Months of setbacks seemed to have been too much for the banking app that was once hailed as NatWest’s Monzo killer, with Bó now announcing that it is closing down.
“We have taken the decision to wind down Bó and therefore we need to close all customer accounts,” the banking app said in a statement. “Don’t worry, your account will continue to work, your money is safe and we will give you at least 60 days notice before we close your account. We will be keeping our customers up to date with more information soon.”
Users were advised to use up their money or to simply move the cash.
Launched in November 2019, Bó was set up as an answer to the rise of challenger banks like Revolut, Starling Bank and Monzo, which NatWest owner Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) had reportedly tried to buy before deciding to launch its own digital bank.
Bó was offering customers the ability to manage their daily spending, set budgets and goals, and track progress.
However, the app soon faced a lot of criticism and not just for its usability, which was deemed “clunky” and “confused”.
It was soon bombarded with accusations of posting fake positive reviews. It was also saddled with the news that 30% of the accounts applications in the early days were fraudulent.
It attempted to drum up a positive buzz for the app by enlisting the help of influencers, but this didn’t seem to help either.
In January, the executive spearheading the project was said to be leaving RBS.
Then in February it suffered another setback when it was revealed that it was forced to replace 6,000 of their customers’ cards as their old ones were non-compliant with the EU’s strong customer authentication (SCA) rules.
Given the background, it is hardly surprising that the app is now shutting down.
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