The Facebook chatbot that helps you save money and spend wisely.
Plum is a chatbot that uses smart technology to help you save money. Its unique in that its not really an app, but a Facebook messenger chatbot. In many ways its 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 software designed to automatically save you money in the easiest possible way. 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.
Rather than a separate account that requires a lengthy set-up, Plum utilises many partners (such as Amazon servers, the Facebook Messenger app and others) to make its savings scheme secure, accessible and user friendly.
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How does Plum work?
- Bank account access: Plum users give it access to their bank accounts in a read-only view.
- Spending and saving analysis: This allows Plum’s smart software to understand patterns in the users income and spending habits and 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.
Investing with Plum
Plum also gives its users the option to invest some, or all, of their savings into a peer-to-peer lending scheme run by RateSetter. This gives users the option not only to save, but to also earn through their Plum accounts.
Again, through the use of the Messenger app, users can tell Plum the amount they would like to invest and Plum will tell them the current RateSetter interest rate (the 2016 average rate was 3%). Users can then agree, or not, to invest this money at this rate of return.
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 fees and limits
Plum is completely free to use! They offer free registration plus unlimited deposits and withdrawals. Yet another way to help you save.
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 receive read-only access to your transaction data, so have very limited information.
- Plum only receives money through a direct debit that you set up and your bank agrees to.
- 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
- Save money easily and automatically.
- Free to register and use.
- Contact Plum easily through Facebook messenger app.
- Withdraw money any time and receive it within 24 hours.
- Personalised savings rate just for you
- Your money is held by MangoPay, an EU-licensed financial institution.
- Plum’s savings algorithm prevents savings taking you into your overdraft.
- Registration takes minutes.
- Opportunity to earn through Plum’s RateSetter investment deal.
- If you choose the invest option, your capital is at risk.
- Access to money isn’t instantaneous, it can take 24 hours.
- Plum team only contactable during office hours (9:30am-6pm Mon-Fri).
- As Plum doesn’t use its own app, it relies heavily on the usability and security of others.