FinTech profile: Yolt - the smart money app
Yolt was born out of a simple mission: to give everyone the power to be smart with their money.
The fintech, which launched in the UK in 2017, does this through innovative technology and a collaborative approach.
According to CEO Frank Jan Risseeuw, “we built Yolt to enable people to experience the power of open banking for themselves”.
With that in mind, Yolt believes that money - and managing that money - shouldn’t be difficult, or be a bore. Rather, it should be simple, intuitive and use technology, smart insights and tools.
The Yolt proposition is based on Open Banking, which revolves around giving greater power to the customer.
In short, instead of banks owning banking data, this is owned by customers, giving them the power to share it with licensed third parties.
Open Banking also means that licensed providers - like Yolt - can sync a customer’s bank accounts using secure APIs.
Yolt: smart money in action
Yolt was formed as a venture of ING Bank NV.
Since its launch in 2017, the company has spread to more than 500,000 users and launched in Italy and France.
The company’s app - available on the Apple Store and Google Play - lets users spend, stay on track and reach specific financial goals.
Having one central financial app ends ‘app juggling’. Through Yolt, users can log in and see all their accounts - including Nationwide, Santander, Barclays, Lloyds, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, RBX, Natwest and Ulster Bank.
In total, Yolt users can sync and view more than 77 current accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and pensions and investments.
Understandably, hosting such data means that security is paramount.
Accordingly, Yolt provides bank-level security that ensures customer information is guarded and protected.
This includes state-of-the-art encryption technology and identity verification.
Yolt users must unlock their app using a PIN, fingerprint or FaceID and, because of Open Banking, the company never stores login credentials on its servers.
Other features of Yolt include:
- Smart balance - overall balance is shown as a smart balance, which tells users how much of their money will go on bills and shopping, as well as how much will be left for other uses.
- Average spending reports - all data is hosted in one place and shows average spending. This allows users to set realistic spending targets and assess financial progress.
- Contactless payments - Yolt is to introduce a dedicated payment feature, Yolt Pay, that will allow the moving of money between accounts, and the ability to transfer it to friends and family. Yolt Pay is currently in the beta testing phase.
- Progress tracking and budget setting - Yolt enables the setting of monthly budgets and tracks progress against these budgets.
Frictionless banking, the Salesforce way
Alan Donnelly has enjoyed a long and successful career in the IT and financial services industry. He has worked with banks, insurers, payments companies, fintechs and more in support of business transformation programmes for some of the biggest names in the business for the past 27 years.
Today, he’s head of financial services for Salesforce UK, the leading global, cloud-based CRM platform that integrates customers and companies. Donnelly is also currently leading the Salesforce operation that is digitally transforming the UK arm of the Madrid-based Santander Group.
“I have had the pleasure of working with many financia
l institutions over many years,” he says. “Typically, it was involved in helping customers build big banking systems and banking platforms that ran what we would call systems of record. But now, as I've moved into Salesforce and we're building our financial services business, we are really now helping our customers engage with their customers.”
The partnership withSantander is a multi channel operation that sees Salesforce helping the bank to engage better with corporate clients and retail customers via their branches and the internet, says Donnelly.
“We're also helping them with customers, who maybe wish to acquire mortgages and mortgages for the life events. I guess it's a multi connectivity environment. But in every case, Santander needs to understand the customer's requirements and better serve those customers in the right time and the right fashion,” Donnelly explains
He adds, “I also think the ability to contact customers whenever they need help and support, as we've seen in the recent pandemic, has proven critical - so I think technology is definitely much more connectable and effective than it was before.”