If you would like to save but seem to spend all your money before getting round to actually saving any, the Chip Savings App could be a good option for you.
The idea of the Chip Mobile App is that it automatically saves small regular amounts from your bank account in a way that you barely notice.
The Chip app claims to use AI-powered algorithms to know how much to take from your account and put into a separate Chip Savings wallet on your behalf.
I’ve taken a look at how to get started as well as the pros and cons to see who this App might be best suited too and whether our money and data is considered safe.
- What Is the Chip Savings App?
- How to Quickly Easily Set Up The Chip App to Start Saving
- How the Chip Savings App Works
- How Do I Withdraw From Chip?
- Chip Saving Goals
- Does Chip Pay Interest or a Bonus?
- Is the Chip App Safe?
- Chip App Pro’s and Cons
- Further Information
What Is the Chip Savings App?
The Chip mobile app is effectively a tool to help you save little and often from your current account on an automatic basis. Hopefully making it easier to save larger sums towards whatever goals you wish to save for in your life.
It is totally free to use and there are no fees for savers.
In this 2 minutes 49-second overview of Chip video below, Alex Latham, Chip’s Chief Marketing Office, quickly and simply answers a number of common questions regarding the App.
The info regarding interest rates is out of date, as the Chip App does not currently pay interest on new customer accounts.
How to Quickly & Easily Set Up The Chip App To Start Saving
It is really quick and easy to get started with Chip and have it start saving your money literally within a couple of minutes or so of opening the app.
To start with simply download the Chip App to your Smartphone.
As you’ll be pleased to see, on both platforms for iPhones and Android mobiles, the Chip app is highly rated.
Below I outline the full process to get started which took just a couple of minutes for me to set up and connect my bank card to the Chip App:
- Download App
- Tap “Get started” – a chatbot box opens up
- Tap “Sign Me Up”
- Type in my mobile number (to prove I’m not a robot)
- Receive pin code via text
- Enter code
- Enter first and last name
- Input DOB
- Enter email
- Enter postcode
- Select address
- App verifies ID
- Select Bank
- Enter debit card number
- Chat type message pops up with a recommended first save, which you can stop or adjust
It’s really as simple as that. There’s also the option to take a photo of your bank card, which might be quicker, but by habit, I went the old school route of typing the card info in.
How the Chip Savings App Works
Initially, you can get started by just connecting your bank card to the Chip App.
However to fully benefit from the AI algorithm of Chip you would need to connect your bank account. This allows Chip to see your bank balance and transactions.
Connect Bank Card
Firstly, I connected my debit card.
Choose your bank from the list, for example:
As you might notice, you can connect your bank card to the full range of High street banks and also the new breed of Challenger banks, although they are only an option for connecting via card and not a full bank account connection.
High Street Banks you can connect:
- Co-operative Bank
- First Direct
- Metro Bank
Challenger Banks you can connect your card:
Have your banks debit card to hand and choose your bank from the list.
Next, simply enter:
- Card number
- Expiry Date
- Security number (3 digit number on the back of card).
Once you are connected the Chip App will start saving straight away.
The Chip App communicates in a very friendly chatbot like format using emojis and gifs which you can see within the initial welcome messages below:
Followed promptly with Chip making your first saving.
As you can see, my first saving was £6.83.
This balance is then scheduled to be transferred from my bank account to Chip by 3 pm. It may take a couple of days to show up in the Chip balance but you’ll see it as still pending.
If I wanted to stop the payment, I just needed to tap the “View” button you can see in the image to the right of the amount.
How Do I Adjust the Saving
If you click “View” as seen in the above image, you will be presented with the following screen:
Firstly you can see the recommend saving is still pending, so no money has yet moved.
This screen gives you the option of adjusting the suggested saving amount. Just click “Adjust” and toggle the amount to whatever you are comfortable with.
You also have 2 more options, “Manual Save” and “Withdraw”.
The Manual Save option allows you to “turbocharge your savings” and inputting any amount you like.
The Chip Ap will now continue to save from your bank account currently at the rate of every few days.
Connecting Bank Account
To reap the full benefit of Chip it works best if you fully connect your main high street bank account.
This way the technology behind the app can analyze your personal account data, the balance, every income, and outgoing.
You can do this by tapping the bottom right “Account” logo and then tapping the “Connected account”.
As you can see in the image above, it does this with “Enforced strict 128+ bit encryption.
You will then have to connect to your bank account using your actual internet banking details:
- Memorable info (or similar)
Click “Next” and allow the connection, which says it can take a few minutes, and certainly did so for me.
Once connected, tap the correct bank details which appear on the screen and you are finished.
How to Contact Chip
If you want to contact Chip simply tap “Account” and then “Help” and you’ll be giving the option to view the help center or select “Live chat” to start a conversation with one of the team. Although the responses are not immediate, drop a message and check back for a response at a later time.
What if You Go Overdrawn?
If you have fully connected your bank account (not just a debit card) Chip claims never to take you into your overdraft. If however, they did, their overdraft guarantee you would pay you £10 and you’d be refunded any overdraft fees.
There’s an “Overdraft Saves” option in the Settings, which if you enable will enable Chip to save if you are in overdraft. Not that I see the point of saving if in overdraft as it kind of defeats the objective of the app, which is to save money and avoid debt. You would also be responsible for any fees incurred once this is enabled.
Chip mobile app works best when it can see a pattern to your income and expenditure.
If however, like myself, your income is irregular, Chip believes it can still serve its purpose well.
If you disagree or are uncomfortable with the saving you can simply adjust the saves or pause them.
How Do I Withdraw From Chip?
To withdraw your money you will need to enter the following details for the bank account of the card you connected to Chip:
- Beneficiary Name
- Account Number
- Sort Code
Any withdrawals to your bank account you make before 5.50 pm on a weekday will be processed to your bank account the same day. In other instances, it will be the next working day.
If you don’t connect your bank and want a withdrawal to your card, this may take 3-5 days.
Chip Saving Goals
Most people use the Chip App to save up for specific savings goals such as
- Rental or even house deposit
You can literally use it to save up for whatever your goals are.
“Goals” are at the center of the menu navigation at the base of the app. Tap that and you’ll be offered the option to “Create goal”
- Tap “Goals”
- Create and name Goal
- Enter the target amount you want to save up
- Select Save allocation
- Select End date if you want a continual indication of whether on track
Once set up, the save allocation % will be put towards your goal
You also have the option to set an end date, Chip then gives you indications as to how achievable reaching your goal target is with a Status reading.
Does Chip Pay Interest or a Promo Code Bonus?
Currently, no interest on any money saved to new Chip users. There are also no promo code bonuses currently being paid.
Occasionally Chip has an offer to sign up and earn cashback, I did so for £15.
Initially, when launched Chip paid 1% interest on savings per friend you referred, up to 5%.
Existing Chip customers will still earn from their savings for 12 months after the friend was referred.
All bonuses will have ended by June 30th, 2020.
The reason for the bonus ending is because Chip aims to partner with tech-friendly business banks so that it can offer FSCS protection, possibly up to the maximum £85,000 like your well known high street banking groups.
You can find out more about the bonus rate ending and what will replace it.
Is the Chip App Safe?
This is a natural question to ask on a couple of fronts when dealing with our money and actual personal banking details.
Is Our Money Safe if Chip goes Bust
Chip is an electronic money institution. Much like when we deposit money into Paypal it becomes electronic money.
The e-money issuer with whom chip is partnered, Prepaid Financial Services, provides the digital wallet and safeguards the money, which is ring-fenced and held with a major retail bank, in this case, Barclays.
This means the money is safe and not used for any financial activity.
Should anything happen to Chip or Prepaid Financial Services the money is recoverable from Barclays Bank.
However, if Barclays Bank went bust, your money wouldn’t be protected because it’s in an e-wallet, which isn’t covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Is Our Data safe and secure?
Just as important in terms of safety is the protection of our personal data.
Chip claims to always act in full compliance with the Data Protection Act.
Our online banking details are protected with 256-bit encryption. Chip doesn’t store the banking data.
As in the video I linked to above, the Chip representative stated “data protection was at the heart of everything we do” and that they are committed to never selling that data.
Chip App Pro’s and Cons
It makes saving easy for those people who generally struggle to save anything at all.
It’s quick and easy to use.
I’m a big advocate for getting your money to work for me as soon as possible, even in a small way. Otherwise, the value of your money is effectively devaluing at an interest rate below inflation let alone 0% interest.
However, if it’s money you wouldn’t have even saved if it was not for the App you’ll still be ahead.
You could, of course, transfer the money to an interest-paying account at a later date.
E-money funds are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which we would mean they would be lost if Barclays went into administration.
Make the Most of Your Savings
I personally aim to have my money in the highest interest savings or current account. Which if you don’t already have you may be able to find and also make money by switching banks to. Feel free to contact me for the Nationwide referral which earns us both a £100 each and will currently pay you 5% interest for the first year up to £2500 (correct at the time of writing).
Chip has a very comprehensive FAQ section within the App itself.
You can also find more info about the Chip Mobile App, including faqs on the official web site, where there is also a Chip Community forum where you can keep up to date with the latest developments or discuss any issues.
The Chip App certainly makes saving easy & fun (if you like memes and emoji’s etc ) for those people who generally struggle to save anything at all.
However, not paying interest is no incentive to keep your savings with them, so you may be best off periodically moving to a savings account that does.
Have you tried the app, or interested in trying it?
Feel free to let me know in the comments what you think and if there are any better options out there too.