Autosave technology - snake oil or?

Just received an email saying ‘You’re automatically saving’ £14.53.

How? My linked account has a £0.00 balance and overdraft saving is turned off.

How is the autosave facility supposed to work?

It’s supposed to watch the activity in your bank account and compare deposits and withdrawals to work out what you can save without missing it. However, you’re right, it’s completely rubbish and always tries to take out more than you can actually afford! I switched it off months ago…

Are both your debit card and bank account linked?

I have the opposite impression of the autosave technology. I manually save £1000 a month in my various accounts, the auto save manages to scrape another £100-£200 a month into savings without me particularly noticing any hardship. Its responsible for me saving an extra £1000 or so in the 6 months I have been a Chip customer.

If it is too aggressive you have the settings wrong - there is a default auto setting, with a couple of steps up or down in aggression, as well as the ability to set it to not take anything post a certain mark. Works fine for me.

Is your bank one of the traditional banks? Something I have noticed is my bank posts pending account changes at the weekend, but doesn’t actually update the amount properly until a weekday. Worth checking if that is what is happening.

You can cancel the auto save this time, maybe check the aggression setting as well, ensure its either auto middle setting or lower depending on your appetite and set an amount to not auto save under (i.e. my “stop auto saving” marker is a balance in my current account of £200)

Definitely not snake oil, works well for me.

I have it set at level 1. Still tries to take more than that account can afford.

I definitely wouldn’t call it snake oil - I think it helps a lot of people who for whatever reason aren’t able to take a manual or payday approach to saving.

Have you connected your bank via open banking, or just via debit card?

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I think the autosaving technology is flawed but there is an obvious reason behind it.

The assumption for autosaving technology to work is that it has all the data and therefore can analyse spending patterns and work out what amount people can afford to save.

The problem is many people have or use more than one financial product for spending. Myself I have 2 bank accounts and 2 credit cards. However Chip can only link to one of them, so it does not have all the data. It sees my credit card payments going out as a lump sum each month but has no idea about the transactions that are going on them and the same with my other bank. So Chip really only has access to 30% of my spending transactions, really only my household bills that are paid by direct debit.

The introduction of fintech means having multiple accounts whether saving accounts, bank accounts, pre-pay credit cards, normal credit cards, investment accounts or pensions is much easier.

In order for autosaving technology to be of real use, Chip should be amending its systems to be able to add multiple accounts for each customer and get more data to be able to really evaluate what customers can afford to save. If it doesn’t do this then, autosaving will continue to feel random.

A few years ago there was talk of being able to add multiple accounts but this has never been implemented. Is now the time to revisit it?

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The same has happened to me about three times since joining Chip, despite everything being set correctly. The first time I was told my bank connection had dropped. The last time seems to be the same problem. What I can’t understand is if my bank connection has dropped how does it manage to save at all? I suppose it’s possible it may not actually make the save unless I reconnect. Nevertheless it makes a mockery of the system when you do everything right yet still get messages saying it will save.

Thanks for the feedback/comments. I find Moneybox to be better for my needs. I’m gradually taking everything across to them. The investment side is performing far better than Chip and their savings has just been increased to 0.65% so isn’t too far from the 0.7% being offered by Chip.

I have had a quick look at Moneybox and can’t see an easy access savings paying 0.65% but there is an account the pays 0.47% allowing 1 withdrawal a month
Fees seem to be high for investors with a monthly 0.45% platform fee and a £1 monthly platform fee

It’s the reward savings account:

If it’s not available to the public then maybe it’s available to me because I transferred some pensions into Moneybox.