Could EverUp’s tax-free cash prizes challenge Premium Bonds?

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 28 January 2021

Savings and Investment

The fintech is hoping to target NS&I’s 20m customers.

Could EverUp’s tax-free cash prizes challenge Premium Bonds?
Image source: EverUp

Premium Bonds offered by the UK’s National Savings and Investments (NS&I) since the 1950s have become a savings institution for some 20m people who hold the tax-free lottery bonds.

However, changes to the chances of winning have gradually reduced Premium Bonds' attractiveness, and it’s fair to say that the bonds hardly appeal to the next generation of savers who expect an instant, mobile-first experience.

Enter EverUp. Co-founded by Giuseppe Caltabiano and Egi Messito, the app’s pitch is that it essentially turns the Premium Bond model up to 11.

Virtual coins are earned by saving, coins which can then be used to enter a weekly lottery for £365,000, a daily raffle for cash prizes or virtual coins, or instant wheel of fortune games to win virtual coins.

And while that might all sound a lot like gambling, all the games operate on top of your savings and using EverUp’s virtual coins as a kind of Monopoly money. Your savings are never at risk.

But what chance do you have of winning a cash prize? Well, EverUp’s weekly lottery is a 7 number draw (between 0 and 9) plus one symbol (of 6 to choose from).

That might sound easy, but unlike a typical lottery there are no ‘balls’ meaning a number could be selected multiple times… which pushes up your odds of winning significantly.

AltFi has asked EverUp to confirm what the odds of winning on its weekly lottery are, but as Caltabiano said in the launch announcement, it’s not necessarily just about winning:

“There are hundreds of financial wellbeing apps out there which help consumers to save money incrementally but those apps fail to address a fundamental human desire – our need for instant gratification,” he said.

“By rewarding good saving habits with virtual coins and games, EverUp is helping consumers to both save money in a fun way, and get the thrill that comes from playing and potentially winning prizes.”

And ultimately that’s the crux of whether EverUp will succeed or fail, does it incentivise people to become better savers, by adopting mechanics more often used by the gaming and gambling industries.

Could EverUp replace Premium Bonds? Watch this space.

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