A few weeks with Bó

I’ve been using Bó for a few weeks as my main account; (Well main considering you’re told NOT to use it as your main account due to having no ability to use direct debits, standing orders, pay in cash / cheques and the like. :stuck_out_tongue: )

I thought mostly as the TV over Christmas is cack and I’ve seen few reviews, bar one from The Telegraph stuck behind a paywall why not polish up my writing skills and pen a review?

Onboarding would be an excellent start, after downloading the app and inputting my personal info I hit my first roadbloack… I don’t know why but the app didn’t like my drivers licence, outright telling me I wasn’t accepted… I uninstalled the app and walked away.

A day later I received a text telling me my PIN for my new card and as I had registered my interest I had an email welcoming me and asking me to email if I needed help, I replied that I couldn’t login and was told as I’d left mid sign up flow they needed to help get me back in. Overall the customer service was good and I got back in quickly, just I feel on boarding could be a lot clearer and easier. I still assume my drivers licence must have been accepted despite the computer saying no? When I asked I was simply helped to login.

Overall the app is solid and works well, what’s there that is… Currently it is very bare bones and lacks basic features such as fingerprint login. A six digit passcode is needed on app launch and for confirming a new payee.

I believe that budgeting is the core feature of Bó which is done well but not without a few issues… I can’t for example see how much I can spend as a maximum each day whilst still hitting my goal, just today’s, yesterday’s and days left in budget, with a large circle showing how much of your budget is left over.

A saving target is available to set up from your budget but from a sample of £500 I set aside. I can either select a “leftover target” of £90 or £120; why can I not set it at £100 or any number I wish, which is the same with the single “Piggy bank” pot which has me having to set up a new budget if I want to send money over to it from my target amount!

I find categorisation and retailers to be the worst feature, to the fact that it’s pointless… Amazon has way too many different descriptors from “Amazon.co.uk Amazon.co” to “Amazon EU” along to others such as a bar “Brewdog Tower Hill” to Brewdog Tower Hi" depending on what payment terminal was used. I find it almost impossible to tell for example how much so far I’ve spent at Amazon without having to tally up three or four different merchants.

Also images for common merchants are completely missing with no way to suggest an update or inclusion, such as SouthEastern Trains, Arriva and Wetherspoons when paid via app.

Overall I believe Bó have a good but basic product to start, as for whether it should have been released this early… I’m unsure, budgeting feature wise, Monzo is far, far ahead and there’s little of note so far… I’ll be sticking around as when I’ve needed support customer service have been great and it’s nice to have a free foreign spending card again. Although I’m really hoping that in the new year Bó pull some things out of the bag and really go for it.

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Nicely penned, @thom_horne.

Out of interest - why have you made this account your main over any others?

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I was curious how it worked. I liked the idea and it looked an interesting new take of it’s designed as a spending account.

All I had to do is move one or two payments over ie. giffgaff and Patreon so it took little effort. Afterwards I put all my day to day spending on the card.

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Just a few add-on notes from the last two days:

I’ve also noted that currently (at least on Android) that payees cannot be deleted, you cannot change your app PIN yourself and if you get it wrong whilst logging in it only tells you the generic message of “Oops! Something went wrong! Please try again later.”

Catergories do not stick, ie. changing a Marks and Spencers charge to “Eating Out” (from “Groceries”) will not change any future payments, meaning each time I have to change it back to “Eating Out.”

Any and all active card checks are shown… and seem to stay marked at £0.00 and PENDING forever… I’ve now so many Google checks from using Chrome’s autocomplete a card number feature that my feed looks a complete mess. :stuck_out_tongue:

Overall for me as it stands Bó is way too basic to use day to day, added with a great level of customer service (but very limited opening times for support) I’d have a hard time recommending.

… Here’s hoping they pull something interesting out of the bag in the new year.

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Nice detail - thanks Thom.
That card can go back in the drawer…:slightly_smiling_face:

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Face ID is not supported… 6 digits pin instead…
Activated my card few weeks ago and … :coffin:

I just wanted to move some cash out… As an Android user I fail to see why I need to be told this and then tap through a confirmation. (You can only have one device logged in, so no chance of say being on an iOS device AND Android)

I think it’s unclear and makes you think that the app is down before even attempting to login on Android. (it’s not as far as I can tell a typo, I can use and login on Android fine.)

But it does explain why I can’t access the app this afternoon :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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I’ve noticed a sneaky little addition to the accounts limit page with today’s Android update: a maximum cash withdrawal of £1000 per month.

Also PIN reminders (for the card not the app PIN) are now available via SMS.

I really don’t get the thinking behind those limits.

I’m guessing because they want us to spend on our cards at merchants and retailers and not withdraw maybe :thinking:

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They pay for withdrawals, but they get paid for card spend.

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I get the logic of it costs the bank for cash withdrawals and they gain a little for each card transaction; my point is that I don’t remember that limit being there before and only noticing it by chance.

I may not have noticed it before, however if the product has changed I’d have liked an obvious confirmation of any change.

Thanks - I get it now :slightly_smiling_face:

I can’t imagine using £1k on cash in any month. I wonder what subset of users has triggered this change.

Using Revolut and, in the past, Curve, cash withdrawals essentially allow you to get cash from a credit card, minus the fees. I don’t see how that’s possible with Bo, so what’s encouraging people to withdraw lots of cash?

Money laundering risks.