Dutch bank ING is set to launch a free mobile app called Yolt in the UK on Tuesday (18 October). The app will allow users to view their multiple bank accounts and credit card information on a single platform.
The app requires an approval from the account holder to check the banking and credit card details, will help users manage their finances carefully. It will inform users about the days remaining for a their next payday, the payments they have to make by then and the amount of cash they can spend per day to avoid a negative or zero bank balance. Apart from these features the app will display a user's spending according to various categories and will allow them to determine the best savings plans.
Through Yolt, a user will only be allowed to view data and will not be able to make transfers or payments. The app will initially be restricted to only 2,500 customers for beta-testing, which could be followed up with a full-fledged launch in early 2017.
Commenting on the same, Ignacio Vilar, ING's chief innovation officer was cited by the Financial Times as saying, "We built the aggregator in the way that people think about money; how long is it before their pay date; how much are they spending and what is the risk of them going overdrawn?
"We believe we have to reinvent the way we are providing customer service; this is where becoming a platform and the place to go is core to our strategy."
The app's launch marks the Amsterdam-based bank's return to the UK after four years. In 2012 ING had sold its UK operations to British bank Barclays. The proceeds were used by ING to help repay the Dutch government, which had bailed it out during the 2008 financial crisis. According to reports, the launch of the app could lead to ING re-launching its UK operations.
ING's move also comes at a time when both UK and European regulators are pushing banks to allow rival banks and financial technology companies to view their customers' data. In August, the UK Competition and Markets Authority asked high-street banks to adopt a digital standard called "open banking" by 2018. This is said to allow sharing of a customer's account and transaction details with third parties, provided the customers approve.