Plum has teamed up with Open Banking firm TrueLayer to make the new partnerships possible.
Users of the two neo-banks will be able to access Plum’s chatbot service without divulging their login details, from within their bank accounts. It's TrueLayer that makes this possible by directly accessing users’ account data (held by the banks) and making it available to Plum through a secure API.
Users must of course give consent in order to allow Plum to access their data, as per standard Open Banking rules – and even then access will be on a ‘read-only’ basis.
Plum needs access to account data in order to deliver its core service. The app monitors users spending patterns and sets aside an amount of money it deems fit every few days. It can also help users to invest their saved pennies via one of seven options, centred on themes such as ‘ethical investments’.
Uniquely, users interact with Plum via an AI-driven Facebook chatbot, to which they may put questions about their finances, instructions to save more money and so on. The app also automatically ensures that its customers aren’t overpaying for financial products such as energy bills.
“Adding Monzo and Starling to our ever growing list of supported banks is a key step in achieving our mission to make everyone better off. We have seen demand for challenger banks increasing significantly since we launched and are thrilled to see that these banks are gaining momentum. Our partnership with Truelayer has allowed us to move quickly and the user experience to be seamless and secure. This is a perfect example of how Open Banking is benefiting the financial sector and its users,” said Victor Trokoudes, CEO and co-founder of Plum, in a statement.
Since launching in January 2017, Plum claims to have saved £24m for 130,000 users. Last month, the firm partnered with remittance fintech giant TransferWise and complaints tool Resolver to launch a new initiative named fightoverseasfees.org – allowing users to calculate how much they’ve been overcharged in hidden foreign currency fees while spending abroad. Plum already supports most major banks in the UK.