Q&A with Plum!


(Richard Cook) #1

Hi everyone!

Today, Plum announced that you can link up with your Monzo account!

As part of this, @PlumTeam have agreed to answer any questions you’ve got about the Plum, or how it works (or anything else you’d like to know about the company really!)

So, drop your questions below and let’s get started!


Plum Savings integration
(Ben Talbot) #2

What does Plum do?


(Andy) #3

Can you give us any insight in to how plum decides how much to skim off the balance and how long it takes to start making those decisions?


#4

Any plans to offer interest on cash savings?
(i.e. separate from equity investing and P2P lending)


#5

Hey!

Plum lives in Facebook messenger and connects to your current account and analyses your incomings and outgoings. The algorithm calculates daily what amount it can safely put aside without affecting your daily life and moves it to your Plum saving account via direct debit every 4-5 days. You can access your savings anytime, within 24 hours of notice. You can adjust how much or little Plum saves for you by typing ‘mood’ or even pause savings altogether for any period of time.

When Plum notices you are being overcharged on a bill or for a financial product e.g. overdrafts / mortgages Plum lets you know in the bot. Plum also finds a cheaper solution for you based on your specific needs and helps you switch over in a few clicks.

If you would like to start investing your savings just type ‘invest’ into Plum. Plum will explain how investing works and provide you with 7 options with different risk levels and returns. You can invest in 1 or all of these options with as little as £1 and take your money back out whenever you like. Plum savings are protected but if you choose to invest, capital invested is at risk.


#6

Is it only Facebook messenger because that’s not something I have or want


#7

In what way?
I thought there was no FSCS protection on savings with Plum


#8

Is the messenger bot the only contact? is there a keyword that would trigger a real person to be brought into the messenger chat if needed? or would it be via a support email?


#9

At the moment we are only in Facebook messenger but we will be expanding that soon. You do not need a Facebook account just the messenger app!

Here is a blog the lovely Angela wrote all about it :slight_smile:


#10

If you type ‘chat to a human’ you will be brought through to support and a real human! You can also email hello@withplum.com but chat is the fastest way to get help if you need it :smile:


#11

FSCS was created to protect consumers against the risk posed by banks lending out their deposits. We don’t lend out money in Plum in this way. Savings with Plum are held as “e-money” in protected bank accounts protected by the electronic money regulation. Because Plum is not a bank and savings with Plum are held as “e-money”, FSCS cover does not apply to us.

When Plum sets money aside for you, it is moved from your bank account to a protected bank account from our partner MangoPay, which is regulated to hold your money as an ‘Authorized Electronic Money Provider’. This bank account is subject to strict European regulation and your money is ring-fenced and cannot be claimed by any of MangoPay’s creditors.

This means if the holding bank, our e-Money provider, or ourselves go bankrupt you will not lose any of your money. This is very important to us and will always be the case with your Plum deposits. If Plum or any of its partners go bankrupt the money is returned to our customers with no upper limit!


#12

This is something that we would consider in the long-run, our focus so far has been on creating a portfolio of options where the user can select their risk and get better prospective returns. We feel that providing customers with diverse investment options (and the power of compound interest!) are currently understated and should be made available to everybody. It’s a big part of our promise to make our users better off.

The problem with savings accounts is two-fold: firstly, the interest accrued is lower than inflation in most cases (sigh); secondly, the struggle is doubled in that most people don’t get to the point where they feel they can ever put their money to work (savings, or investments). 16M people in the UK have less than £100 in savings - no 0.2% interest is going to solve this huge market gap.

This in mind, Plum auto-savings aims to help people overcome this problem, and then our investment product strives to give people real options where they can actually get returns on their hard-earned cash.

That said, we’re always open to new ideas :wink:


#13

Just connected… what is the full list of commands that I can type to the chatbot & yield a response?


#14

This looks very interesting, and I will definitely give it a spin…

… this minute you are not connected in any way to Facebook.


#15

Can you manually initiate transfers of specified amounts into your Plum account or are inbound transfers all algorithm-driven?


#16

Of course!

Plum fetches data immediately and starts next working day or day after depending on the provider.

First Plum estimates a monthly baseline using historic balance fluctuations and transactions, then calculates amount using baseline, mood and a few other multipliers (eg how early you are in the journey for savings). Both of these are re-calculated every time Plum decides to save which is every 5th working day. min save is 1 pound so Plum will not save it this is below.
Your current balance (or the available if you have set up to save into your overdraft) acts as a safeguard. Here is a blog which explains it all from our CTO!


#17

Great news! Welcome!

Here are a list of basic commands the bot understands:

‘Savings’ - this brings up your savings card
‘Save’ - this lets you manually save an amount
‘Balance’ - To view your bank account balance
‘Deposit’ or ‘Save’ - to deposit funds into your Plum savings
‘Withdraw’ - to transfer funds back to your bank account
‘Investments’ - to bring up the investments area
‘Invest’ - to invest funds
‘Overdraft’ - to enable overdraft savings
‘Mood’ - to change how much Plum saves for you
‘Pause’ - to pause your automatic saving temporarily
‘Resume’ - to resume your automatic savings
‘chat to a human’ - to speak to a human from support

You can also access the menu for several other commands and make changes to your account.

There are many many more but these are the main commands our users go for :smile: Have a play!


#18

You can indeed, just type ‘save’ and the amount you would like to deposit into your Plum account!


#19

Sure. But having some cash savings as an emergency fund is generally recommended and any interest you can earn on those savings is better than nothing.


#20

Is there a limit to this?
One of your competitors has a £600 monthly limit on manual inbound transfers.