Emma Feedback Thread / Q&A

Another aggregator called Emma launched their closed beta today -

Emma can save you up to £600 every year

Main features:

Take Control

Are you getting charged for something you never asked? Emma will let you know when someone is taking money out of your account. Our average user saves over £272 per year by cancelling wasteful subscriptions.

Pay Off Your Debt

Average British household has £13,000 of consumer debt. Emma knows how much you owe and can keep you on track with every installment. Let’s keep your Credit Score in a good shape.

Start Saving

We think saving should be easy, straightforward and clear. Just a simple click at the end of the month and Emma will save what you can afford for you.

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or should that be ‘yet another’.

With Yolt etc already up and running the market for these is getting more crowded so unless they bring out some amazing USP then I can’t see how they will make it

Edoardo here, co-founder of Emma.

We are actually able to reach the level of a challenger bank, in some cases, without being a bank (https://twitter.com/emma_finance/status/929735609064804354).

Happy to answer any questions you guys might have. We are not building an aggregator, but the Google Now of personal finance. :slight_smile:


good luck!

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Hi Edoardo,

Are users able to suggest logos themselves? That’s my main gripe with Yolt.
Also, what about custom categories?


The space doesn’t have a market leader, so we’ll see who’s going to win the race. :wink:


Hi Christos,

at the moment, we have 12 categories and are able to automatically tag transactions. Emma can understand if a transaction is a #pub, #bar, #cafè and so on.

We are adding custom tags in the next few weeks for sure. Categories is a bit harder, cause then we can’t automatically categorise. In the long term, with the right ML, we could understand what transactions you place in the custom category and build a classifier on the spot; but we are a bit too early for that.

What do you mean by logos?


Don’t use Edoardo’s link use mine so I can skip the queue! Please!

(Gotta see what it’s all about, will report back)


For example in the screenshot you attached, the logo for Tattu is displayed.
With Yolt, only transactions corresponding to big chains had a logo, rest of them just showed an initial.

In Monzo when a logo is missing, users can suggest the right one. Is that something that can also be done in Emma? Same for locations.

My link: https://emma-app.com/?kid=K1K0S
(@DaveTMG I used yours to register)

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The difference with Yolt is we try to assign a merchant to every transaction, not just big chains. This is the same for the automatic tags and location (we are the first - non challenger bank - to do this from bank transactions - no one can do it).

We will add functionality to help us improve the detection, so yes, like Monzo.


Thanks for your reply!

Am I understanding correctly that from 13/01/18 all banks will have to be accessible through an API? So no more sharing log in details and no more scrapers?

What you’re doing seems very interesting and I’d love to try it but I’m not keen to share my banking login with anyone.

On the 13th of January, in order to operate a business like this, anyone must be registered as an Account Information Service Provider with the Financial Conduct Authority.

We are currently using a trusted service provider, called TrueLayer (https://truelayer.com), to be able to access bank accounts. This is the most secure and safest on the market, according to us. Further, no one stores your banking details.

We get some tokens, the provider keeps an hash.

APIs, hopefully, will follow! We are also waiting for a stable Monzo API, so we can integrate it. :slight_smile: :grin:

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If TrueLayer don’t store my banking details, how do they log in?

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In order to connect to your bank account, we use OAuth2 with TrueLayer. This means we don’t see the credentials at all.

After you connect, Truelayer returns us a set of access/refresh tokens, which we use to keep your account updated. On the other side, TrueLayer saves the encrypted credentials in a secured storage, which can not be accessed without our tokens. In other words, TL can’t do anything.

They recently raised £5 million, you can find them on TC: https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/21/truelayer/


Are you saying that your tokens are the key to the encrypted storage?

Where are your tokens stored? What if you are hacked, can anyone use your tokens to unlock the encrypted storage?

At some point, there will be my bank details in memory somewhere, else you won’t be able to access my bank account. Where is this?

Which banks does Emma work with?

Emma is currently available only in the UK and works with: NatWest, Halifax, Lloyds, Nationwide, Barclays, HSBC, First Direct, Santander, TSB, RBS, Metro Bank and Co-operative Bank.

It’s a no from me as Monzo is my main account now.


1 token decrypts 1 bank connection. However, that’s not the only thing used to encrypt. We also use a client secret, which is not stored in the same place and that we can invalidate at anytime. Even in the scenario, someone gets both, then they have to hack into TrueLayer, decrypt, and get the credentials.

There is no way someone can get to the actual credentials.

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Saved for posterity :slight_smile:


We need to update that. The current list is:

The Co-operative bank
First Direct

and some credit cards.

To put things in perspective, I also use Emma to check what the weather looks like.


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So now no Metrobank?

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