Yolt

Yolt review

The Yolt app - which brings all your accounts together in one place, analyses your spending and helps you budget - is to close in December 2021.

Yolt launched in 2016 as a registered trademark of the Dutch financial group ING, and is designed to appeal to the tech-savvy. Yolt has been part of the push to make all large banks engage with 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.

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 account balances.

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.

Yolt also analyses the data from your spending habits to offer you tips, advice and better deals on credit and financial services. It makes commission if you sign up to one of these.

There is now the option of getting a prepaid debit card with Yolt as well. This means you can top up your Yolt account with funds and use the card to make purchases. There’s also a Money Jar feature, where you can save any spare change “rounded up” from these transactions, or put any earned cashback aside.

Yolt was established in Amsterdam in 2016 and it launched in the UK in 2017, where it says it reached 500,000 registered users within 18 months. Yolt is also available in Italy in France.

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 court 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 your 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 free for consumers to use, but make money by recommending or selling you products based on your spending habits.

You still need to be careful with your data though 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 in 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 the 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 prepaid debit card. One of Yolt’s more recent features, you can now get a prepaid debit Mastercard linked to your digital Yolt account. This can be topped up with funds from one of your other bank accounts, and the Yolt card can then be used for your everyday spending. If you activate the “round ups” feature, then spare change from your transactions will be rounded up and saved in a linked Money Jar.
  • Cashback Collector. This is a cashback programme, available with a selection of Yolt’s partner retailers and merchants. You need to activate the cashback offer in your app, make the purchase using your Yolt card, and then any cashback will automatically be added to your Money Jar.

Is Yolt safe?

Yolt is part of the ING Group, so has strict security measures. 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

You can use your Yolt prepaid card to make transactions abroad. Yolt charges 1.65% for foreign ATM withdrawals, and 0.5% on card purchases made overseas.

You can also use the Open Banking functionality of the Yolt app for monitoring the spending, charges and withdrawals made from your other bank accounts while you’re on holiday.

Yolt customer reviews

Yolt has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 from 14,000 reviews on the App Store. It doesn’t rank so well over on Google Play, where it has an average score of 3.4 out of 5 from nearly 4,500 Android app users (September 2021).

On Trustpilot, Yolt received a mark of 3.2 out of 5, and a rating of Average, from approximately 450 reviews. Users praised Yolt’s spending categories and budgeting features, but some customers reported issues with its biometric login and account recovery process.

Pros and cons of Yolt

Pros

  • See all your accounts and spending in one place.
  • Get your spending in order with budgets that are easy to track.
  • The app looks good – all your data is shown in colourful charts and graphs.
  • It categorises the money in your account, showing what’s needed for bills and what’s left to spend.
  • It will analyse how you spend and show you the best banking products for you.
  • You can order a prepaid debit card.
  • Very secure.

Cons

  • Only accessible via smartphone. It doesn’t have a web interface.
  • As is common with this type of Open Banking app, you can view and analyse your linked financial accounts, but can’t directly make changes to them.

Alternatives to Yolt

Money Dashboard

Money Dashboard is the main competitor to Yolt and has attracted more than 600,000 users.

The app is really intuitive on mobile and desktop. It connects with more financial providers than Yolt (although both cover the major banks). Sometimes it takes a few days for new transactions to appear on Money Dashboard though.

Money Dashboard includes powerful budget planning software (with more graphs and charts than Yolt), which you can use to track your spending limits.

Just like Yolt, Money Dashboard is free to use.

Emma

Emma is another mobile app that allows you to see all of your accounts in one place.

You can integrate your bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards as well as your pensions, investments and cryptocurrency wallets.

It has a couple of useful budgeting features that differentiate it from the rest; Emma will suggest areas where you’re overspending and unused subscriptions that you could cancel.

Emma is free to use. There are more advanced features available on Emma Pro, which costs from £4.99 a month.

It’s not as visual as other apps, which focus primarily on graphs and charts.

Moneyhub

Moneyhub lets you see all your financial accounts including mortgages, pensions, investments and bank accounts in one place, but there is also an option to receive financial advice from a human.

You’ll pay 99p per month or £9.99 per year to use Moneyhub.

There’s the usual helping of graphs and charts to help you analyse your spending and budget your money better.

Our verdict

Yolt is one of the best budgeting apps out there. If you have more than one bank account, it’s a great way to make sure you know how much you’re spending across all of your accounts – and it could ultimately help you save for that holiday to Cuba you’ve been thinking about since forever.

On that note, you can also now set up a digital Yolt account with a prepaid contactless card, and by using that Yolt card for your everyday transactions you can start topping up your savings in the linked Money Jar through the “round ups” feature and opt-in cashback programme.

In terms of managing your money across the board, Yolt’s main competitors are the likes of Emma and Money Dashboard. It’s hard to tell you which of these 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 which user experience you prefer. 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.

You can get started with Yolt by visiting its website and downloading the app. If you have read this review and decided the Yolt app is not for you, you can also discover alternative budgeting apps.

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