What you need to know about: Yolt

Written by Lori Campbell on 2nd Nov 2020

With a new national lockdown due to Covid-19 putting a further squeeze on personal finances, more people than ever are turning to technology to manage their money and find clever ways to save. 
However, it can be easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by the sheer number of apps and products on offer – especially when they all appear to do the same thing on the face of it.
In response to demand for more guidance on how to choose between different products, Good With Money has introduced ‘need to know’ product and provider reviews.
Here we look at Yolt – a ‘smart thinking’ app that brings all your bank accounts together in one place, helping you to watch your everyday spending and stay on track with your savings goals.




The deal

Yolt is one of several apps making the most of ‘Open Banking’ rules, which mean that banks must share your account information with other providers if you ask them to. Launched in the UK in June 2017, Yolt is now also available in Italy and France and has a total of more than 1.5 million registered users.
Completely free to use, the app enables you to bring all of your current accounts, savings, credit cards, pensions and investments together in one place, so you can see your balances – and what is coming in and going out – at a glance at any time. It then analyses your spending habits and offers you tips, advice and better deals on credit than you currently have. If you take up any of these deals, Yolt earns a commission.
The idea is that with a full picture of your finances (including with colourful graphs and charts), you will be able to manage your money better. Yolt has read-only access to your accounts, so while you can transfer money between your accounts, you can’t spend it through the app.
Yolt CEO Nicolas Weng Kan has said there are plans in place to completely overhaul the app and extend what it already offers.

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User-friendliness

Yolt can take a little time to get set up, as you have to connect to all your accounts (going through the security settings) individually, but once you are up and running it is very simple and intuitive to use.

Personalised, colourful graphs let you see exactly where you are spending and on what, making budgeting and reaching saving goals a lot easier.

Is it safe?

With read-only access, Yolt can’t take money out of your accounts. You are able to move money between accounts using the app, but you will be transferred to the security system of the original provider to confirm the transaction before it is approved.

A venture of ING Bank N.V. Yolt has bank level security measures. This means your information should be just as safe as it would be with a mainstream bank. Yolt is also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Yolt says it will only use your data to help improve the app and will never sell it to third parties.

Sustainable option

Yolt has partnerships with providers that have excellent sustainability credentials, including PensionBee and WealthSimple – although it doesn’t currently point you towards these on this basis. It also offers some sustainable tips for your spending.

Unique selling points

  • Contactless debit card. Yolt now comes with a contactless card, which serves as a new daily spending account. Users can save money on every purchase with round ups and cashback from selected retailers. The Yolt app automatically sets those savings aside into a ‘Money Jar’. The app will also recognise refunds, a salary increase, or even a bonus, and users will be prompted to pocket these windfalls and add those to their Money Jar too.

The plus points

  • All your accounts in one place. View the balances of all your accounts in a simple list and click on each to see more detailed data, such as transactions.
  • Smart balance. The overall balance of all your accounts is shown as a “smart balance”. Yolt tells you how much of your money is needed for bills and essential shopping and how much is left for luxuries.
  • Average spending reports. Yolt calculates your average spending per month, helping you to set and stick to targets.
  • Set and track budgets. You can set monthly budgets for things like groceries, eating out and new clothes and see if you’re sticking to them.

Any drawbacks?

  • Yolt enables you to upload accounts from around 30 banks and other financial providers. Most of the mainstream names are on the list, including some challenger banks such as Starling, Monzo and Revolut, but you may find that one or some of your accounts aren’t yet supported. Depending on who you bank with, this may mean that you can’t get a complete picture of your finances.

Cost of use

Yolt is completely free to use. It makes its money by recommending deals from its financial partners to you. If you take up those deals, Yolt will get paid some commission.

How do these costs compare to competitors?

Yolt’s main competitors, Snoop, Emma and Money Dashboard are also free to use, making their money from commissions when you take up an offer with one of their financial partners. Emma does offer a paid subscription service – Emma Pro – which give you a slightly more tailored service for £6.99 a month or £41.99 a year.

Other options

Similar apps worth considering are:

Snoop

Money Dashboard

Emma