New Bank Loot hopes to become the new standard for UK’s ‘neobanks’

There’s a new modern bank about to be launched in the UK.

Dubbed a “neobank” Loot is the kind of innovative new banking service that will potentially challenge the big incumbents. It will take time, but their aim is to provide a service that is SO much better, targetted squarely at millennials.

People can now sign up for one of the first 25,000 Loot accounts that will open later this summer at www.Loot.io.

loot

A bank for the smart-phone age

Loot’s aim is to help you get the most out of life – without getting into debt or worrying about money – all from the palm of your hand.  The new Loot will be opened to customers in tranches of 25,000 people at a time, so those keen to be first should register as soon as they can.

Loot’s philosophy is “life is too short to miss out”.  So – using market-leading technology – it has created a banking experience that shows customers what they can do, when they can do it and how much it will cost them, all without going into debt.  Loot gives customers unprecedented clarity and control over their money and spending, helping them to make the most out of life without worrying about money.  It can even show you, anonymously, how your spending compares to your peers.

 How It Works

Loot works by using a prepaid, contactless MasterCard debit card connected to the app. Each customer has their own Loot account number and sort code, and the underlying banking and money transmission licenses and service are provided by major UK issuer Wirecard Card Solutions Limited.

Loot has no interest in its customers going into debt and so deliberately does not offer any overdraft or borrowing facility. The Loot philosophy is all about helping customers to make optimum use of the money they have, by having unprecedented visibility and control over their spending.

Money can be paid into the Loot account electronically by money transfer, free of charge.  Using the Loot debit card, money can be spent anywhere accepting MasterCard card payments, including online, and cash can be withdrawn from any ATM.

The magic of categorisation

The powerful thing about Loot is the app/bank automatically categorises all of your spending, as it happens, and showing you how much you still have available to spend to stay on budget.

Being about to compare your spending to your peers (anonymously of course) is also a fun feature that will make you more aware of your spending choices.

 Loot Abroad

When you arrive in a new country Loot can show you your balance in the local currency so you know how much money you have to spend.  As you make a purchase, Loot uses a competitive exchange rate, allowing you to spend money abroad.  Loot will provide you with spending summaries upon arrival and departure, ensuring you never lose track of your spending – whatever the currency.

 

In Control

Being tied to an app also offers other benefits. If you lose your card you can simply block and unblock in the app on your smartphone.

What’s the catch? 

All services are provided free of charge other than foreign exchange from which Loot will earn a fee from the exchange rate, although this rate will be very competitive.  In time, Loot will also earn revenue from partner retailers etc when Loot customers take up special deals and discounts offered to them.

 

Smartphone users can sign up NOW for the new Loot version 2.0 by registering at www.Loot.io or later this week download the new app from the App Store.

Are you tempted to try a new bank designed for the 21st century?

Travel insurance warning in the busiest week for holiday bookings

Delaying arranging your travel cover could prove a costly mistake

Over five million* people will make their summer holiday bookings before the end of February with the third week in January traditionally being the busiest for those wishing to combat the winter blues**. However, Gocompare.com is warning holidaymakers not to leave arranging their travel insurance to the last minute or risk losing some valuable cover.

Although many travellers would say their main reason for buying travel insurance is for the medical cover or to protect their luggage, travel insurance can also provide protection against events affecting you before you even leave your home. Around 34% of travel insurance claims made by UK holidaymakers in 2012 were for costs related to cancellations with an average claim value of around £700, second only to the average medical costs claim of £900***.

However, because travellers are only covered for events they didn’t know about before buying their insurance, the sooner they buy the policy, the more likely it is they’ll be covered if something goes wrong before their holiday starts.

Gocompare.com found that cancellation cover is standard on 96% of the 452 single trip travel insurance policies with some comprehensive policies covering up to £10,000, with some even offering unlimited cover per insured person. Cancellation cover would allow the holidaymaker to reclaim the costs of their holiday, up to the cover limit and minus any excess, should certain circumstances arise before taking the trip. These may include a serious illness or injury affecting someone in the travelling party or a close relative, such as a parent, child or sibling, who isn’t travelling but with whom they would like to remain at home.

Having a major incident such as a serious fire or flood at home may be another genuine reason why you might want to cancel or postpone your holiday, but may be covered for under your travel insurance policy. Also, being called up for jury service isn’t something you can usually turn down just because you’re off on your holiday but if you didn’t know about it before you arranged your insurance you may be able to reclaim some or all of the costs of cancelling or postponing your trip.

 

Caroline Lloyd, travel insurance expert at Gocompare.com, said: “Holidaymakers have to bear in mind that they cannot insure themselves against an event taking place or circumstances arising which they were already aware of. If a family member becomes seriously ill in the lead up to your holiday you cannot then take out travel insurance with the intention of cancelling your trip. Likewise you cannot hear about potential serious disruption to your travel plans, such as that caused by striking airline staff and expect to be able to claim if you subsequently decide to change your plans. The insurer will check when you could have first become aware of the potential disruption to your holiday before deciding whether your claim is genuine.

 

“So even though it may be several months from when you book your holiday to when you actually travel, it’s a good idea to take out your travel cover soon after you book your holiday rather than leaving it until just before you go. That way you’ll benefit from any cancellation cover provided by your policy as soon as you buy it, giving you several months of valuable protection in the lead up to your trip rather than just the week or two of your actual holiday if you leave it late. It’s a false economy to delay arranging your travel insurance.

“Cancellation cover is a frequently overlooked benefit of travel insurance compared to say medical costs cover. But as figures from the ABI show, it helps hundreds of thousands of consumers reclaim cancelled holiday costs every year. Cover levels vary greatly from policies offering no cancellation protection at all to unlimited cover per insured person so make sure you choose the right travel cover for you based on the protection you want rather than the policy with the lowest premium.

“One final money saving tip – don’t be so rushed that you buy your holiday operator’s packaged cover though. It’s usually one of the most expensive ways to get travel insurance and you should be able to find a better value deal quickly by comparing policies online.”