The banking app Cleo has announced that it is temporarily taking a break from the UK to focus on its US banking app. Cleo is a chatbot app that uses artificial intelligence to help users manage their finances in a fun and easy way. It was launched in 2016 and has since amassed over 2.6million users worldwide.
Why is Cleo taking a break from the UK?
Cleo has recently announced that it is taking a break from the UK, sharing the news in a blog post on its website and via a pop up on its app. Cleo says it is planning to focus on its American users as that is where 99% of its customers are based. It said that taking a break from the UK would help them to improve its app and understand how to better support UK users in the future. The Cleo app is no longer available to download on the App Store or via Google Play in the UK.
What does this mean if you have an existing Cleo or Cleo+ account?
If you have an existing Cleo account you will still be able to access the app via your mobile phone but if the app is later deleted you will not be able to re-download it. Those who have access to the existing app on their phone will not receive any further updates via the App store or Google Play. Despite this, existing users will still have access to Cleo's free features such as Roast Mode, Budgeting and the Chat feature.
If you were subscribed to Cleo Plus you will have been notified that subscription renewals stopped on the 19th January 2022. This is because Cleo is stopping support for Cleo Plus and the Cleo Wallet in the UK. As a result, you will lose access to the following features if you were a Cleo Plus subscriber:
- All Cleo+ features such as Salary Advance and Cashback
- The Cleo Wallet
- The Swear Jar and Round up savings features
As a Cleo+ user, you will still be able to access basic features of the Cleo app which includes the free budgeting features and the Roast and Hype modes available via the chat function.
Can I withdraw the balance from my Cleo wallet?
If you have money in your Cleo Wallet then you are encouraged to withdraw the full balance as soon as possible. On its website, Cleo recommends users do this within the next 30 days. If you need to withdraw money from your Cleo Wallet this can be achieved by navigating to the Chat tab and typing 'Withdraw £(your full balance amount)'. Cleo has said that it will email users with reminders to withdraw the balance from the Cleo Wallet and that 'all deposits are 100% guaranteed' even if you miss the cut off date. If you have any problems with your Cleo account you can email [email protected] for help.
If you have an active card or bank account and have not withdrawn your money within 30 days, Cleo may try to send the money to the active account connected to Cleo.
Is Cleo going to return to the UK?
Cleo says it is planning to relaunch in the UK within the next 12 months. You can stay up to date with the relaunch of Cleo by signing up to the following mailing list.
Cleo closing - Who can I contact?
If you need to contact Cleo about your account you can email [email protected].
What are the alternatives to the Cleo banking app?
If you are disappointed that Cleo is pausing accounts for UK customers there are a number of alternative banking apps that can help you to sort your finances. We highlight some of the budgeting and savings apps below but more information can be found in the following articles, 'The best budgeting apps in the UK' and 'The best savings apps in the UK'.
If you would prefer to budget and save your money from a UK bank account then you may wish to look at the UK banking apps Monzo and Starling Bank*. These app-only banks have a number of useful budgeting features including spending categorisation, savings pots and round up spending. More information on the app-only banks can be found in our reviews:
Emma is a free budgeting app that connects all of your accounts in one place so that you can track and analyse your spending habits. By doing so Emma can highlight where your money is spent each month and can even find and highlight any wasteful subscriptions. Emma has three accounts to choose from ranging from £0 - £9.99 a month. One thing to consider, however, is that unlike Cleo, Emma does not use artificial intelligence to automatically save money for you. If this is something you are looking for, you may prefer to take a look at savings apps Chip or Plum.
More information on Emma can be found in our Emma review.
Money Dashboard is another free budgeting app that is very similar to Emma, allowing you to track spending from all of your accounts in one place. Money Dashboard categorises your spending and tracks your spending habits from payday to payday to allow you to get a better understanding of where your money goes each month. Money Dashboard also offers features such as custom categories and offline accounts which are pro features on other budgeting apps like Emma.
More information on Money Dashboard can be found in our Money Dashboard review.
Plum* allows you to link your bank accounts to gain a better understanding of your spending in one place. Like Cleo, Plum also uses Artificial Intelligence to analyse your spending and suggests amounts to save without you having to do anything. You can also earn a small amount of interest on your savings with Plum Interest Pockets. Plum also offers an investing account from as little as £1 a month.
If you would like more information on Plum, read our Plum review.
Chip is another free banking app that uses Artificial Intelligence to help you build a savings pot. Chip can help you to stay motivated when saving by setting savings goals and tracking your progress as you save. Like Plum, you can also upgrade your membership to an investment account which gives you access to a range of investment funds.
For more information on Chip, read our Chip review.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses - Starling Bank, Plum