Get to know one of the new faces in app-based banking.
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.
What is Tandem Bank?
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.
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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.
Using Tandem abroad
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.
- Bank accounts paired automatically with personal ID.
- Record of spending and personalised advice encourages saving.
- Recommendations for cheaper services and suppliers help you save.
- Records transactions from multiple accounts.
- Compatible with many banks.
- Competitive credit card rates.
- Credit card made for travellers.
- Fully licensed by the PRA and FCA.
- Credit cards can be a dangerous decision.
- No current or savings accounts available at this moment.
- Traditional bank services still very necessary.
- Weaker security than some of the other apps.
- App performance can be poor on older phones.