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18 Oct 2021

Yolt app closing in December - what you need to do before the deadline

Yolt's prepaid card will also stop working

Budgeting app Yolt is due to close all of its consumer services to all existing customers on 4 December 2021.

The move will affect Yolt's 1.6 million customers, which are predominantly based in the UK, but also include customers based in France and Italy.

Yolt users will need to take action before this date - particularly if they have money stored in any Yolt savings goals or money jars, or on its prepaid card.

Here, Which? reveals why Yolt's app is closing, and how to successfully close your account and release your cash.

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Why is Yolt closing?

Yolt says it will be changing to focus on its business proposition, Yolt Technology Services, which is says will offer a more effective way to achieve its aim of accelerating the adoption of open banking and giving financial control to as many people and businesses as possible. The Yolt app is owned by global financial institution, ING.

What do Yolt users need to do before it closes?

If you have funds held in the Yolt app - either in a savings jar or on the prepaid card - you'll need to withdraw this before the app closes.

To do this, login to the app and go to the 'Wallet' tab and select the option to transfer the money out. Alternatively, you may be able to withdraw the cash at an ATM, but there's a 95p charge for making withdrawals in the UK, or £1.65 for making withdrawals abroad.

If you don't have an alternative account to transfer the funds to, you can spend the remaining money at a merchant, or transfer the funds to friends or family who do have an account. If you have any issues moving your money out of the app, you should contact Yolt at hello@yolt.com or call its support line.

With your balance at zero, you're able to delete your profile and Yolt account. It's easiest to do this in the app, where you'll need to go to the wallet tab, click on your profile, and then select the 'delete profile' option.

Once your profile has been deleted, your card will be deactivated, which means you can't use it any more. You should cut it up, making sure to specifically cut through the middle of the chip, before throwing it away.

What will happen on 4 December?

Any Yolt accounts that haven't been deleted, but that have £0 balance, will be permanently closed from 4 December.

Yolt is also closing its reward programme, so if you have any unused pending or claimable rewards left in your account, they'll be converted into an Amazon voucher and sent to you. The rewards value will be rounded to the nearest £5. It's no longer possible to earn new rewards through your Yolt accounts.

If you have accounts with any Yolt partners - such as Raisin, Wealthify, PensionBee or Monevo - your accounts will remain open, and you can access them directly with each provider.

What if you don't withdraw your funds in time?

If you miss the 4 December deadline, it will still be possible to access any funds you had left. To do this, you'll need to contact Yolt's helpdesk on 0800 130 3060 and ask for the cash to be moved.

Note that you may be asked to provide a copy of a bank statement for the account you ask your Yolt funds to be sent to. The bank account should be in your name, have your current address listed, and be dated within the last three months.

What if you don't delete your profile in time?

If your Yolt account balance is at £0, your profile - along with the rest of your Yolt account - will automatically be closed on 4 December.

What will happen to your personal data?

When your account is deleted, any bank connections that were set up through open banking will be removed from Yolt's system, meaning it can no longer access data on your balance, transaction history or recurring direct debits. Your accounts will no longer be visible and will stop refreshing from this point.

Yolt will stop processing your data from 4 December, but a copy of the data it had already collected will be kept in an archive for seven years in accordance with GDPR rules and Yolt's privacy policy. It says the archive is locked and will not be accessible for any further data processing; it will only be accessible in cases of legal or regulatory requests.

What is open banking?

The open banking initiative first launched in January 2018, with an aim to encourage more innovation in financial services.

Banks signed up to open banking can now share your data with third parties safely, by plugging into feeds called Application Programming Interfaces (API). This can only be done with the user's permission.

This has spawned the invention of lots of apps and services that can do things like giving you a full view of all of your bank and credit card accounts in one place, develop algorithms to help you budget better, and providing the ability to make payments directly from your bank account rather than having to enter your bank details manually each time you pay online.