Keeping track of your spending and saving money can both be a chore but there are apps out there to make your life easier. Take a look at this Tandem Bank review to see how technology could help you.
One of the advantages for me writing about money is keeping up with all the latest apps. I love my phone (probably too much) and couldn’t believe my luck when several years back, Santander brought out their own app. Although it was quite limited, it allowed me to keep a closer eye on my balance.
But technology has come on a fair amount, even in such a short time. Open Banking has meant that you can link your current account to 3rd party apps. These apps can then analyse your spending and even work out how much you can save.
This is where Tandem comes in.
What is Tandem Bank?
Tandem is a challenger bank, which means it’s a recently formed bank that is trying to compete against the long-established big boys, such as Barclays and HSBC.
Tandem offers a credit card, fixed savings accounts as well as tools to monitor your current accounts with other banks, and it’s all monitored from an app on your phone.
Tandem Bank was founded by Ricky Knox, Matt Cooper and Michael Kent in 2013. In 2017 Tandem, acquired Harrods Bank, which gave them full bank status. Tandem is a British company registered to an address in London.
Taken from their website:
Tandem is rethinking banking. We’re starting with an app that helps you manage your money.
We automatically show you how much you can spend each month. We alert you when we notice your bills increase or a payment comes in. We help reduce your bills by finding you better deals to save you money.
Is my money safe with Tandem?
Because Tandem is a bank, your money is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FCSC). That means that if something should happen to Tandem, you are covered by the UK government for up to £85,000.
Is the Tandem app safe?
The app comes with read only access to your current accounts. That means that if somebody managed to gain access to your Tandem account, they can’t start making payments from your main current account.
Tandem uses TrueLayer to connect to your current account. This is a FCA authorised service and uses bank grade encryption.
Is Tandem free to use?
The app and the autosavings functions are completely free to use. The only charges you may face are from paying interest on the credit card… if you decide to open one.
Tandem offers 2 main banking features to customers.
The fixed-rate saver allows you to put money away for a fixed term of between 1-3 years. The advantage is that you will earn more interest compared to a current account or most cash ISA’s. However, that money is there for that period and you cannot withdraw it.
The minimum you can deposit is £1,000 and the most is £2,500,000.
The Tandem credit card offers an interest rate of 24.9% on purchases, which isn’t the most competitive rate. It also doesn’t offer any balance transfer deals. So why would you want it?
Well, there are no fees when spending abroad and no charge if you make cash withdrawals. This is a great card to have for both regular travellers or the occasional holiday-maker.
Tandem used to have a cashback credit card, although this is currently unavailable to new customers. A new version will be out soon and will probably come with a membership fee. You can join the waiting list.
Is Tandem Bank any good?
My favourite feature of the Tandem app is that it works out how much your upcoming bills are and whether you have enough money to cover them. You can customise this feature, by selecting a start date (for example payday) and adding or deleting expected bills. Tandem handily lists your most common bills, so it’s just a matter of checking or unchecking a box.
You can also find out a useful summary of your current account, which gives you a breakdown of your merchant spending and whether you have spent more or less compared to previous months.
There are also several options when it comes to automatically saving money. You can set up an amount of your choosing to be transferred out of your current account each week.
Or you can use ‘Round Ups’. As it sounds, it rounds to the nearest £ every time you make a purchase and transfers the money to your Tandem account. For example, if a coffee costs £2.20, at the end of the week Tandem rounds this up to £3 and will transfer 80 pence from your current account.
Finally, there is ‘Safe To Save’. With this turned on, Tandem works out how much you can afford to save judging by your weekly activity.
You can use all of these options or none if you would prefer.
The upcoming bill’s section is a little hit and miss at first. The app struggles slightly to determine some regular bills compared to one-off payments. So it’s best if you manually edit this part.
The interest rates for the fixed savings aren’t great, especially when you consider that you receive 0.5% interest from Tandem anyway. Why lock your money away for hardly any more benefit?
Plus the minimum deposit amount is £1000, whilst companies like the Post Office only ask for £500.
My Tandem Bank review conclusion
I like this app but… it’s not particularly groundbreaking. There are plenty of similar apps out there that do exactly the same job. The upcoming bills feature is very useful but the interest rates let it down slightly.
I like that Tandem offers a cashback credit card, which can be incredibly useful if used wisely.
When looking at which finance app is best for you, you need to weigh up which features are most important.
But, there is no harm in trying these apps for yourself.
Click the link and follow the simple steps to set up your Tandem account and switch on Autosavings to start saving too. Don’t worry, this only takes a few minutes and they will just need their current account and debit card information to hand.
If my Tandem review has you interested in finance apps, why not take a look at my review of the best budgeting and personal finance apps.