Think you need help with saving money? Then technology could be your answer. Find out more to see if the Chip app 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. All you do is download it onto your phone, link it to your bank account and Chip does the rest for you. Apparently, Chip uses a complicated algorithm to decide how much you can save. So I decided to try it out over the last two months.
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 you have the option to reduce the amount you save. And you can 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 better than many ISA’s out there. However, recommend a friend and that rate goes up by 1% a year. You can recommend as many as four friends to get a maximum of 5% interest. This is far better than the majority of savings accounts currently on the market. At the time of writing, Chip is offering the option of a £10 bonus instead of the interest increase.
Is it 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.
Does Chip help with saving money?
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 you want to download the Chip app or just for more info, then visit here. When you download, please remember to use the promo code RJWEGT so I can reach the 5% interest! And if you like the app, you can recommend friends too. If you have any questions, please feel free to write in the comments box.