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Should You Be Using CLEO?
Budgeting

Should You Be Using CLEO? 

By 2021, a shocking 2.48 billion people will use Facebook Messenger on their mobile device. The sheer number of users has turned Messenger into a valuable tool, leading to the creation of helpful bots that take advantage of the platform. Cleo started as one of those bots, but it’s also a handy smartphone app. It was created by a UK company to help people manage their money better. If you are wondering whether Cleo is right for you, here’s what you need to know.

What Is Cleo?

At its core, Cleo is a chatbot that focuses on the world of personal finance and money management. It’s designed to make keeping an eye on your accounts fun while ensuring critical information is always at your fingertips.

How Cleo Works

To take advantage of everything Cleo has to offer, you have to register. The app needs read-only access to your bank accounts, ensuring it can find answers to the questions you may ask.

Once you’ve registered, Cleo takes a look at your banking activity. This allows Cleo to identify trends and habits, give budgeting advice, and provide quick access to certain kinds of information, like account balances and whether transactions have cleared.

Cleo can answer more than 10,000 questions, and the artificial intelligence (AI) technology that drives Cleo continues to get more sophisticated as users take advantage of what it has to offer.

Part of what makes Cleo stand out is the chatbot’s personality. It can be friendly and funny, and you can even set it up to roast you.

Cleo’s Main Features

Overall, Cleo has a decent number of features. The biggest one is the ability to ask simple questions and get answers about your finances. You can choose how you want Cleo to respond to you, too. You can set it to hype you up, giving the answers a positive twist. You can also choose to have it roast you, which can lead to criticism for poor choices.

You also have the ability to play games through Cleo. These help boost your financial awareness, increasing your personal finance-savvy while having fun.

Plus, you can use Cleo to track spending and account balances as a starting point. However, the chatbot can also help you create and stick with a budget. You can tell Cleo how much you want to spend in a specific period, and it will keep an eye on your purchases and send alerts if you get close to that line. It can also focus on particular spending categories if you prefer.

Another benefit of Cleo is its ability to help you figure out how much you can afford to save. It will review your transaction history for insights. Then, it can calculate how much you can set aside without undue hardship. The smart save feature will let you know before it makes a transfer into your Cleo wallet, the built-in savings vehicle, allowing you to intervene if you think it’s too much.

Set Savings Goals

Additionally, you can set savings goals to help you stay on target. You let Cleo know how much you want to save and when you’d like to hit your goal, and the bot will assist you in making that happen.

Now, it is important to note that cash in your Cleo wallet isn’t earning interest. Cleo isn’t a bank, so it can’t offer you that. But your cash is securely stored, so there isn’t much risk in using the feature.

If you go the Cleo Plus route, you can get a few extras, like cashback or the ability to request salary advances, if you qualify. However, this can come with a fairly heavy price tag. Access will run you $5.99 a month, which may be more than some people can afford.

What You Can Ask Cleo

Technically, you could ask Cleo anything you’d like. However, the bots answering capabilities mainly focus on questions like:

  • What’s my current balance?
  • How much did I spend at [retailer] this week?
  • How does my budget look?
  • What bills are coming up this month?

When you ask a question Cleo can answer, you’ll get a quick and reasonably detailed reply. Overall, it’s very convenient.

Data Security and Privacy

Generally, security and privacy are reasonable with Cleo. The company touts bank-level (256-bit) encryption and security practices to safeguard data, and it doesn’t store the login credentials for your bank accounts.

Cleo states that it doesn’t sell, distribute, or lease personal data to third parties. Your information is only shared when it is necessary for providing services.

How Cleo Makes Money

Along with earning cash from Cleo Plus subscriptions, the company also makes money through affiliate deals. Cleo recommends various financial products to users. With some of them, if you click, sign up, or engage with the recommendation, Cleo is compensated for that. It may also get some income if you use any of the cashback offers, giving it another cash stream.

Ultimately, this isn’t unlike many other personal finance apps. However, Cleo isn’t completely open about how it makes money, so there could be other avenues in play, as well.

If you struggle with managing money, Cleo could be a great tool. It gives you insights into the state of your accounts in a fun and engaging way, and many of its services can help you stay on target.

However, saving money in your Cleo wallet won’t earn you interest, so keep that in mind. Additionally, the bulk of the experience involves interacting with a bot. If that isn’t your cup of tea, Cleo may not be a great fit.

But, if you enjoy the conversational approach, Cleo could be worth trying.

Did this CLEO review make you more interested in the service? Have you tried CLEO and want to tell others about your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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