital-only e-money account and debit Mastercard, to help manage personal and social spending. In June 2022, it stopped issuing new debit accounts to focus on building a current account, after it became a licensed bank.

Those with the existing debit card account can create groups with friends, track spending and pay friends quickly and securely – whether they’re splitting a bill or going on a road trip.

The app offers detailed spending insights and the card won’t charge foreign exchange fees or cash withdrawal fees when used overseas.

How does it work?

If you signed up to Kroo, there were 2 options available:

  • Use the app on its own without having a Kroo account. This will enable you to track your expenses with your friends and keep a tab on who owes who for what.
  • Apply for a card with zero fees and send and receive money from other Kroo cardholders.

The existing account allows you to create different groups with friends (or family) to stay on top of shared spending, including managing bills in a flat share or splitting the cost of a holiday. Kroo offers fingerprint and Face ID security features, as well as the option of freezing and unfreezing the card if you lose it. Plus, every time you refer a friend, Kroo promises to plant 20 trees to say thank you.

Is Kroo safe?

Kroo is now a licensed bank, meaning that up to £85,000 deposited in a Kroo current account – to be launched soon – will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if Kroo were to go bust. It also means you could complain to the Financial Ombudsman about its bank services. We’ll update our review when the account launches.

The existing e-money debit card is not a bank account. This means that your money will not be covered by the FSCS.

However, PayrNet Limited, which issues the Kroo card, is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011, PayrNet must hold your money in a segregated account which is protected by safeguarding requirements. This means that should PayrNet Limited become insolvent, your funds will be protected against claims made by creditors.

Pros and cons of Kroo

Pros

  • Free to use
  • No fees for using existing card abroad
  • Easy to set up and manage
  • Help the environment every time you refer a friend
  • Easy to split money with friends

Cons

  • Applications currently suspended
  • Currently no FSCS protection
  • Card can’t be used in certain countries (view the full list here)

Our verdict

We like the concept of allowing you to easily split bills and pay friends, as well as do your bit for the environment. We look forward to seeing the next version of Kroo in official bank form.

Frequently asked questions

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