I think it’s safe to say that the global Covid-19 pandemic that dominated Q2 2020 presented Chip, and all businesses with an extraordinary challenge. But we’ve met that head on and continued to deliver some revolutionary features that will change how we all manage our savings and wealth.
After navigating a very unusual first half of the year, Chip’s next challenge is to ensure we continue to keep delivering new features in a sustainable way.
Part of this is building new great features that our community wants and needs, but as a business this also means ensuring we make revenue.
Earlier this week, you may have read the announcement we made on the change to our fee structure coming on 3 October 2020, where we will start charging anyone who wishes to use our AI and autosaving £1.50 every 28 days.
Chip is still free if you wish to just manually save, deposit into an Interest Account, or withdraw no more than once a month.
However, where we offer added value through digital wealth management services (i.e. automatic saving), we charge a small fee.
Obviously this was a big talking point throughout the Q&A, so I’ll go into the fee in some depth before outlining our roadmap and upcoming returns features.
To see a copy of the official fee announcement, click here.
This fee is simply part of a revenue plan that would both ensure we can pay our amazing staff and have access to the resources to build new features to deliver the best savings app in the world.
In June, we introduced a £1 monthly fee on all autosaves over £100. This was a watershed moment for Chip, answering the fundamental question of whether customers are happy to pay for our AI service.
However, to be frank, we found having only some of our savers paying £1 per month didn’t go far enough to sustainably cover the costs of providing our AI saving service.
A pretty fundamental rule of any business is to make sure you only sell a service at the point you deliver value.
We’ve seen in the countless reviews and feedback, customers say “I really like the autosaves, I never used to be able to put money away before”, and so we intercepted that point of value and asked if they’d be willing to pay a small fee for that.
But the real proof is in the numbers. Our AI has saved the average Chip customer £1,800 a year without noticing, and we’ve put aside more than £150 million for our savers in total.
We hope this is a service people are willing to pay less than £20 a year for. Also fundamentally, if you don’t want to use our AI to manage your saving, Chip remains free.
Now we want to democratise the way you save, by creating a seamless access to products only the super wealthy could access.
Think of Chip like being your personal wealth manager, making sure you’re doing what you should be doing with your money.
Our current priority is giving all Chip savers access to market leading interest rates with the introduction of our Interest Accounts.
In the wake of Coronavirus, many deposit-taking banks are reducing their capacity for taking on new deposits, which is why we’ve had to drip feed access to Interest Accounts.
However, we are very close to providing unlimited capacity, so we can open up FSCS-eligible savings accounts with market-leading interest to all users very soon.
Secondly, we are working hard to allow users to autosave into these interest bearing accounts, ensuring it is completely effortless to get the best returns on your savings.
On top of that, we are actively working on reintroducing the highly popular bonus referrals, to reward our savers who bring friends to Chip.
We also have a team who are constantly working on the app behind the scenes, ensuring we have the very best in cyber security and making sure everything is running as smoothly as possible.
We’re building Chip to be a sustainable responsible business. We’re here for the long haul.
We want to become the place people come to manage their savings. Immediately this means ensuring effortless access to compelling returns as well as effortless AI saving services.
But our ultimate ambition is to be a one stop shop for all of your savings and wealth. Chip should be the easiest, simplest, best way to manage your long and short term savings plans. Whether that’s investing in diversified investment funds or depositing into an FSCS-eligible savings account.
We see a huge gap in the market for democratising wealth management and savings services. We want to bring the exclusive services (brokers negotiating access to the best savings accounts and investment funds) that are normally only available to the super wealthy to all Chip savers.
But above all else, we want to make the boring and complex world of wealth, effortless and delightful. You should be able to manage your pension, your ISAs, your investments, from an app. Chip is going to make that happen.
It is looking highly likely that there will be future opportunities to invest in Chip.
We are considering participating in the government's Future Fund scheme, which will give a chance for our savers and members of our community to come on board as investors.
If this is something that interests you, the best place to start is joining our Chipmunk community.
If you are a Chipmunk and are interested in investing, keep a close eye on our Facebook and the community forum for more updates coming soon!
We are building Chip with you, for you, so we welcome any and all feedback.
If you’d like to let us know what you’re loving about Chip, or what could do with some work, please email email@example.com.
Remember your Capital is at Risk and past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you might get back less than you originally invested.