Dutch bank ING is making more waves in the UK market with the wider roll out of its smartphone app Yolt.
Launching today on Andorid and Apple after several months in beta which signalled the return of ING to the UK market, the lender is taking on fintech startups with the money management app.
Yolt aggregates accounts and credit cards held with other banks rather than offering its own banking products, a space already occupied by several startups in the UK.
The app offers spending insights and can, for example, analyse how much is spent on subscriptions to Netflix and Spotify or on energy bills. In a partnership with fintech company Runpath, it can also signal when it might be better to switch energy providers based on this information. A second partnership with Moneytis, a money transfer comparison site, offers users the best deal on sending money abroad.
The app has been tested by 2,500 people and recently underwent a makeover before launch. Yolt will seek further feedback from users in "open beta".
Chief executive of Yolt, Frank Jan Risseeuw, told City A.M. it doesn't foresee offering ING products in the future. It is run as a separate standalone business having sprung out of ING's innovation lab. The corporate startup envisions revenue coming from commercial partnerships in future, for example when someone switches to another energy firm via the app.
"The app is free and where we see to earn money from is in the partner ecosystem," he said.
"We've done calculations on how people switch and for sure you need a lot of volume to cover costs. First we will focus on product and then revenue. At a certain point we will break even," he said, adding that while the competition in the UK is strong – and growing – there is "plenty of appetite" for such apps.
"There will be competition but together we can create new markets," said Risseeuw.
The UK is the first location where the app will be publicly available and is a main focus for the firm. It is also beta testing it in a number of other markets as a "logical next step".