Tandem Bank is a “challenger bank” looking to make money management easy. Like many of its rivals, Tandem sells itself on being available whenever you need it. Using mobile and banking technology, Tandem acts as a pocket accountant. It will look at your spending and point you in the right direction to improve your finances.
Tandem defines itself not only by its app-based format, but also by approaching your finances from different directions. It can work as a companion to your accounts, collecting data from them to help you, or offer you more through loans.
Tandem Bank works from your smartphone, and rather than opening a brand-new bank account, Tandem pairs itself with your existing accounts. It looks through your day-to-day spending, bills and standing orders, using this data to advise you on your spending. It gives you an idea of how you can build your life around the things you enjoy. The app also advises you on where you can find services and suppliers at cheaper prices.
Tandem’s app is as simple as it gets, no graphics, no unnecessary features. There are four tabs:
Tandem also offers credit cards, allowing you to borrow a bit extra at competitive rates. For anyone looking to earn a bit of interest on their money Tandem also offers fixed savings accounts. This option is considered in more detail further down the page.
The Tandem app is a welcome companion on holiday, giving you a rundown of your budget so there are no nasty surprises when you get home. If you qualify and are looking for some extra spending money, Tandem’s credit cards (which they will help you pay back with advice from their app) are made for travelling, having no fees for payments or cash withdrawals while abroad.
The actual app has several security features. All your details are held behind a password, and no sensitive information is needed to connect your accounts to the app, only your personal ID. Tandem looks at transactions but does not store your money, so there is much less at risk than with other banking apps.
However, if your phone or details are stolen, customer service is there to help and can shut down your account instantly.
Given Tandem is a young bank, you might also have concerns about how safe Tandem is to save money with. What happens if it goes bust?
Well, the money that you hold with Tandem Bank Limited is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000. It’s worth mentioning, this limit isn’t restricted to one account, but all deposit balances you have with Tandem. So you’re only covered for £85,000 of the total amount of money you have stored away with Tandem.
Tandem also offers a fixed-saver account, letting you put money away for 1, 2 or 3 years. As it’s fixed you can’t withdraw your money. However the fixed interest rate means you know exactly how much your money will grow.
It certainly offers competitive rates of return for your money too, so it’s worth comparing Tandem’s fixed saver with the options on offer from more traditional banks, as well as other digital banks. Atom, for instance.
As mentioned above, your money will be protected up to £85,000 – were the bank to go under.
Compared to other challenger banks, Tandem takes an unusual approach: credit cards and savings accounts are its main product, but you can use the app to keep an eye on your current account thanks to an Open Banking functionality. This can come quite handy if you use your credit card a lot. The app also has a useful auto-saving feature to help you regularly put money aside.
On the other hand, most people will still need to log in to their banking app on a day-to-day basis, to make transfers, pay the bills and so on. Moreover, the Tandem app doesn’t have a huge range of budgeting features, so if you like really diving into your spending data and draft detailed budgets you may be better off with a budgeting app like Yolt or Money Dashboard.
All in all, the Tandem app is a great tool to keep control over your Tandem credit card and savings account (better than what a lot of credit card companies offer, really). Just don’t expect to be able to manage all your financial life from there, because you’ll still need your current account’s app at the very least.
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