Is Yolt Safe? A look At My Yolt Review
If you are a regular reader of my blog then you will know that I am a huge fan of budgeting apps and love reviewing them. Let’s face it we all spend most of our days on our phones these days so to have a budgeting app to hand makes absolute sense.
I have tried quite a few budgeting apps now including the two that I love most which are Plum And Spendee. The great thing about budgeting apps on your mobile is the ability to access them wherever you are. We are so busy in today’s society that carrying around your budget in your pocket saves time.
So onto my Yolt review, Yolt was launched in the Uk in 2017. It has steadily grown and is now available in France and Italy.
Yolt is a handy little app that like the other apps I mentioned above uses Open banking to help you keep track of your finances on the move and to create budgets to keep your spending habits in check. So if Yolt is using Open Banking then is Yolt safe?
What Is Open Banking?
If you have never used a mobile budgeting app then you may have no idea what open banking is.
Open banking is exactly as it sounds, it is opening your bank so that details can be shared between your bank and the budgeting apps.
Open Banking is the secure way to give providers access to your financial information. So is open banking safe? Is yolt safe? These are all good questions and as I highlighted above it is safe.
It might not seem safe. Can you imagine if you were told to give your banking information to a complete stranger?
Well, this is what you are effectively doing by signing up to these kinds of budgeting apps and giving them your bank details so that their apps can give you the latest information regarding your money and help you to budget and save more effectively.
It also means that you can have all of your bills and all of your financial details in one place which makes for a much easier life.
Open banking is of course safe, You are never asked to provide passwords or log-in details. In fact, if you are ever asked for this in any form of banking situation or scam text etc then beware and dont give out your details. This paramount. No bank or other form of financial institution will ever ask for your private log-in details.
Every provider that uses Open Banking to offer products and services must be regulated by the FCA or European equivalent. At the moment, nine of the biggest banks and building societies are enrolled on the Open Banking Directory, and others are coming soon.
I have used both Lloyds Tsb and Natwest for some of my budgeting apps and have had no problems whatsoever. In fact, With the Plum app which I use daily, I have always found it to be super simple.
So Open Banking is safe and with any respectable budgeting app that has been downloaded thousands of times and has a good review on the Play or Apple store you are sure to be safe handing over any banking details. Is open banking safe? Yes. Is Yolt Safe? Yes.
What Is Yolt?
Yolt is another budgeting app much in the same mould as Plum or Spendee. All budgeting apps are roughly the same, Some have slightly different features and pricing but they all do nearly the same tasks which are to help you save and manage your money better.
Yolt is a budgeting app for your mobile which comes with a pre-paid debit MasterCard that allows you to track all of your bank accounts (current, savings and credit cards) in one place using open banking as discussed above.
Here is what Yolt say about how it all works:
Save while you spend
Your new saving habit starts with small steps – and small change. Use your Yolt Card for everyday spending and save automatically as you go.
Use your prepaid Yolt Account for everyday spending.
Save while you spend, with round ups and Jar Boosters.
Grow your Money Jar and start your saving habit.
All you have to do is to connect your bank accounts to start seeing all your money in one place. When this happens it is far easier to manage your money.
You can start saving into Jars and when you activate Jar Boosters the app will automatically save for you. There are 3 automated ways to save your money and believe me when I say that automated savings can transform the way your money works. I have mine automated on the Plum app and it is amazing how much I can save when I dont even see the money coming out of my account.
The 3 automated ways are round-ups. When you spend with the pre-paid card your purchases will be rounded up to the nearest pound and this money will be put into your savings jar.
The Set Saver is an amount set by you to automatically come out of your account each month or week depending on how you set it up.
The Cashback. This is whereby you can use Yolt’s in-app offers to get yourself a wide range of cashback deals on your everyday spending. This cashback will then be sent to your savings jar to go with the rest of your automated savings.
If you are feeling motivated you can always take the money jar challenge which is to save at least £416 a year. They will give you tips (and help keep you motivated) to boss your target and start a Saving Streak.
Think you could save even more? Why not try increasing your target?
Other features that have made it onto the Yolt app are Payday Saves whereby the app will save a set amount for you each payday.
Pocket Bonus where Yolt will stash a little extra away if you got paid more than normal from say a bonus or overtime. There is also the ability to create and manage budgets within Yolt which is another way to cleverly manage your finances.
What Is The Yolt Card?
This is usually the first thing that people want to know when they first get involved with Yolt as this is unlike most of the other budgeting apps available.
The Yolt Card is a prepaid, contactless debit Mastercard. It is connected to the app and when Yolt is connected to your bank account you can simply top the card up in a matter of seconds and then use the card in your day to day purchases.
The great thing about the Yolt card is that because it is a prepaid card you cannot overspend and you can get one even with bad credit. The rewards for using the card is the Round-ups feature I mentioned above which is great for saving you money without effort. and the savings jars.
The Yolt card can be used anywhere in the world that Mastercard is accepted and anytime you use it the Yolt app is checking and making the necessary savings straight to your app.
There are some small fee’s associated with the card that you need to be aware of but no more than a normal Mastercard. They are as follows:
• National ATM withdrawals. This fee’s £0.95
• International ATM withdrawals. This fee’s £1.65
• Conversion fees on international transactions (for when you buy things in a different currency). The conversion fee’s 0.5% of the transaction’s total
• Reissuing a lost, stolen or damaged card (but only if it’s your second re-issue in a rolling 12-month period). A replacement card’s £5.50
There are no credit checks when signing up for Yolt and you will get the prepaid card regardless of your credit history. Another one of the factors that answer the question of Is Yolt safe?
You can just stick with the digital version of Yolt which means you don’t need to order the card, If you are likely to forget to top it up then maybe this isn’t for you.
Setting Up Yolt
I choose to add this section as I had a little trouble at the start and I do find that this can put people off from fully signing up when you come across incidents as I did.
You have to upload a selfie-style picture of yourself. This was a little unsettling as it is going to someone you don’t know.
You also have to upload certain pieces of documentation to prove who you are. My options were a driving license or a passport photo. Well like a lot of us in lockdown my passport has expired and I have not got a new one yet.
This means I had to use my driving license and also because it was closer to hand which im sure it is with most people. The only issue with using your driving license is that it has to be photographed lying flat in a certain light and they kept rejecting the picture so it took me several attempts to get this right. I very nearly gave up.
Truly if you look at it from a security perspective then it is great as there is a lot of security involved when you are signing up and as it involves linking your bank account then im guessing you want the best security going and Yolt does this.
The downside of course is it doesn’t make signing up to Yolt the easiest thing to do in the world. I like simplicity and if it takes me longer than a minute to sign up for something then I can get frustrated. However like I said above when it comes to security then it is best to persevere.
Is My Bank Supported?
I would be surprised if it isn’t. At the time of writing, there are 25 banks supported with more to follow, The list of banks is as follows:
- 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
There are a lot of features included with the Yolt App. A few of the ones I have liked the look of are the chance to venture into investments.
Yolt links to Wealthify a company that provide and offer several different types of investment accounts. You can then choose to send some of your savings to your investments and try and make your money work even harder for you.
I use investments and really like the feature. My current investments are earning me around 6% interest which is so much higher than any kind of bank account at the moment. You need to make your money work harder. Leaving it in your bank account is not doing this. If you add in inflation then leaving your money in your bank account is actually decreasing its value every year. Put it to work with investments.
Like most people, I tend to forget about energy bills and they keep rising without me doing anything about it.
Well, the Yolt app links to Moneysupermarket which will find you the cheapest deals. You can of course do this yourself and do it via a specialist cashback website such as Quidco but it is a nice handy reminder that this is something that perhaps needs to be done every year to save yourself money.
Referrals are also included which means when you start using the Yolt app and enjoy it you can then recommend it to friends and if they sign up and link their bank account you get £5 which you can choose to save, spend or invest the choice is yours.
This is the one that can truly change the way you manage your money. Budgeting although it sounds boring is the key to managing your money better.
For the people that like budgeting you are going to be in your element with the Yolt app. There are over 20 various categories for you to budget in. Cash, Bills, Shopping, Transport, Leisure and many more.
Once you have chosen your category you can simply set the budget using £5 increments. If you spend money on groceries every week and want to set a £50 budget then simply use the £5 increments to get to £50.
I always go and search companies and apps etc on Trustpilot and Yolt has a Trustpilot score of 3.1 at the time of writing which is about average.
There have been quite a few negative reviews in the last few weeks and this may be to do with the update they recently did and the fact that people do not like the update or possibly it has affected the way their accounts are run.
Yolt have replied on average to over 80% of their negative reviews which is good and shows that they want happy customers.
A lot of the bad reviews have been in the past 12 months though and I would look a little closer at these to see if this is enough to put you off downloading the app and using it as your everyday budgeting app.
Pros Of The Yolt App
- Setting Budgets
- Safety And Security
- Free To Use
- Pre-paid debit card prevents any overspending
- Compatible With a Large Number Of Banks
- Quick To Use Once Set Up
Cons Of The Yolt App
- Can Be Tricky To Set Up
- Real-Time Spending only works with Pre-paid card
- No FSCS Protection
- No Web App to have greater control
- Poor reviews as of late
Is Yolt Safe? A look At My Yolt Review
So when doing my review the main thing I was looking at was Is Yolt Safe. Safety with open banking apps such as Yolt, Spendee and Plum is always the user’s main concern and it is always my main concern too.
So Is Yolt Safe? Well from an open banking perspective yes. Is Yolt safe to use day in and day out? Well, it seems a lot of peoples accounts are being closed with no warning by Yolt and this could be an issue if you have lots of money in your jars etc.
Im sure you would be able to get access to it but it is a concern for me. It might be worth emailing Yolt before signing up just so you can alleviate any fears you may have about using the app.
As I said at the beginning of this article I use the Plum app which I absolutely love and have no issue with, however, that is more of a savings app than budgeting and that is mainly what I use it for as well as investments.