Tally is essentially a digital bank account that you can use via an app and Mastercard debit card. In that way, it works just like challenger banks such as Starling and Monzo.
However, when you transfer your British pounds into your Tally account, you’re actually buying the equivalent amount in gold. This gold is real and is locked away in a secure vault in Switzerland.
This means that the value of your money will fluctuate according to the price of gold and NOT to the value of the pound. Tally claims to be “the world’s first non-fiat currency and account that protects the long term value of a customer’s money.”
The idea behind Tally is that because it is linked to a physical asset – unlike government-issued ‘fiat currencies’ – it is less volatile. Over the last 20 years, gold has increased in value by over 600 per cent, according to Tally. It says the pound has, over the same period, devalued by 87 per cent. At a time when inflation is rising fast and interest rates are rock bottom, Tally offers a novel solution for people wanting to make their money go further.
However, by using Tally you must remember that you are investing your money. As with all investments, its value can go up or down and your capital is at risk. There is now a one-year, fixed rate savings option too, which could suit you if you don’t need to access your cash quickly.
Tally operates a simple system where one Tally = one milligram of gold. It’s relatively easy to get started. Just download the app and set up an account (you’ll need photo ID). First, you buy Tally by transferring money into your account from your regular bank account. You can then use your card to make purchases or withdraw cash anywhere that accepts Mastercard.
The gold you buy through Tally is pure, insured and sourced from “LBMA-accredited commodity brokers.” This means that it meets the ethical and purity standards set by the London Bullion Market Association, a global authority for precious metals.
Tally says it will never lend or invest your money, removing any concern over it being used to fund destructive or unethical activities.
Is it safe?
Tally isn’t a bank and your money isn’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). However, it is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority to trade in electronic money.
The gold you come to own is insured against theft, loss and damage due to fire or any other natural events. When you get your Tally account, you’ll also receive your insurance documents – make sure you read these carefully so you know the circumstances you’re covered for, and those you’re not.
Unique selling points
- Easy way to invest in gold. Tally is a comparatively cheap and flexible way of investing in gold.
- Potential to earn more than interest rate. You could earn more on your savings than with your average savings account.
- Stash savings in a digital ‘Safe’. Just like a traditional bank savings account, you can set aside any amount of Tally you like into an ‘Easy Access Safe.’ This can be moved back to your main Tally account at any time.
- Fixed rate option. Tally recently launched a one-year fixed-rate savings account, with a guaranteed two per cent per year return (paid in pounds).
The plus points
- App-based. Quick and easy to set up and use.
- No added card fees. There are no extra fees for using the card in the UK or abroad or to withdraw cash.
- Potentially risky. Bear in mind that putting money into Tally means you are investing in gold, which is riskier than using a traditional bank account as the value of investments can go up or down.
- You’ll need your usual bank account too. You can’t, for example, set up direct debits from your Tally account.
Cost of use
Tally has one-off joining fee of £20. There is also an ‘account keeping fee’ of one per cent per year.
Depositing money in your Tally account, using the card and withdrawing cash from an ATM (both in the UK and abroad) are all free.
Tally is currently the only app offering a currency that is tied to the value of gold, and which you can spend as digital cash.
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