London-based saving chatbot Plum is about to launch a new feature that will allow users to reap an interest of up to 3% on their savings. That was made possible by a newly-minted partnership with peer-to-peer lending company Ratesetter.
AI-fuelled Plum is a bot built upon Facebook Messenger that puts aside small sums from users’ bank account every few days, helping them amass a nest egg over time. (The startup is a resident of the Shack15 coworking space in Shoreditch.)
The new function will enable them to take some risk and redirect part of their money to RateSetter— with the potential of getting interests back. According to Moneyfact, the average return earned by RateSetter investors is 4.7%— much higher than the average UK rate on easy access account (0.15%.)
The feature is currently being tested and is slated for roll-out in about one month.
Plum CEO and co-founder Victor Trokoudes said in a statement: “A quarter of people in Britain don’t save according to recent figures from ING.”
“One reason for this is because people don’t see instant and significant benefits from high street banks – these savings accounts as we know them are dead and rendered useless by many consumers, particularly millennials,” he added.
Plum CTO and co-founder Alex Michael told Shack15 News that the RatesSetter add-on is the first in a series of upgrades aimed at expanding the chatbot’s current capabilities.
“We want Plum to be about more than just savings: we want it to become your financial butler,” he said. “We want it to help you invest some of your money, like with the RateSetter feature, but also to help you check your financial health.”
In the future, Michael envisions that Plum could analyse users’ account data in order to provide them with tailored advice.
“We’d like people to ask Plum: ‘How am I doing, financially, this month?’, and it could tell you what expenses you might want to cut down,” Michael said. He also explained that the app might tackle the problem of hidden payments— sums paid regularly to services or online subscriptions the user has stopped utilising, or never subscribed to in the first place.
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