Oval is a money management app which aims to make saving easier, especially for people whose financial habits aren’t necessarily great. It combines spending analysis, saving and investing – all in a clean-looking white-and-green app. You can get it to save money for you whenever you post on your Facebook wall or buy an ice-cream… which is probably as close as it gets to make saving fun.
It was founded in 2016 and is funded, among others, by one of the major Italian banking groups, Gruppo Intesa San Paolo. In early 2018, Oval Money also raised more than £600,000 through crowdfunding on Crowdcube.
Oval Money’s CEO and co-founder, Benedetta Arese Lucini, used to be head of Uber Italy.
If you want to give Oval a go, you need to download the app (available both for Android and iOs) and sign up. You’ll also need to:
Once you’ve done all that, the app should be up and running. Features include:
Oval has also announced a payment option that will include a card linked to your digital savings account. It hasn’t launched yet but you can join the waiting list.
Saving with Oval is mostly about setting saving rules, referred to as “steps” in the app, and you can do it in four main ways:
The money you saved will be sent from your current account to your digital savings account weekly. Keep in mind that, although Oval can track your spending from multiple accounts and save accordingly, it will only ever take the money from one single current account – the one you’ve set up a direct debit with.
You can withdraw your savings from your Oval account anytime thanks to a command given from the app, but it may take up to 10 days for them to actually appear back in your current account.
Oval is free to download and use. There are no fees, not even to invest your savings.
It remains to be seen if it will be able to maintain this as it grows.
Oval Money holds two different licences from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority): one as a financial institution that deals in electronic money and one as an investment firm.
However, it isn’t a bank, and your savings aren’t protected by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme, that protects deposits up to £85,000). It also isn’t allowed to provide any investment advice – only to work as an investment platform. So, your money is safe with Oval, but not as safe as it would be with a fully licensed bank.
Oval Money is GDPR-compliant, and it says it doesn’t sell users’ data to third parties.
Oval is a promising service that will be better for consumers once it fully develops. Most big banks can be connected with it, but some top financial institutions are still missing from the list (for example, Monzo).
Once the payment service is up and running, it will partially solve the problem of making the money you save more quickly accessible. You’ll be able to use it to make purchases but if you want it back into your main account, it’s still going to take a while.
All in all, Oval stands out for its creative savings features, which means that it’s mostly useful to people who are having trouble developing good financial habits. The investing side of the app is also quite interesting.
On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a better way to manage your finances or do budgeting, you may be better off with a budgeting app such as Money Dashboard, or with Curve, that connects all your cards to one single app.
Download Oval to supercharge your savings!
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