Budgeting apps are booming in the UK. The market for the apps is full of new entrants, whose products are enabled by the launch of Open Banking. These new technological solutions have meant that banks and other financial providers have to now allow access to customer transactions by licensed Fintech startups. This is perfect for budgeting apps as they can now get the financial data from every source for a customer, display it within their own app, and apply budgeting tools to the transactions.
However, the idea of budgeting apps is not new. In this article we compare 2 providers who have been offering budgeting solutions for far longer than many of the new market entrants.
Moneyhub was launched in 2014, and in recent years has become far more involved in the technology side of Open Banking. Recently they received £18 million in investment. Money Dashboard has been offering a budgeting product, initially for desktop computers, since 2011.
Both of these products existed before Open Banking was launched in the UK. However, they both now utilize Open Banking, with Moneyhub allowing integration via that method, and Money Dashboard launching their Open Banking and smartphone app product – Neon, which is based on Open Banking.
Best for: Plans, Costs & Fees
Moneyhub charge a small fee to use their app. The cost depends on where you make the payment:
If you pay Moneyhub directly, then it costs £0.99 per month, or £9.99 for a full year. If you pay for the app via the Apple App Store, then it will cost £1.49 per month, or £14.99 per year. Moneyhub state that they receive the same amount from this, and it is only more expensive via Apple due to their fees.
Money Dashboard is free and has no paid version of their product. They are open about selling your data however, which is their main revenue stream, and thus allows them to offer a ‘free’ product.(see Safety section below).
/ Verdict /
Money Dashboard is free, which is hard to beat. However, Moneyhub costs only £1 per month, and even less if you pay annually, which is not a great deal more than free!
Best for: Features
|Integration||all your financial platforms within the app|
|Spending Analysis||automatic spending analysis on your transactions|
|Spending Goals||multiple goals can be set and tracked|
|Nudges||get automatic nudges updating your progress towards goals and with budgets|
|Categories||transactions are automatically categorized|
|Real-life Advisors||get financial advice from a live person|
|Connections||all of your bank accounts, credit cards and various other financial products in one place|
|Spending Categories||create across all of your accounts|
|Bills and Subscriptions||all in separated lists|
|Budgets||create within the app|
|Available Balance||easily see what is available to spend after all bills|
|Bespoke customization||set up the platform to fit your own requirements|
Moneyhub are integrated with around 26 financial institutions.
/ Verdict /
Money Dashboard support more bank and financial institutions than Moneyhub, but Moneyhub do support all of the biggest providers, so 95% of users will be covered.
Feature-wise, the apps are broadly quite similar.
Best for: Safety and Security
Both Moneyhub and Money Dashboard state that they use bank level encryption, and use Open Banking technology, which means they never have access to your login details or passwords. In addition, they only have read-only access to your data, so cannot make changes or payments (or changes cannot be made to your account via them in the event they were hacked).
Moneyhub state that they do not sell customer data and that is why they charge a subscription fee, so they have a business model that is not dependent on doing so.
Money Dashboard have no fees, and are open about the fact that they sell anonymized customer data to 3rd party companies.
/ Verdict /
It really comes down to whether you have a problem with your data being sold or not. Money Dashboard do this, although it is all totally anonymized, whereas Moneyhub do not sell your data at all.
Money Dashboard and Moneyhub are in many ways similar products. Many of the budgeting apps that have launched recently, such as Cleo, Snoop and Emma, have a far more gamified presentation, and also have various features that analyse your spending, and suggest alternatives, for example saving on utility bills or mobile phone contracts.
Money Dashboard and Moneyhub both have a far more sober approach, focusing on allowing the user to see all of their financial transactions in one place, then applying common-sense budgeting tools such as setting goals, budgets and categories. The approach on both apps is the polar opposite of the social media style used by some of the other apps. Indeed, when using these 2 apps, it feels more like a bank or financial app than a social media experience.
This could be a way for the apps to focus on a particular, older, demographic. It is possible that an older user might be put off by all of the gamified aspects of the other apps, which are generally aimed at a younger audience.
In regard to which of these apps is the best for you? The main difference is with privacy. Money Dashboard is free, but sells your data, whereas Moneyhub has a (very small) subscription fee. If privacy is an issue then that will probably help you decide.
Based just on the features, it is really a case of trying out each app and seeing whether the way the app works fits within your budgeting workflow.