Plum, the smart app for managing money, has announced its launch in the Republic of Ireland. The fast-growing Fintech helps customers build wealth over time by learning about their income and spending habits to automate personalised financial decisions for each individual.
According to the Bank of Ireland Saving and Investment Index for Q2 2020, more than half (51%) of people in Ireland saved money regularly in the last 12 months, but 47% felt they weren’t saving as much as they would like to. Furthermore, saving has increased during the Covid-19 outbreak as spending dropped by around 45% during the height of the Irish lockdown.
In these fast-changing circumstances, Plum offers an alternative to traditional money management by using APIs made available by the EU’s PSD2 regulations to make the process of saving easy and effortless. Irish customers can link accounts to Plum from four major banks (Bank of Ireland, PTSB, AIB and Ulsterbank) as well as digital bank Revolut Ireland. Once linked, Plum’s AI kicks into action and starts setting aside small amounts every few days, depending on what the customer can afford. The money can be withdrawn from Plum anytime with no limits or charges, and is sent back to the bank for them to process within five minutes.
Victor Trokoudes, co-founder and CEO of Plum, said: “This opportunity is huge. Ireland is home to a lot of innovative companies and, in general, people are very receptive to new technology. People in Ireland also tend to be pretty good at saving money, but often the options for growing that money are very limited. Bank interest rates are incredibly low right now and there’s a lack of one-stop solutions that cover savings and investments in one simple app. We aim to become that solution for Irish savers, with our unique investment platform on its way to Ireland in 2021. There’s no company there that offers what we offer; a holistic approach to wealth driven by technology.
“Overall, we’re expecting to sign up 300,000 in Ireland by the end of the year. Our next steps for expansion will be bringing Plum to Spain and France. We chose these markets for similar reasons to Ireland – strong tech literacy and a big gap in the market when it comes to Fintech apps like ours.”
From Saving to Collecting
Elsewhere, the group collection platform, Collection Pot has also announced its Irish expansion. Collection Pot is used to create virtual Pots, raising money for every kind of occasion, both at work and home. Workplaces can use Collection Pot as an easy way to collect for people leaving, retirements and other occasions. With more people working from home, people can contribute to Pots digitally and add messages. In September, the Collection Pot app was introduced to the Microsoft Teams store as the only group collecting app in the Teams hub.
The fintech has introduced the ability for Irish collectors to select Ireland when they create a Pot, allowing users to both donate and check out in Euros. The new functionality is available through the main Collection Pot site.
Virtual Pots can be redeemed by the recipient in a variety of ways with a catalogue of Irish options- including One4all Gift Cards, which are accepted in over 8,500 retailers across Ireland, Penney’s Gift Cards or to an Irish Visa debit card.
“Collection Pot is at the right point for expansion into Ireland,” said founder of Collection Pot Wendy Carter. “We have some large organisations using Collection Pot regularly for their group collecting in the UK and we are looking forward to working with organisations in Ireland too.
“There is a real generosity in Ireland when it comes to gifting with big celebrations being the norm. With the pandemic, we can’t all celebrate in quite the way we usually would, which makes Collection Pot so useful. Gift cards are also really popular in Ireland, and people are really generous with them.”
The gift card market in Ireland is forecast to be worth US$ 840.7 million by 2024. In addition to gift cards such as One4all, recipients of Pots can also spend their collection by purchasing Town and City Gift Cards, a local gift card scheme that locks spend into places, once schemes are live in Ballinrobe and Drogheda in December.
Adam Stevens, Commercial Director, Collection Pot, said: “Ireland was always a key market for us to develop into. Our user community is vital, we say that every Pot tells a story, and that’s what gives Collection Pot its heart- the reasons that people create Pots in the first place. We look forward to welcoming the Irish community into the Collection Pot fold.”