Money Dashboard is a leading personal finance budgeting app in the UK—but are they the best? We think Money Dashboard should be a prime candidate for you to consider if you're trying to get a better handle on your household finances. Here's why.
- Money Dashboard Review: What we really think
- What is Money Dashboard?
- Money Dashboard vs. Competitors
Money Dashboard Review: What We Really Think
Money Dashboard is a platform that organises your bank accounts, subscriptions, bills, savings goals and budgets in one place, to show you exactly how much money you have until your next payday. It stands out from other budgeting apps in the UK marketplace for a number of reasons.
For starters, if you'd prefer a company with a relatively long track record in the personal budgeting space for peace of mind, Money Dashboard is a good bet. They've been around since 2010 so they have a solid history of trying to help regular people manage their budgets.
And recently Money Dashboard has raised a significant amount of money, which they're using for product development. Last year Money Dashboard raised £4.6 million pounds, consisting of an additional investment from Calculus Capital and over £3.6 million raised in a highly successful crowd funding campaign. They only set out to raise £1.5 million, but over 3,300 investors poured in 245% of the initial goal!
This cash means Money Dashboard has ample funds at their disposal to keep innovating to ensure their app has cutting edge features—and ensure the security and safety of your data. And they are putting that money to good use; they've just rolled out a new app this year called Neon which shows great promise.
Admittedly Neon is still a work in progress, however, and some early adapters had complaints due to Neon missing a few features compared to the older app (called Classic), but it seems like the company has been working flat out to address these concerns and bring Neon up to full strength.
In part, Money Dashboard rolled out Neon to new customers when they did (not waiting for it to be 'perfect') to avoid these customers having to switch over to the new app later on. Makes sense if you ask us. But it does mean that customer ratings on sites like Trustpilot have suffered from complaints made in the early Neon days. For example, we noticed a 1-star review complaining they couldn't delete custom categories after you've created them—a feature that is now available.
There are certainly perks to the new Neon app such as newer technology that allows for faster development and scalability. Plus Neon takes less work for users to set up and maintain. If users are any indication, Money Dashboard has reported that 'user retention on Neon is already better than our Classic version'. They say 'Neon is absolutely a work in progress and there is still lots of functionality to be added' but it seems they are working hard to make this happen.
So overall, we'd say the company has the resources to make great things happen and it seems like they are focused on continually improving the app and giving their customers the product they want. Don't just take our word for it though, Money Dashboard has been named UK's Best Personal Finance App 2017, 2018 and 2020 at The British Bank Awards.
But more importantly, do customers think Money Dashboard is any good? A few customer reviews throw up a red flag or two, but as we've said these complaints may not be an issue for new users. Let's dig into real customer ratings and reviews next.
Money Dashboard Customer Reviews
|Money Dashboard Ratings & Reviews|
|Trustpilot||3.2 out of 5 stars|
|App Store||3.8 out of 5 stars|
Money Dashboard has earned 3.2 out of 5 stars at Trustpilot, but this rating is based on quite a small number of customers (124 reviews at the time of writing) so we wouldn't say it's super reliable. We would like to see a higher proportion of Money Dashboard customers leaving reviews at Trustpilot; this could provide a more insightful glimpse into what customers really think of their experience.
While Money Dashboard has plenty of 5-star ratings (close to half of the ratings gave Money Dashboard an "Excellent" score), there are some lower ratings, too. Regarding the customer complaints, it seems that many of the poor reviews are related to two primary issues, neither of which should be a factor for new account holders.
First, the recent upgrade from the older app ('Classic') to the new app (called 'Neon') caused some issues for a portion of older customers who had spent a long time customising their accounts. Account holders who were set up with the Classic app lost some of this customisation when they transitioned into Neon, such as custom categories not transferring over. There were also some complaints about missing features not yet available on Neon.
Second, in line with FCA directives Money Dashboard transitioned to Open Banking earlier in the year; unfortunately not all of the banks were ready in time so some customer's bank connections were lost. Money Dashboard has been working to re-establish these connections as the banks make them available, and now all of the major banks and providers are supported.
In our opinion, new potential customers shouldn't be too fussed by these complaints, as they shouldn't have the same experience; that is, new customers won't have any of these Classic-Neon upgrade or switch-to-Open-Banking connectivity issues that drove most of the negative reviews. We have included a few of these negative reviews below for full accuracy; just keep in mind that by and large the bad ratings reflect switchover problems from earlier in the year that shouldn't have any bearing on your experience as a new user now. At any rate, let's see what some real customers have to say about Money Dashboard:
"Love the App. Much better than some I have recently tried..."
"Has been great getting my finances in order and giving me a way to plan."
"Finally an app where you can see all your accounts at the same place. I have tried Yolt in the past but trust me, Money Dashboard is much better."
"I found the new app to be fast and intuitive, hooking up with my bank accounts through open-banking seamlessly & giving a fantastic oversight of my current financial position, with many new features & views to absorb. In my experience there are always associated glitches, bugs and gremlins with the introduction of ambitious significantly complex applications like this. Having read some of the reviews I can see the need for some improvements in areas such as tagging and categorisation, and they are happening. Steve Tygar has assured me that the Money Dashboard Team are working tirelessly to ensure that this continues to be the best financial management app available. His track record and that of Money Dashboard speaks for itself, providing an easy to use product, free of charge, accessible from multiple devices, to 100's of thousands of mainly very satisfied users."
"I loved Money Dashboard Classic, but I can't say the same about the new Neon version! ... I had to set up all my categories and budgets again, when I'd spent ages getting them exactly how they worked for me..."
"Since the change over to open banking I currently have only one bank supported..."
And a sample of reviews from the app store:
"... I am nothing to do with the company but I will sing there praises on customer support and feedback, willing to engage to understand what the users want and help if you need it too. I did on setting up one account and it was resolved within hours..."
"I received email saying that the old app would no longer be updated so I thought I had better download this. It’s new so you can’t expect it to be perfect, but if you are used to the old one, it’s pointless."
And we have to say that Money Dashboard seems to take customer complaints on Trustpilot and the App store seriously. They write a thoughtful response that specifically addresses the customer's concerns (and not the generic "We're sorry to hear that you experienced a problem, please email our customer care team" response you get from a lot of companies!).
When they have messed up (e.g., if there is a glitch with a feature) they admit it, explain what happened and give an estimated roll-out time for the issue to be fixed. We really like this transparency and communication with customers.
Let's now take a look at the Money Dashboard platform and see how they compare to alternatives in the market.
How Money Dashboard Works
Money Dashboard is a personal finance tool that aggregates all your financial accounts (i.e., online current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards) into one place. How does this help you? It enables you to see all your spending and cash in one place, to help you understand your spending habits and track your budget. It also lets you see how much cash you really have altogether across all your accounts at any given moment, and if you'll have enough to last until payday.
To understand how much you're really spending—that is, what you're buying and where—transactions are grouped into categories like 'eating out', 'groceries' and 'electricity’. Most common transactions are tagged and categorised automatically, but where Money Dashboard can't figure out what category a certain type of spending belongs to, users have the flexibility to customise the tags.
As you'd expect, Money Dashboard enables you to view balances and transactions at linked accounts as well as some other desirable features on a personal budgeting app such as categorising and viewing your spending, setting budgets for different categories of spend, displaying how much cash you'll have left to spend after bills are paid, and more. Here's a quick description of Money Dashboard's main features:
- Bank connections. Money Dashboard connects with over 45 UK banks and financial providers. You can immediately see your balances and transactions for current and savings accounts as well as credit card accounts.
- Spending Plan. Money Dashboard will show you what's available to spend after taking into account your scheduled bills and payments for the month (e.g., the electric bill).
- Bills & Subscriptions. Bills and subscriptions are listed so you view your scheduled payments in one place (even if you pay them out of different accounts).
- Spend tracker. Money Dashboard automatically assigns categories to your spending, so you can see where your money goes each month. For example, a pizza delivery and curry takeaway would fall under the 'Food & Drink' category (as opposed to the 'Groceries' category) to help you track how much of your food spending goes towards eating out.
- Budgets. Set a 'budget' goal for spending categories to help you spend money the way you want to spend it. While this can help you restrict unnecessary spending (e.g., eating out) it can also help you to enjoy your money when you do spend it (e.g., if you're under budget on eating out for the month, you can enjoy a takeaway on Friday and get the Peking Duck for a treat!).
Money Dashboard Spending Categories
Money Dashboard automatically categorises the money you spend into 14 different buckets so you can see where your money goes. Users also have the option to add their own custom categories if they want to break up the automatic categories or track one form of spending in particular (e.g., coffee shops). Here are the 14 automatic categories and what they include:
- Income. Incoming transactions like salary, pension payments, investment returns, etc.
- Bills. Recurring household bills like mortgage payments, utilities, mobile phones, broadband, etc.
- Savings. Payments in and out of all your savings accounts like ISAs, holiday funds, etc.
- Food & Drink. Money spent eating out at coffees, after-work drinks, restaurant dining, takeaways, etc.
- Experiences. Fun activities like concerts, cinema, gaming, etc.
- Giving. Gifts to other people, donations, sponsorship, etc.
- Groceries. Food shopping at supermarkets, green grocers, butchers, etc.
- Household. Expenses related to running your household like plumbers, electricians, gutter cleaning, garden work, painting & decorating, building work, etc.
- Holiday. Transactions having to do with travel like hotels, flights, travel insurance, etc.
- Personal Care. Health and wellness spending like the dentist, spa treatments, gym memberships, etc.
- Shopping. Purchases made at high street shops and online stores for clothing, books, accessories, and other goods.
- Transport. Taxis, public transport, car payments, car insurance, fuel, etc.
- General. Miscellaneous spending including cash withdrawals, Paypal and Amazon
- Transfers. If you move money between your own accounts
- '+'. Custom categories, for instance if you want a finer category breakdown or say to track the cost of owning your dog.
How do I sign up with Money Dashboard?
First you'll need to create an account, which you can either do online via the Money Dashboard web app or by installing the mobile app from the App Store or Google Play. Click here to get started.
During the sign-up process you'll be presented with a list of major UK bank account providers. When you select your bank(s) Money Dashboard will tell you what details are required to connect your account(s). If you have multiple bank accounts but only want to start with one for testing purposes, you can add more accounts at a later date through the ‘Accounts’ screen when logged in.
Why Money Dashboard is so useful
By aggregating accounts in one place, users can glean valuable insights about their spending habits—and this is the first step towards managing a household budget. So if you want to spend less, save more and generally have a better understanding of where your hard-earned money goes, a tool like Money Dashboard can provide invaluable support—it saves you from having to manually aggregate your accounts with Excel or pen and paper each month.
Is Money Dashboard Safe?
If you're wondering if you can trust Money Dashboard—that is, is Money Dashboard secure—the short answer is yes. Let's look at the behind-the-scenes tech and the regulations Money Dashboard has to abide by.
For starters, in terms of regulation Money Dashboard is regulated by the FCA. If fact, every UK provider that uses Open Banking to offer products and services must be regulated by the FCA.
Money Dashboard uses Open Banking to get your banking and spending data in order to show you insights about your personal finances and help you manage your budget. This means that the log in process to connect your accounts is handled by your bank so you don't have to worry about sharing your login details; then the bank grants access via an API. The biggest banks and building societies are enrolled on the Open Banking Directory, and others are in the process of enrolling.
What is Open Banking?
Open Banking is a secure way to give providers like Money Dashboard access to your financial information—and by doing so, these providers can offer tailored advice for you based on how you use your account. It was set up by the Competition and Markets Authority for the UK Government.
The idea behind Open Banking is to enhance competition and help consumers access suitable products at cheaper prices. In part, Open Banking came about because older, larger banks weren't working hard enough for their customers; meanwhile smaller, newer banks found it difficult to expand into the market.
How to Contact Money Dashboard Support
If you need help with your account or something isn't working, contact their help desk by submitting a new ticket here. If the issue is simply that you're getting an error when linking up an account, Money Dashboard advises first waiting a few minutes then trying again. If that doesn't solve the problem then get in touch. They can help sort out:
- Bank account information or connection
- Issues with the Money Dashboard app and/or site
- Issues or requests related to your Money Dashboard account
- Needing general help
- Communicating a request, feedback or complaint
We've noticed that Money Dashboard also responds to complaints left on review sites like Trustpilot.
Money Dashboard Supported Banks
Money Dashboard works with all of the major UK banks, and they're working to expand the offering. For example, WiseAlpha is coming soon to the platform. If you don't see your bank or provider here, you can email a 'New Provider Request' to Money Dashboard using this email address: [email protected]
- American Express
- Aqua Card
- Bank of Scotland
- Burton Card
- Capital One
- Debenhams Card
- Dorothy Perkins
- Evans Card
- First Direct
- Fluid Card
- House of Fraser
- Laura Ashley Card
- Lloyds Bank
- Marks and spencer
- Miss Selfridge Card
- Natwest Bank
- Outfit Card
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Starling Bank
- Tesco Bank
- Topman Card
- Topshop Card
- Virgin Money
- Wallis Card
- Yorkshire Bank
What Money Dashboard could improve
After scouring the customer reviews, we've come up with a list of features that existing customers are looking for with Money Dashboard. Hopefully in the future the app will include this expanded functionality:
- A calendar view
- Intuitive drag and drop features
- The ability to add bills where and when you want
- The ability to split transactions into different categories
- The ability to support John Lewis credit cards
- The ability to manually add transactions for 'offline' accounts such as cash or pre-loaded store cards
What's the Value of Money Dashboard?
Money Dashboard is a private company, so it's hard to say. But in 2019 Money Dashboard raised money through a crowdfunding effort at CrowdCube, which reported a pre-money valuation of just over £21 million. (A pre-money value does not include external funding or the latest round of funding.)
Remarkably, Money Dashboard was only looking to raise £1.5 million—they reached this target in a mere 45 minutes, finishing the round with £3.6 million from over 3,300 crowd funders. Additional investment from Calculus Capital and Scottish Investment Bank brought the total raised to £4.6m.
Money Dashboard generated over £970k in annual revenue in 2018/19, with an EBITDA of -£958,966.
Neon is Money Dashboard's new app, which is built on the latest technology and infrastructure. It makes the best of Open Banking, using APIs to connect to banking providers for a faster and more reliable service. Additionally, users will benefit from Money Dashboard being able to roll out new features and improvements and fix glitches much faster than with the Classic app.
More than 200,000 customers use the Money Dashboard app and their strategic plan is to reach one million users by 2024.
No, Money Dashboard is not a scam. They are powered by a world-renowned personal finance platform that works with the leading banks; they have raised millions in investment from individuals and companies like Calculus Capital and Scottish Investment Bank; they have hundreds of thousands of users; and they've been in business over ten years.
Any account can theoretically be connected to Money Dashboard, if the provider is part of Open Banking. Certain savings accounts and ISA don't currently come under the PSD II legislation for Open Banking and therefore can't be connected to Money Dashboard via Open Banking (but you can still manually add the details of these accounts to your Money Dashboard account).
Yes, Money Dashboard is free for users. There is no annual or monthly fee, nor a sign up fee.
Money Dashboard uses anonymised banking data to produce market research on trends in personal finance spending and saving. These insights, which demonstrate behaviours across the mass of customers, are sold to third parties to generate income and keep the app free for customers. Individual customer data is not sold on, only trends identified across the whole. In addition, Money Dashboard earns fees if you buy credit cards, home loans or insurance products—they may periodically recommend products or services that they think might save you money.
Money Dashboard shines for people with multiple banking and credit card accounts. If you only have one bank account, and your credit card is linked to that account, then you may not get much added value from Money Dashboard. That said, if your bank doesn't offer a way to 'visualise' your spending (e.g., by lumping spending into different categories) then Money Dashboard can still be valuable for those with just a single account.
Money Dashboard Alternatives UK
Money Dashboard vs Yolt
Yolt is a relative newcomer to the space, having launched in 2017. Owned by ING, Yolt is also free to use. Yolt is only available via the app; there is no web interface. And the user interface seems a bit less robust (e.g., graphs) but Yolt has a payment feature called Yolt Pay that lets users transfer money to other people using Open Banking APIs. (Both Neon and Yolt support transferring money between your own connected accounts.)
Money Dashboard vs Emma
While Emma is also a highly-regarded budgeting app, the full version is not free. Users need to upgrade to the paid version, Emma Pro, for access to features like custom categories, exports to Excel and creating manual accounts to track cash or accounts that are not part of Open Banking. Emma Pro costs £4.99 a month (approx £60 a year if you pay monthly, although 6-month and 12-month plans are slightly cheaper.) Emma has recently expanded into the US and Canada.