Open Banking sounds smart, but what is it all about, and can it help you with your finances?
Yolt opened in 2016 in Amsterdam as a registered trademark of the ING group and it claims to bring agility and modern tech-savvy to the financial giant. Since then, it has been part of the push to make all large banks open to Open Banking, meaning that, with the help of an app like Yolt, you can own all your banking data and view it securely, making it easier to manage your finances.
Read on to find out all you need to know about the app that’s disrupting traditional banking.
Download Yolt now for free
- View your money in one place
- Track and budget
- Save to reach goals
- Pay friends easily
What is Yolt?
Yolt is a third-party provider, packaged in a simple, attractive app that you access from your smartphone. It brings together all your current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards, letting you check all your transactions and balances in one place.
Yolt then analyses the data from your spending habits to offer you tips, advice and better deals on credit. Being a third-party provider means that it doesn’t offer any accounts or cards, but simply helps you to access your financial data and, theoretically, manage it better.
Your data are accessed in a read-only mode, which means that you cannot spend any money through Yolt and no change can be made to your accounts. That’s what differentiates Yolt from Curve, the app that allows you to manage all your cards in a single one.
Yolt launched in the UK in 2017, is also available in Italy and France, and says it currently has more than 500,000 users.
What is Open Banking?
Open Banking is a recent legal development in the UK, thanks to which banks now have to supply your financial data to third parties if you ask them to. A panel of judges decided that people own their financial data and should therefore have the right to access it through secure third-party providers.
Open Banking allows budgeting apps like Yolt to function. With Yolt, for example, you can see all the data the banks had previously been storing, regrouped in a smart way that gives you a clear and organised view of your overall finances.
The plan is to make financial services more competitive, innovative and, ultimately, better for consumers. Most Open Banking platforms are for free, but make money by selling you products tailored to your spending.
You still need to be careful with your data – you will only be protected if you share your financial data with authorised third parties.
How does Yolt work?
Yolt is not a bank, but it does have a bunch of handy features on its free app:
- All your accounts in one place: Yolt’s “accounts” page has all your various savings, current and credit accounts shown in a simple list with the balances front and centre. You can then click on each to see more detailed data, such as transactions.
- Smart balance: As well as putting all your finances in one place, your overall balance will be shown as a “smart balance”, which tells you how much of your money will go on bills and necessary shopping and how much is left for spending on the finer things in life.
- Average spending reports: Yolt puts all the data it gets in one place and can analyse it to show your average spending. This could help you set realistic spending targets and assess your progress.
- Find out where you’re spending the most money: Yolt will show you the places you spend most money each month, meaning you have more information to keep your spending in order.
- Set specific budgets and track their progress: With Yolt you can set monthly budgets for things like groceries, eating out and shopping. Yolt’s “budgets” page displays these with a bar to show you how much you have left (or how much you’ve overspent!).
- Secure login: Yolt prides itself on its security and its fingerprint or pin login will ensure all your financial data is safe and sound.
- Contactless payments (watch this space!): Yolt has recently announced that it’s bringing out a pay feature, meaning you will be able to use the app to move money between your accounts and to send money to friends and family – for example, to split a restaurant bill. Yolt Pay is currently in the beta testing phase, and you can try it out if you bank with one of the six financial institutions that already support it (Lloyds, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, RBS, Natwest, Ulster Bank).
Is Yolt safe?
Yolt is part of ING, so has measures in place as strict as any bank, including being:
- A registered data controller (ICO Data Protection Register).
- A licensed Third Party Provider (Open Banking TPP).
- Supervised by the European Central Bank.
- Using the most up-to-date encryption.
- Not selling your data to third parties.
- Regularly running penetration and security tests to ensure data is protected.
Using Yolt abroad
Yolt isn’t for spending or transferring, so it won’t save you money on spending abroad, but it can be very useful for monitoring the charges and withdrawals being made from your account while you’re on holiday.
Pros and cons of Yolt
- See all your spending in one place.
- Get your spending in order with budgets that are easy to track.
- Very secure.
- It looks good. All your data is shown in colourful charts and graphs (and almost makes banking fun!).
- Categorises the money in your account, showing what’s needed for bills and what you can still spend.
- It will analyse how you spend and show you the best banking products for you.
- Plus and minus balances are shown with just a minus sign. A colour difference could make it easier to check balances at a glance.
- Only accessible via smartphone. It doesn’t have a web interface.
Compare Yolt against its competitors
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