Do you really know how much money you have going in and out of all your bank accounts? Or would you just like a better understanding of your spending? Luckily for you, there are several apps out there that can help you keep track. Take a look at this Yolt review to see if this is the app for you.
Believe it or not, there has never been a better time than now to have a bank account. Thanks to the switch guarantee, changing your current account couldn’t be easier. This has been great for us as consumers as it has meant that many banks have been clambering for our custom.
The likes of Halifax and Barclays pay you just for using them whilst Santander and Natwest give you cashback on many of your bills (although they do come with T&C’s).
Plus there are accounts like the Nationwide FlexDirect that gives you up to 5% interest on your savings. If you’re savvy (and have the time), there’s no reason why you can’t have multiple accounts and many people do.
I have found that although it earns me extra, having several accounts is much harder to keep an eye on. That’s why I thought I would give the likes of Yolt a try.
What is Yolt?
Yolt is an app that allows you to keep track of your banks accounts and credit cards through open banking.
Taken from their website:
We believe that staying on top of your money shouldn’t be a hassle. That’s why we built Yolt with a fresh approach, smart insights and easy actions, so you can make the most of life.”
Pauline Van Brakel – CPO
Who owns Yolt?
Yolt has a little advantage over many similar finance apps – it is actually owned by ING Bank N.V. Although not big quite so big in the UK, they have over 38 million customers across the world.
Is Yolt free to use?
First of all, and probably most importantly, this app is free. Personally, unless I had millions passing through my account every month, I would never pay for this kind of app anyway. It’s not meant to change your life but make it slightly easier.
Is Yolt safe?
Because Yolt is owned by ING bank, it is regulated by the Dutch authorities and can be found on the FCA register. Personally, I trust them as much as any other bank.
The issue is, you have to enter your banking details into a 3rd party app. Although this is usually safe, the fewer places you share details, the safer they are likely to be. Whether you’re comfortable with doing this is up to you. I always thought my details would be safe with the likes of TalkTalk and Yahoo until they were hacked.
Having your banking details all in one place is referred to as Open Banking. You can find more details about it here.
Which banks are supported by Yolt?
There are currently 25 banks supported by the app.
- American Express
- Allied Irish Bank
- Bank of Ireland (Current accounts)
- Bank of Scotland
- Capital One
- Danske Bank
- First Direct
- First Trust
- MBNA Credit Card
- Marks & Spencer (Current account and credit cards)
- NatWest (Current accounts and credit cards)
- Nationwide (Current accounts and credit cards)
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Starling Bank
- Tesco Bank
- Ulster Bank
A fairly simple, painless process. You will need to provide a mobile number to confirm your identity and that your accounts are being linked to your phone.
Linking your bank account to Yolt depends on your bank’s logging in process and if you can actually find the information you need. Queue 30 minutes of me looking through my drawers to find my Nationwide passcode.
The good stuff
Once your details are all in, you can start to customise Yolt depending on your needs. Do nothing and you’ll be able to see a list of all your accounts with a summary of the money coming in, going out and how much you have saved. Or often in my case, how much you haven’t saved.
If you fancy, you can start setting yourself various budgets. There are over 20 categories listed, including items such as cash, bills, groceries and transport. Clicking on one of these will tell you how much you have spent in the previous month and allow you to set a budget for the next month.
So if you find you keep withdrawing money from cash machines and spending it on burgers (I’m not sure who would do a thing like that), you can set a budget so you can keep a closer check on where and when your money is going.
You can ‘tag’ every transaction made from your bank account or credit card. For example, if you shop at Gregg’s regularly, you can tag it as lunch. This gives you a far more accurate breakdown of where you spend your money compared to some other finance apps.
There is also a handy bill tracker. Here you can see how much you’re spending on bills such as energy, mobiles and TV. You can set a reminder for when your contract is due to finish so you can look for better deals.
For those who have family or friends in foreign lands, you may want to take a look at Yolt’s “Send money abroad” option. Here, you can enter how much you want to send and to which country. Yolt will come back with the most cost-efficient company to use.
The bad stuff
I find the app far too time consuming. I really want something that is far more ‘set-up and go’.
I don’t want to spend my time tagging transactions into 20 different categories so I know where I’m spending. I know that you will get more accurate results this way, but really, I can’t be arsed.
The app doesn’t work with all banks and financial services. I couldn’t link my Fidelity or Post Office savings account. However, this is slowly changing and after a year, I can finally link my Amazon credit card (which gives me cashback every time I use it).
There are various offers available through the app, such as grow your own savings, switch your energy or find insurance for your phone. But when I looked, I discovered that better value could be found elsewhere.
The option for finding the best rate to send money abroad may be useful for some, but I rarely do. Tracking bills is also a useful option, but the Wonderbill app does this and is far more comprehensive.
My biggest concern is the fact that you can make payment from your bank using the Yolt app. This isn’t something that I am 100% comfortable with and I’m not sure why you would need it. If money was to move your account, how do you know if it’s Yolt or your bank that has been hacked?
My Yolt review conclusion
So, is Yolt worth it? The app provides a lot of options when it comes to setting budgets and you can customise plenty of aspects.
However, you will need to spend quite a bit of time setting it up to how you like it and you’ll probably end up not using a lot of the options.
The appeal of a budgeting app is to simplify your finances, not to get frustrated with trying to set it up.
On the plus side, some of my initial gripes I had with Yolt have disappeared over the last couple of years.
The app now syncs much faster to your accounts compared to when it was first released and it’s now compatible with more financial providers.
This is an app to consider, but there are better alternatives out there.
Or, if you want some help with saving, take a look at the rather handy Chip app.