Loot, the money management app launched last year to the student market, is set to broaden its user base to the wider ‘generation snapchat’ with the launch of Loot 2.0.
Loot works by using a prepaid, contactless Mastercard debit card connected to a smartphone app. As with a traditional bank, Loot customers are given their own account number and sort code. Money can be paid into the Loot account electronically, free of charge.
The Loot debit card can be used anywhere accepting MasterCard card payments – including online – and cash can be withdrawn free from any UK ATM.
Its version 2.0 is due to launch this month. People can sign up at www.Loot.io, or download the new app. The app has 5,000 customers to date, but hopes to reach 50,000 with the new app.
The roll out comes amid a raft of new money management app launches, designed to benefit from the opening up of banking “APIs”, which will allow banks to share customers’ information, with their permission, and make it possible for apps to connect directly to live data showing someone’s spending habits.
The industry is hoping to drive down costs and increase transparency, making good financial management accessible and easy for everyone.
Loot claims customers will be able see at a glance what they can afford to do, when they can afford to do it and how much it will cost them. Loot does not offer any overdraft or borrowing facility.
With a nod to the British reticence to talk about money with friends, the app will also be able to show users, anonymously, how their spending compares to their peers locally or within the same earnings range.
Other features in the new app include a categorisation tool to group users’ spending data into categories such as entertainment and travel, so users can track how and where they are spending money. A travel tool enables users to view their balance in the local currency, as well as seeing spending summaries on arrival and departure. Spending ‘push notifications’ allow users to stay on top of spending in real time.
Loot’s founder and CEO, Ollie Purdue, says: ‘by automatically categorising all of your spending as it happens and showing you how much you still have available to spend to stay on budget, Loot puts you totally in control of your money.’
Loot plans to launch further features including user-targeted phone messages offering discounts and deals from partner retailers, cafes, cinemas and others.
To date, Loot has raised £1.5 million in investment backing from the likes of SpeedInvest (investors in Curve [see link to ‘life-changing money apps’ blog earlier this month] and Shpock) and Global Founders Capital (investors in iwoca, Kreditech, Facebook).