Think you need help with saving money? Then technology could be your answer. Take a look at this Chip app review to see how it could help you.
I am one of those people that always has the intention to save but never gets around to it. Either an unexpected bill comes up, or when I see I have a bit of extra money, I decide to treat myself or my family (well mainly myself). And recent reports have highlighted the fact that one in four families have less than £95 saved. With that in mind, I started to look for better ways to save.
A couple of months ago, my attention was drawn to the Chip app. So, as I’m a lover of technology and money, I decided to try it out.
Who is Chip?
Chip is an AI powered saving app that calculates what you can afford to save and stashes money away automatically.
Save without feeling it
We’ve analysed more than 160 million transactions to build a clever AI that can keep you saving, without affecting your day-to-day spending.
Feel good about your money
Whether you’re spending big, times are tight, or even if you’re in your overdraft, we can help you save up some money.
Is it easy to do?
Within 10 minutes of downloading the app, I had entered my Santander account details and we were rolling… or so I thought. Chip didn’t recognise my 123 account as a current account. Not a great start. I sent a message to customer services, and a few days later they promised to get back to me after they investigated. I still haven’t heard back yet…
So not a good start, but as a man with many bank accounts, I decided to link it to my TSB account. It took a few minutes and then I was up and running.
As I said earlier, the Chip app uses an algorithm to understand how much you can save so studies the money in and out of your account. The problem for me is that my TSB account is only used for savings (it pays 3%). There is about £500 in the account with two monthly direct debits (£5 and £50). So there isn’t a great deal of money moving back and forth.
Anyhow, within a week, £16.23 was added to my Chip account. I received notification in the morning and was given until 4 pm if I wanted to cancel. Eight days later, another £8.08 was added and 11 days later £14.07. The following month, £17.85 was added on the 7th.
In less than a month, £56.24 had been moved to my Chip account. If I’m honest, it was a bit more than I thought but I had the option to reduce the amount I wanted to save. And I could always cancel any money due to be moved.
Any other benefits to the Chip app?
Chip will pay you 1% on your savings. Not great, but a similar rate to many cash ISA’s out there. When Chip first started, there was the potential to increase your interest rate to up to 5% by recommending friends, but unfortunately, this had to be scrapped.
Chip has also introduced a ‘goals’ option. Goals can be anything you want to save up for and you can have a maximum of 3. Then, when your money is saved into your Chip account, it can be split towards each goal. Then, just set an end date and you are given updates on how you’re getting on.
Is Chip safe?
Chip is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The money you save with them goes into a Barclays account, and if Chip were to go bust, you could recover the money from Barclays.
The only real danger is if Barclays were to go “belly-up”. The money isn’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so it would be lost. Chip is looking into getting this protection, so it is up to you if you are happy to take the risk till then of Barclays going under.
My Chip app review conclusion
I think it’s quite a good idea. It’s going to take a little tweaking before I get the savings amounts right each month. The interest rate isn’t bad either, and if you can recommend enough friends, it could provide some nice returns. Apparently, the Chip app is aimed at “millennials“, but I think it’s suitable for anyone.
I think the app does save a little too much. However, all you need to do is change the saving level to low which takes seconds.
If this Chip app review hasn’t convinced you, why not take a look at my review of the best budgeting and personal finance apps.