PLUM INTEGRATES WITH MONZO AND STARLING: UK-based personal finance management (PFM) chatbot Plum has added support for UK neobanks Monzo and Starling. This was facilitated by the UK’s Open Banking initiative and via a partnership with application programming interface (API) provider TrueLayer. Customers use Facebook Messenger to engage with the chatbot, which can answer questions about finances and ensures that people aren’t overpaying for financial products. Additionally, it sets aside money for customers to help them save, and users can opt to let Plum invest it. Plum — which has 130,000 registered users and launched in 2017 — already supports most major banks in the UK, including NatWest, HSBC, and Barclays.
Here’s how this move will likely benefit Plum:
- Partnering with TrueLayer makes data-sharing safer — which could boost uptake. Using TrueLayer allows Plum to request customers’ account data without ever seeing their login credentials. TrueLayer enables this by using an API to connect directly to the customer’s bank. This added security might make users more likely to use Plum, helping it to grow its customer base.
- Integrating with neobanks will connect Plum with customers who are likely to find its services attractive. While offering support for big banks in the UK is wise, as they boast large customer numbers, some of these users might be reluctant to engage with the chatbot. Monzo and Starling users, who are likely tech-savvy and knowledgeable about fintech solutions, are probably more inclined to use Plum. Hence, the chatbot will probably see uptake increase by working with other fintechs.
Additionally, Monzo and Starling customers will benefit from more PFM services. Monzo has taken many steps recently to help customers save money — by launching Coin Jar and partnering with automation platform If This Then Than (IFTTT), for instance. Similarly, Starling has launched its marketplace to help customers get more control over their finances. Plum’s integration with the neobanks seems to be in line with their recent efforts; it will offer customers a new channel to interact with their bank and provide a better overview over their savings and investments. We expect that uptake will be high from both Monzo’s and Starling’s customers, and that this integration will boost customer satisfaction.