Plum app review

The Facebook chatbot that helps you save money and spend wisely.

Last updated:

Plum

Finder rating ★★★★★

App
Fees
Customer service
Travelling
Range of features
4/5
5/5
4/5
4/5
4/5

In a nutshell

  • Great for “set and forget” saving – it’s easy and automatic
  • It’s free
  • Access to money isn’t instantaneous, it can take 24 hours
Plum

Save more with Plum

  • Free registration and use
  • Spending and saving analysis
  • Average savings of £175 per customer
  • FCA registered
Promoted
Plum is an app that uses smart technology to help you save money. Plum started out as a Facebook messenger chatbot. In many ways it’s like having your own personal finance assistant – only its a robot you talk to on your phone or laptop.

Read on to find out all you need to know about the app that could change the way you save.

What is Plum?

Plum is a smart savings app designed to automatically save you money without even thinking about it. It was founded in 2016 with the idea of making saving easy and stress-free, but also effective for those of us who struggle to put that bit extra aside.

Plum has apps on Android and iOS, but if you’d prefer to avoid downloading a brand-new app, you can use it through Facebook Messenger to make its savings scheme secure, accessible and user friendly.

How does Plum work?

  • Bank account access: Plum users give it access to their bank accounts in a read-only view using the latest biometric security measures.
  • Plum adapts to you: Plum’s smart software analyses and understands patterns in your income and spending habits to recognise the most effective way for savings to be made.
  • Automatic saving: Once Plum calculates a suitable amount to be saved each week, this amount is automatically transferred through direct debit into your Plum account to be held until you withdraw it.
  • Messenger: Plum communicates with you through Facebook messenger. It’ll tell you how much you’ve saved each week, for instance. You can send commands to Plum too. If you want to take £10 out, simply message Plum ‘withdraw 10’. If you want to save more next week just write ‘save more’.
  • Flexibility and accessibility: You can withdraw, deposit more savings, keep a record of your saved amount and even invest your savings directly through messenger.
  • Spending insights: Plum keeps you informed with customisable updates to monitor your account activity.

Investing with Plum

Plum also gives its users the option to invest some, or all, of their savings. You can choose between a range of investment solutions, including ISAs, funds and shares. You should consider carefully which of these options is best for you, depending on your expertise and risk appetite.You can start investing with just £1.

Again, through the use of the Messenger app, users can tell Plum the amount they would like to invest. When users want to withdraw their investments, they also communicate this to Plum through messenger. Plum will acknowledge a request to withdraw, although it can take up to 5 days for the money to return to a Plum account.

Plum does not offer any standard savings accounts. If you do decide to invest, keep in mind that your capital is at risk and that you could get back less than you invested.

Plum fees and limits

It’s free to save money with Plum. It offers free registration and unlimited deposits and withdrawals. Plum’s basic features are free to use. This includes free registration, unlimited deposits and withdrawals and the automatic saving feature.

Investing your savings with Plum comes for a fee instead:

  • Investment fee. This is £1 a month after your first month.
  • Fund management and provider fee. Between 0.08% and 0.90% a year, depending on which fund you choose.

Is Plum safe?

Plum considers its users safety and security at the top of its priorities. Here are just some of the ways Plum works to keep you safe:

  • Plum never store, or access, your bank login details.
  • Plum receives read-only access to your transaction data, so have very limited information.
  • Plum only receives money through a direct debit, which you can cancel at any time.
  • Plum use symmetric cryptography (AES) to store any sensitive data.
  • Plum use state-of-the-art password algorithms.
  • Plum use 256-bit TLS encryption to communicate between the browser and their servers.
  • Plum are a registered data controller and always act in compliance with the Data Protection Act.
  • Plum run their servers on Amazon’s cloud, which is trusted by some of the biggest financial institutions in the world.

How does the app look?

Pros and cons of Plum

Pros

  • Save money easily and automatically.
  • Free to register and use.
  • Low cost investing.
  • Contact Plum easily through Facebook Messenger or on their Android and iOS app.
  • Withdraw money 24/7 and receive it within 24 hours.
  • Personalised savings rate just for you
  • Your money is held by PayrNet (a subsidiary of Railsbank), an EU-licensed e-money provider.
  • Plum’s savings algorithm prevents savings taking you into your overdraft.
  • Chance to grow your money by investing.

Cons

  • If you choose to invest with Plum, your capital is at risk.
  • Access to money isn’t instantaneous, it can take 24 hours.
  • Plum team only contactable during office hours (09:00–17:00 from Monday to Friday and 10:00–16:00 on Saturday & Sunday)

The verdict

Saving is not especially a fun task, and while we all want to be doing it, doing the actual maths and remembering to transfer the money every week or every month requires a lot of commitment. So, why not have it done automatically by Plum?

It’s a very smart concept, although there are a few drawbacks to consider. The main one is that Plum’s account does not pay any interest, so your savings won’t be growing unless you decide to invest them, which of course entails a whole different set of risks and issues.

Overall, Plum can be a smart and fun way to save more money without doing much budgeting or even opening up your banking app, and offers a good range of investing options, some of which are also suitable for beginners.

Compare Plum against its competitors

Updated March 29th, 2020
Name Product Fees and charges Delivery speed
Revolut (Standard)
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
Up to 9 working days
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Starling Bank
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
Monese (Starter)
None
Between 3-5 business days
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app
Cashplus Activeplus
£2 for ATM withdrawals
Between 3-5 working days
Current account and Mastercard - all managed from your phone. Also comes with a creditbuilder option.

Compare up to 4 providers

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