LS:N Global is a division of: The Future Laboratory

Chatbot money manager

27 : 10 : 2016 Plum : Mobile Money : Facebook Messenger

London – Plum is a new Facebook Messenger chatbot that helps users save their money.

  • The app, Plum, tracks users’ incomings and outgoings in order to establish spending patterns
  • Every couple of days it transfers money from their current account to a Plum savings account
  • Money in the Plum savings account can be accessed quickly if needed for unforeseen expenses
Plum app, London Plum app, London

Co-founded by the entrepreneurs Alex Michael and Victor Trokoudes, Plum is an AI assistant that uses algorithms to analyse users’ spending patterns over three to 12 months, moving small amounts of surplus cash into a Plum savings account on a regular basis, therefore reducing the temptation to overspend. It alerts users each time a transaction is made, updating them with the total amount saved.

Michael and Trokoudes developed the invitation-only financial assistant on Facebook Messenger rather than creating a separate Plum app, as Messenger, which reached 900m users earlier this year, provided the perfect opportunity to tap into an already engaged Millennial audience. The chatbot is tailored to integrate with Facebook’s identity, using a conversational messaging tone and emojis to interact with users.

As we recently explored in our macrotrend The Dislocated World, consumers increasingly distrust traditional financial institutions while new systems such as blockchain and new digital-first start-ups are rapidly disrupting the sector.

‘There has been a trend of consumers starting to trust fintechs over the past five years,’ Trokoudes tells LS:N Global. ‘It started with consumers trusting companies such as TransferWise [and] Nutmeg with investing their money.’ Plum seeks to instil confidence by stating prominently on the site that if offers bank-grade encryption and promises never to store users’ login details.

There is a current trend for AI-operated financial advisers, with Chip offering a micro-saving service similar to Plum, while Cleo acts an interactive budgeting assistant that advises on users’ spending.

The Big Picture

Millennials are searching for more convenient ways to manage their money and brands that are able to persuade consumers that they will handle their finances securely stand to profit. See our Mobile Money microtrend for more on mobile banking.