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What is Emma?
The Emma budgeting app calls itself your “Best Financial Friend”. After syncing with your bank accounts, Emma uses open banking to enable you to view and manage your money in one place, track and cancel your unwanted subscriptions, and set budgets and track your spending.
Emma was launched in the UK 2018 by co-founders Edoardo Moreni and Antonio Marino. Since its launch, the app has had over 100,000 downloads and has recently expanded to the United States and Canada.
Key Features of the Emma App:
The Emma app uses a smart learning algorithm to instantly track and categorize your transactions, which is useful for identifying your essential expenses and the unnecessary subscriptions you might want to cancel.
The app is designed to sync your budget to your payday, tracking your payments throughout the month while also alerting you to your future and upcoming expenses by looking at past transactions.
Key features include:
The budgeting section gives you the option to set a budget for yourself in each category, and alerts you if you go over that budget. You can set your budget either payday to payday, or month-to-month-end, which is useful if you’re a freelancer or self-employed and don’t have one single payday.
The categories expand to cover expenses like food and drink, transport, entertainment, bills etc, so can give you a useful instant insight into the spread of your spending. A useful feature of this section is that the app’s smart learning capabilities will offer budget suggestions based on your past spending, so you don’t necessarily have to pluck a random figure out of thin air.
Daily and real-time balances
If you have multiple accounts (investments, bank accounts, cryptocurrencies etc), it can be useful to have all of that data collated in one place and see real-time balances across your accounts.
Emma offers cashback rewards within the app, giving you a certain amount of cashback when you make a purchase from one of their partners or, alternatively, offering a free product/discount which is a nice touch.
Partners associated with the rewards section include Beer52, PensionBee, Farewill, and Pact Coffee.
Emma Pro is the paid subscription version of the app. Features include an accurate net worth calculator, custom categories, the ability to export your data, and advanced transactions editing. It is a year long subscription and costs £59.99 for the year after a 7-day free trial.
What we like:
- User-friendly interface
- Smart learning makes tracking your different expenses very easy
- Categorizes expenses
- Opportunities to save money by identifying unwanted subscriptions
What we don’t like:
- The app can feel a little cluttered when you’re first getting used to it
- You can’t physically move your money from account to account on the app
Who is Emma designed for?
Emma’s main target audience are people aged 25-35, but this can be expanded to anyone who relies on their smartphone for online banking. A real positive about this budgeting app is the user-friendly interface: setting up your account and syncing your bank accounts is a seamless process that takes about 10 minutes, maximum.
What banks are supported on Emma?
Emma supports the following bank accounts in the UK:
- American Express
- Bank of Scotland
- Capital One
- Clydesdale Bank
- Danske Bank
- First Direct
- Lloyds Bank
- Marks & Spencer
- Nationwide Building Society
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Sainsbury’s Bank
- Tesco Bank
- Ulster Bank
- Virgin Money
- Yorkshire Bank
Investment Accounts Supported on Emma
Emma supports Nutmeg and Wealthsimple platforms, and well as PensionBee for pensions and the following crypto exchange platforms:
What Do Others Say About It?
As a relatively new company, Emma hasn’t built up a huge wealth of reviews yet. On Trustpilot, the company has an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5, but that’s based on only 35 reviews. The app reviews provide more insight: Emma has over 2.5k reviews on iOS and a score of 4.7, while it receives a 4.5 on Android with over 1.3k reviews.
The Emma app receives generally positive reviews – the colourful interface is easy to use, the app makes managing your money easy, and the deals and rewards offered within the app are a good selling point.
Is Emma secure?
Emma uses ‘bank-grade encryption’ to keep your money safe, and is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the ICO.
Alternatives to Emma
Verdict: Emma Review
Overall, Emma is a fantastic budgeting app that shows a lot of promise considering its relative youth in the grand scheme of things.
The intuitive interface makes it easy to track and manage your money, set budgets, and monitor your expenses each month, while the pro subscription offers some interesting advantages.