Using Cleo, the chatbot that helps you understand your spending

Cleo is an application that connects to your bank account and then provides a Facebook Messenger chatbot for you to get simple information from your account such as current balance. 

Using Cleo, the chatbot that helps you understand your spending

As is the point with all chatbots, using Cleo means you can check your balance, find out how much you’ve spent and if you’ve been paid without having to come out of Messenger and open your banking app, try to log-in, realise you can’t remember your customer number, etc., etc.

As Cleo says on it’s website, managing your daily finances should be easy than the banks make it. So, type natural language questions such as ‘How much have I spent at Tesco this week?’ and Cleo will tell you how much, ask Cleo if your wages have been paid and it will tell when your wages were last paid in and how much it was, ask Cleo ‘Where do I spend the most?’ and it will reply with a ranked list of how much you’ve spent this month in each category.

What do I think about it?

Needless to say, but I think Cleo is completely awesome. It is so much easier to use than the app provided by my bank (which I don’t use very much because it doesn’t do very much but will be using even less now). It does a really good job of simple things like balance enquiries, but it also provides insights that are actually useful.

How could it be better?

It could connect to PayPal. It doesn’t currently do this and that is the one big downside to getting a good grip on all of your daily finances.

It could access your account to enable you to perform simple transactions such as paying money to people (which could become a group chat between you, the person you are paying, and Cleo). I realise this is most likely against the terms and conditions of my bank account, and I get the security reasons why Cleo doesn’t do it at the moment but as biometric authentication gets better it’s definitely something I’d like to see.


I’ve been using it for a couple of hours and already have a better understanding of my finances than my bank ever provided me with. Everyone should use Cleo.

An awful email from my bank 

I received an email from my bank. It’s the same email I get every month. That’s the only reason I know it isn’t spam, because looking at it, it sure looks a lot like spam.

“Dear Customer”! What do you mean,” Dear Customer”? Don’t you even know my name? When it comes to email personalisation, that’s day one stuff. You have so much data about me that could be used to personalise the emails I receive and yet you’re not even capable of putting my name in an email.

“Your latest statement is ready for you online now” – But if I want to see it I’m going to have to open a browser, search for your website, click on the result to load your website, navigate to login page, then find this month’s statement, when all you had to do to make it easier for me was to include a link. It’s almost like you don’t want me to look at my statement.

“It will be ready to download as a pdf two days after the statement date” – Does it really take two days to generate a pdf? And what makes you think I even want a pdf, you haven’t asked me? What if I want a .csv? What if I want to connect my account with Google Drive or an Expenses Tracking system and have my statement exported to either of them? It’s the twenty first century. This is not complicated stuff.

“Log in to Online Banking to see more information on your account.” – I could probably do that a little bit more easily if you bothered to include a link to the login page on your website. If you are trying to encourage your customers to use Online Banking rather than high street branches, why make it difficult for them?

“Remember,within Online Banking” – When I went to school commas had spaces after them. A major high street bank sending emails to hundreds of thousands of customers with grammatical errors like this doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that they’ll be correct and accurate with my money.

Was this email really worth sending?