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.
Read on to find out all you need to know about the app that’s disrupting traditional banking.
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When setting out to create Tandem, founder Ricky Knox wanted a bank “that actually helped people with their lives rather than hold them back”. He wanted to offer services that improved people’s finances in the long-term.
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:
Recent highlights. Tandem highlights transactions it sees as important, updating them on a feed. From here it helps you with your finances.
Accounts. You can link multiple accounts to the tandem app and keep an eye on all activity on these accounts. You can also connect a credit account you have opened with Tandem to the app. This feature is compatible with most traditional banks and also with many challenger banks (including Monzo and Revolut).
Contact us. Contact Tandem via instant messenger, email or phone. Open Monday to Friday, working hours.
Settings. Control the app’s setup.
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.
Is Tandem safe?
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 Savings Account
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.
Pros and cons of Tandem
Simple app design.
Registration takes minutes.
Record of spending and personalised advice encourages saving.
You can keep an eye on multiple accounts at the same time.
Compatible with many banks.
Competitive credit card rates.
Credit card made for travellers.
No current accounts available at this moment.
Traditional bank services still very necessary.
App performance can be poor on older phones.
Compare Tandem against its competitors
Updated January 27th, 2020
Frequently asked questions
Tandem makes money through three main revenue streams:
Crowdfunding: Tandem Bank was crowdfunded by investments from large corporations and individuals looking to get a piece of the next-gen banking trend.
Fees and commissions: By upselling their credit cards Tandem makes money from customers buying into their product.
Credit card interest and fees: Credit card withdrawal fees and the 18.9% APR on the service ensures Tandem makes a profit.
As Tandem works with your existing bank accounts there is no topping up. Its credit cards are pre-paid, and Tandem will direct you on how to pay back your debt.
Unfortunately no. See finder’s credit builder credit card page for other potential options.
No. Tandem won’t directly affect your credit score. Please note that Tandem is an app and not a bank account. It helps you handle your finances.
The money that you hold with Tandem Bank Limited is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000. This limit applies to each individual and to the total of any deposit balances you have (across all account types) with Tandem Bank Limited. Any deposits that you hold which exceed this figure will no longer be covered by the scheme.
You can read full information about this protection scheme here.
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
Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.
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