“Yolt’s biggest strength is the smarter insights that we provide. People want to be aware of their spending habits”: CEO Frank Jan Risseeuw interview

Yolt, a smart banking app that helps users keep track of their finances, has landed in the UK. The fintech company is owned by Dutch bank ING and combines all of a user’s finances, including bank accounts, savings accounts as well as credit cards onto one mobile platform, that allows users to view all of their accounts in one place so they can keep track of their exact monthly spending.

Building a financial marketplace

The launch of Yolt marks Dutch bank ING’s return to the UK market and hopes to accelerate its push as a leading European innovator serving more than 36 million customers in more than 40 countries. In many ways, Yolt is ahead of the game when it comes to open banking and PSD2, as the app fully embraces the open banking model.

I met with Yolt’s CEO Frank Jan Risseeuw who ran me through the way the app works. “You can add up to 26 cards to your Yolt account,” he says. “Our business model was created to give users predictive analysis, which can identify spending habits, set reminders, and count down the days remaining until their next payday.

“The most valuable thing to our customers is their time. People want to see everything in one place and manage their finances on one app.”

The idea behind having all your finances in one place, with great user experience is the biggest standout aspect of the app. Yolt’s motto is “unthink money”; the fintech wants to allow users to not have to worry about calculating all the outgoings and expenses. Frank Jan explains that in today’s contactless and invisible cash world, managing finances is not something people want to spend their time on.

“We want to build a marketplace for financial services. Yolt is an aggregator that combines all your finances into one place to give transparency and ease to our users.”

Embracing open banking

The Dutch bank is gearing to get ahead of the game when it comes to PSD2 by already implementing open banking regulations that are set to come into force in January 2018.

“Throughout the year we’ll introduce new features, such as personalisation that creates bespoke offers to consumers, and personal notifications, if a user wants to be notified as they’re spending.”

“Yolt’s biggest strength is the smarter insights that we provide. People want to be aware of their spending habits, so the app integrates the data into clear insights which sets out a user’s outgoings, direct debits and spending, to show how much money is being spent where.”

Yolt want to spark curiosity and surprise people with how easy it is to be smart with their money.

Unthink money

When asked whether Yolt’s competitors will be following in their footsteps and creating a financial marketplace for their customers, Frank Jan says Yolt has a number of features that will remain as part of the core product. “We will keep the app free, and continue to create an ecosystem for financial services that help our users.”

“Our smart insights make a consumer’s spending easy to understand, so you can see what you’ve spent, where, and avoid surprises thanks to predicted debts. Users can also act on these insights by setting budgets, monitoring bills and even looking for better energy deals within the app.

“Customer feedback is extremely important to us, we love hearing what our users like and dislike about the app. We take the feedback seriously and work internally to create a better marketplace.

“Customer experience is currently driving the app, and gradually we will increase our partnerships, customisation and collaborations, and then look to expand outside of Europe.”

The app, which was developed in-house by ING’s innovation office in Amsterdam, has several new features that will be unveiled later this year.

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