Yolt - The smart money app | Free, simple & easy to use
- See your accounts in one place & stay on top of your money
- Connect your current accounts, savings, credit cards, pensions, and investments
- Backed by ING Bank
- Download for free on iOS or Android
We got our hands on Yolt to try it out. Here’s our review of what it offers.
What is Yolt?
Yolt works with banks and card companies to bring all your accounts together into one simple, attractive budgeting app that you access from your smartphone. It can collate your current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards, so you see at a glance what’s coming in and going out, and your balance.
Yolt then analyses the data from your spending habits to offer you tips, advice and better deals on credit. It makes commission if you use one of these.
The theory is that, with access to a comprehensive picture of your financial data, you’ll be able to manage your money better. And the colourful graphs and charts are certainly likely to make it easier to see where your money’s going.
You access the data in read-only mode, which means that you can’t spend any money through Yolt or make any changes to your accounts. That’s what differentiates Yolt from Curve, the app that allows you to manage all your cards through 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 like Yolt 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 services.
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 the ING Group, and has security measures that are as strict as a bank’s. These are its credentials:
- A venture of ING Bank NV, regulated by the Dutch financial authorities
- A registered data controller (ICO Data Protection Register)
- Regularly runs penetration and security tests to ensure data is protected
- Won’t sell your data to third parties
- A licensed Third Party Provider (Open Banking TPP)
- Uses the most up-to-date encryption
Using Yolt abroad
Yolt isn’t a current account and doesn’t hold your money or let you make card payments, so it won’t save you money on spending abroad. However, it can be 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 (these almost make banking fun!).
- It 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.
Yolt is one of the best budgeting apps out there. If you have more than one bank account, they’re a great way to make sure you know how much you’re spending on what – and ultimately save for that holiday to Cuba you’ve been thinking about since forever.
Its main competitors are Emma and Money Dashboard. It’s hard to tell you which is best because it very much depends on your personal taste. Since they’re all free and easy to set up, it may be worth downloading two and seeing whose user experience you like best. For what it’s worth, in our opinion, Yolt has the widest range of features but the Money Dashboard app has better visuals and is slightly more user-friendly.
Our favourite feature is Yolt Pay (still in beta), which allows you to move money between accounts and make transfers – so you almost don’t need your regular banking app anymore. All in all Yolt is a slick budgeting app with a lot of features that will make your money life easier and more streamlined.
Frequently asked questions
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Banking app ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Our team evaluates banking apps to determine their value against similar products on the market.
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