Millennials are experts at navigating social media and messaging apps, but they could use some help when it comes to managing their money, concluded the U.K. fintech team behind Plum, a new app aiming to bridge this chasm.
Targeting young adults who need help setting goals for spending and saving their money, Plum is a chatbot integrated with Facebook Messenger enabling users to connect the app to their accounts at all major UK banks. Facebook Messenger has recently added transaction capabilities such as notifications for Amex cardholders and bill payments via BillHero. Facebook considers 'chatbots' a key way to draw consumers to actionable services such as payments.
Acting as a “personal savings assistant,” Plum analyzes users’ income and expenses and earmarks an appropriate amount for savings. Several times a month, Plum moves the recommended amount of funds from the user’s everyday spending account to their savings savings account, sending the user a notification via Messenger, including total funds accumulated.
Plum automatically adjusts the amount saved based on users' fluctuating income and expenses, and at any time users may command the chatbot with a message to move funds back to their primary spending account.
Launched this month in a beta format, Plum is expanding on an invitation-only basis through the end of this month, enabling users to “chat” with the app via Facebook Messenger, asking it to save more money or move funds from savings to everyday spending accounts, Plum said in an Oct. 11 press release. The app is available only in the U.K. so far.
“Ultimately our aim is to enable every person in the U.K. to put money aside, whether that’s just enough for a rainy day, or for something substantial like a house deposit,” said Victor Trokoudes, a veteran of the London-based person-to-person payments startup TransferWise.