Cleo is an AI-based budgeting app that offers intelligent insights into your spending patterns, trends and budgets all via text message or Facebook Messenger.
As of February 2022 Cleo is unavailable to download on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The company has announced that it intends to focus on its US business, and so will be temporarily unavailable to new users until an unspecified date in 2023. Cleo Plus subscriptions have not been renewed since 19 January 2022. Existing app users can continue using the existing free version of the app, minus some features.
In this review we look at how it works, whether it’s safe, and any pros and cons.
What is Cleo?
Since its launch in 2016 Cleo has grown exponentially, currently helping 2,600,000 users worldwide have a clearer and more positive relationship with their budgeting.
Cleo uses artificial intelligence to analyse transaction transaction data on your bank account. Its creators strongly believe in the power of new technologies to help us manage finances better.
How does Cleo work?
By providing Cleo with your online banking login it is able to securely analyse your transaction data. Cleo will then use this information to provide users with a clear insight to their spending habits. Once you are connected you can contact Cleo via text or Facebook Messenger.
- Set and keep track of daily, weekly or monthly budgets.
- Check your direct debits.
- View your balance.
- Check latest transactions
- View your spending habits split up into categories.
Cleo is free to use, quick to set up and makes it easy to keep an eye on your spending.
Is Cleo safe?
Cleo gain read only access to your account, meaning they can only view encrypted transactions. They use bank-level 256-bit encryption and security services. No one can every move money in or out of your account.
Your data will never be stored on Cleo’s servers.
Cleo are in fact so confident in your safety that they pledge to cover you up to £85,000, equivalent to the FSCS deposit and savings guarantee.
Pros and cons
- Easy to use, sign up in less than 2 minutes and contact Cleo from your mobile phone.
- Intelligent insights into your budget and spending.
- Bank-level security with the £85,000 pledge.
- Great for those who aren’t particularly engaged with their money.
- Cleo may not be useful for people who are already in the habit of saving
- Some may not be comfortable giving Cleo access to their online banking.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for a money app that helps you save, you have a few options, but Cleo is one of the most fun and easy to use, as it mostly works through a chatbot.
While some may prefer something more elaborate, with more features and options, if you’re just starting your financial education (and are quite the chatty type), it can be great.
While not necessarily the best option for money app junkies, Cleo can help beginners get a better idea of their spending patterns and save money hassle-free.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
How we rate budgeting apps
This is how we come up with the star ratings and “best for” picks that you see for budgeting apps and their features.
Learn how to apply the 50-30-20 budgeting rule
Discover what the 50-30-20 rule is, how it works and how to apply it.
How much money should I have in savings?
See how much money people your age have in savings, and learn how to boost your savings balance if it’s below average.
Looking for help with your budgeting? There’s a new money management app in town in the form of HyperJar – we take a look at what’s on offer.
What is piggy banking?
Here’s everything you need to know to get started on this great savings technique to be smarter about your spending and savings.
Wally app review
Wally is a budgeting app that lets you view your accounts, track payments, analyse your spending and set savings targets.
Wallet by BudgetBakers review
Wallet by BudgetBakers helps you organise your money and personalise budgets and goals. Finder looks at its features, pros, cons and premium options.
Moneyhub app review
An app that lets you see all your accounts in one place? Find out how the finance app could help you manage your money better.
Emma app review
Want to take better control of your finances? We explore the budgeting and saving features offered by the Emma money management app.
The UK’s best budgeting apps of 2022
Saving for a holiday? A house? Retirement? Budgeting apps could help you get a hold of your finances. Compare the best budgeting apps in the UK using our table.
Ask an Expert