Up to this point, our customers have been able to add as many banks as they’d like and update their accounts, on-demand, straight from the app.
Despite these being very costly operations that have a massive impact on our running costs, we have tried to keep them for free for as long as possible by absorbing the rising fees ourselves.
Unfortunately, this is no longer maintainable and we have to make these changes in order to better support our operations and guarantee the service for everyone.
We are still committed to building and developing both Free and Plus plans with a plethora of new features and improvements, but we also need them to be aligned with the rest of the app.
What happens when the changes come into effect?
If you are on a Pro or Ultimate plan, or you are within your allowances on Free and Plus plans, you won’t need to do anything.
If you are currently above the new limits you will be asked which banks you want to keep syncing. Upon selecting them, all other connections will go into an “inactive” state and you will be able to activate them again by going into the “Settings → Bank Logins” view.
Quite disappointed to hear the bank logins are set at 2 for free customers, I have been recommending the app to so many people but it will be a hard sell now seeing as most people have more than 1 current and credit card. Currently with the price of plus, pro, and Ultimate and with the large list of feature requests from the community the value I think won’t be there for most.
Very disappointed to see the new limitations. I don’t think many will see £10pm value in Emma Pro, and it seems a little ridiculous that even those paying for Emma Plus are limited to 4 logins, and will no longer be able to manually sync. I invested in Emma a few years ago as I thought they were going in the right direction, but looks like I will have to switch to a new app for my personal use soon. I stopped using Yolt to and moved to Emma a few years ago for similar reasons - just looked them up and they have now shut down. Hope Emma doesn’t go the same way in their pursuit of monetisation of basic features.
Unfortunately for Yolt, they offered all for free for a long time and that’s the main reason why they ran out of money and shut down. In our case, we are trying to find a balance between the plans, so we can better sustain Emma’s growth and future.
I also think the same limits will be applied to other apps soon.
I understand the need to generate revenue, but the free plan has been so heavily restricted that it will become almost useless for many people, and they will be forced to seek an alternative. Have you considered making the free plan ad-supported instead?
At Emma, we are building a subscription business, so free users are not really useful to the long-term sustainability of the company. With this said, we are happy to keep a free version to introduce customers to our subscriptions later on.
Ads don’t generate enough revenue and are very very very annoying. We’d rather have customers that pay for the work we do to be completely honest.
We also don’t sell data because it’s a waste of time and resources. We want to exclusively focus on the product.
I love the emma and I do pay for pro, I just think currently the pricing structure and whats on offer doesn’t have enough value yet. I think if the pricing would result in faster implementation of features which are worth the cost Id be all for, I just think there will be a lot of jumping ship for the free users.
I’d argue that the free users are critical to the long-term sustainability of the company. Without them, who are you going to promote a subscription to? And if your free service is lacking, why would they stick around long enough to consider a subscription that unlocks more features?
I’d imagine the typical Emma user is more thrifty than the average person, but you are asking them for more than the cost of an Amazon Prime subscription for relatively little perceived value. Just my 2¢, though I know nobody asked for it!
At a quick glance in Emma, I’ve got 16 different “bank logins” and as a free user for many years (and crowd investor), it looks like I’m loss making for Emma. Sorry!
With the number of active accounts I have, I do rely on Emma to help me keep track of them all and to alert me to unexpected transactions or if a balance is running low (or high). That has always been the main purpose for me.
If I’m reduced to only 2 bank logins, I can’t see how it would remain useful. To keep all those connections for £9.99/month (or even with 50% off) is a lot of money, especially when budgets are being particularly squeezed the past few years. I’ve already cancelled other “nice to haves” like Revolut, Curve, Prime and Netflix. It all adds up.
Looking at the paid plans and their features, I don’t attach any value to them as they’re a bit gimmicky or I can usually find better value elsewhere anyway (e.g. switching offers/cashback/savings rates/FX etc.). There was only once where Emma’s broadband switching offer was best for what I could find but it was beaten by Virgin Media’s door-to-door salesman so Emma didn’t get the commission in the end. It’s all highly competitive.
Basically, I can’t justify this subscription in my current situation. Maybe for £20/year I’d seriously consider it but I don’t know if that covers the costs.
I get that Emma as a business has to reduce costs and needs to be profitable, so I hope they’ve got a good crystal ball for how many users will convert to a subscription, stay on the free tier or leave and they did some market research. They’re probably not alone with other startups and fintechs probably having to make similar moves.
It was good while it lasted and I’ll keep an eye on how the plans evolve, but for now, it seems I’ll be looking for alternatives.
Hey @robato, thanks a lot for your feedback. Yes, we have the numbers to back this decision and competitors will follow.
In terms of your situation, that costs everyone in the industry around £60/yr just to maintain 16 bank logins, so even a £20/yr plan wouldn’t make sense, unless they sell your data or send a marketing email a day full of ads.
Like @robato, I primarily use the app as an aggregator, so currently attach limited value to other features.
For me, the price point of the pro/ultimate plans (which I’d need) feels too high when I compare it to subscriptions I have across various other sectors, but very much appreciate your openness re the underlying costs involved, @edoardomoreni.
The UK banking sector is tough, eh? We’re so used to free bank accounts which offer a variety of additional benefits to retain us - even if we’re just thinking about Chase’s 1% cashback on all spending (up to a limit), or Halifax’s £5/month reward.
While I’ll no longer be able to use the app, I’ll be keeping an eye on Emma’s latest news. Lots of great ideas coursing through this business, and among its community.