If logging into your bank apps to check your balances feels long-winded and all you want is a quick breakdown of where your money is going, Cleo could very well be your solution.
This clever little AI assistant lives in your iMessage or Facebook messenger apps, and is basically ready to give you a breakdown of where your money is going and the state of your bank balances.
Once you go through a quick setup process — they just ask you to log into your bank in order to access the data — you can start asking Cleo a bunch of questions about your current balance, a weekly and monthly overview, or to visit your primary dashboard with all this information. If it doesn’t have an answer, Cleo tends to come back with funny little answers like “I don’t have transactions for that time period yet! I’m off to shout at your until I do “.
Now while the whole concept seems incredibly convenient and even fun, but security is going to be serious eyebrow-raiser. First of all, leaving your bank balances (or access to your monthly expenses) accessible on iMessage or Facebook Messenger could be a big no-no for many. You could just delete the message when you’re done, however.
Secondly, and the most fundamental issue, is the question of whether Cleo is secure as a service in itself. On the website’s FAQ, this is what they have to say:
How safe is Cleo?
Cleo is extremely safe and secure. We use bank-level encryption and security practices, and Cleo is a read-only service so no-one can ever move money in or out of your account. To access your transaction history, we either connect directly to your bank’s private API or use Yodlee/SaltEdge, world leaders in financial security and data aggregation. We never store your credentials on our servers and your transaction history is encrypted with all personally identifiable information removed upon receipt. Only you and Cleo can view your transactions.
It’s only been an hour but so far, I’ve actually found Cleo to be quite useful — particularly its ability to pull information about where I’m spending money (and in what categories).
Cleo is totally free to use and you can set up your account here.