If you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to about money then you may need to make friends with Cleo!

Cleo can manage your money, help you make better money decisions and is available 24/7.

Here’s my experience.

Without Cleo saving is boring

According to the recent Millennial Money Survey (a study of over 4,000 UK adults aged 18-35), it found that for 64% of young people, their key short-term objectives are to buy a property, get married and start a family.

But 80% of these people had not started any savings plan or investment plan.

So why is it so hard for millennials, in particular, to get into the savings habit?

Through my work as a Chartered Financial Planner I am constantly trying to do things differently to help get young people more engaged and responsible with their money.

One of the things I find is that traditional financial products and discussions around money are just …. well ….boring really.

The number of times I have told a young person what I do and their eyes glaze over and it’s like they are desperate to get away.

But what if we could change the conversation and make it more interesting?

There is so much great technology being released when it comes to money and it is making managing your money so much easier and actually….. fun!

Meet Cleo

Cleo is a new service that works through Facebook Messenger. It’s a chatbot that is always available to message and ask for details about your money.

This is my experience of signing up to and using Cleo.

I signed up straight via the Cleo homepage on an Apple MAC. It immediately sent me to Facebook Messenger and asked me to sign in. Once in Facebook Messenger Cleo had already sent me my first message asking me to ‘get started’.

The first few messages it sent me were to explain its security and that it is, in fact, a free service. After that, I was asked to connect my first bank account.

Currently, Cleo only supports the larger well-known banks including Natwest, Lloyds Bank, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Santander, Nationwide, Capital One, Metro, TSB, American Express, RBS, First Direct, Co-operative Bank, Bank of Scotland, MBNA and PayPal.

However new mobile banks Monzo and Starling are due to be connected soon.

After agreeing to connect my first account I was presented with a pop up asking me to enter my online banking credentials for the account I was connecting to. Cleo says that they use bank-level 256-bit encryption and only require read-only access to your account. They are so confident in their security that they offer £85,000 in compensation if there are any security issues.

It took about 5 mins to connect to my bank account and I was even able to add more than one account.

Once I had connected I was a bit unclear on how to set up and review my bills. Cleo needs you to double check this so it can understand what’s a regular bill and what’s just a one-off transaction. After a while, I was soon up and running and it was fascinating to have a conversation with an AI Bot all about my money.

You can also go back to the Cleo website and see all your financial records in a more visual way if you prefer.

Cleo could be a game changer

This isn’t just a fad that will get boring, this is genuinely a really quick, clever and useful personal service that makes you feel like you have a friend looking after and teaching you about your money.

You can ask things like:

  • What’s my balance?
  • What bills are coming up?
  • How much did I spend at ASOS last month?
  • What can I afford to save?
  • Can you send money to….

The possibilities are endless. It’s really quick as well as responses come back straight away.

You can even set Cleo up so that it checks your accounts every few days and will automatically save what it thinks you can afford to save. More on this type of saving in a previous blog

Have you used Cleo yet? I’d love to hear about your experience. Join the conversation here

Risk warning:

Stock market linked investments and any income from them, can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. Any figures quoted are for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as a forecast or guarantee. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future returns and clients may get back less than they have invested.