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Why it’s so hard to save in 2019

While some lay blame on the avocado narrative for this generation's inability to save, I stand in unison with the innocent stone fruit, and instead ask you to direct your angst towards the real savings suckers of the modern world. 

The wrongly accused perpetrator of deprived savings accounts

The wrongly accused perpetrator of deprived savings accounts

Housing costs, student loans and transport are among the top tier Draculas or Edward Cullens of our bank accounts, ie the ultimate ‘savings suckers’. But we’re not here to talk about them. They get enough screen time in Twilight. So, putting that leech triad aside, where is all of our money going if we’re not saving it?

‘I’m wearing it or I’ve eaten it’ is the preempted comical response, and you’re not wrong; statistically, eating out is responsible for a fair chunk of our transaction history.

However, the recent and rather rapid evolution of modern technology has influenced our spending behaviour more than Instagram has influenced home-workout eBook purchases.

There is a solution to every problem, and it comes at a price. 

 

Our mum is to blame

Not yours, ours - “Mother Fintech”. 

Fintech is responsible for Chip’s existence. We are the love child conceived out of the marriage between the finance and technology industries, who came together over a few Porn Star Martinis to digitise money. 

Household names such as Paypass, Paypal and Apple Pay are examples of fintech innovations, all of which have had a major influence on the way we pay. Fintech has gifted us convenience, immediacy and in turn, more opportunities to mindlessly spend.

Frictionless online shopping

You could be looking on Amazon for a Christmas present for dear old grandma, and next thing you know you’ve bought a courgette spiraliser and a hemp poncho without physically seeing the financial repercussions like our ancestors did when a family of moths flew from their wallets. And who’s responsible? One click ordering. 

Intangible digital money

Looking at a figure representative of our available funds in an app doesn’t have the same impact as the material depletion of £20 notes from our purses. We just mindlessly tap and go without seeing the physical havoc.

We love mobile banking, but it allows us to transfer money between spending and savings accounts instantaneously, creating more ease of access to our ‘off limit’ funds.

Easy credit

Even once you’ve burnt through the ‘off limit’ funds, credit cards parachute down to save the day and provide temporary gratification.

More recently, online institutions have even introduced a ‘spend now, pay later’ option, sending the obstacle of having to wait until payday to complete the purchase into extinction.

We just can’t escape.  

 

As Freddie Mercury once sung, we’re Under Pressure

We are more connected than ever, which is great when you want to check up on an ex, and even greater for advertisers trying to sell you their product or service. Marketers and advertisers can deploy a message globally in a matter of seconds, persuading us to buy, subscribe and repeat.

Our feeds, web browsers, inboxes, morning paper and even tube carriages are inundated with opportunities to spend which, you guessed it, isn’t ideal when you are trying to save. 

LinkedIn reports that we see upward of 5,000 ads a day, most of which are subliminally selling us the ideology that our current possessions/situation is not enough, leaving us dissatisfied and vulnerable to temptation. Even if we succeed at resisting, re-targeted ads slither in and get you expelled from the garden of responsible spending. 

What’s more, with the high turnover of content, we have seen trend lifecycles dramatically shorten making way for more consumption. What was in one week, is out the next and heaven forbid someone outfit repeats. 

 

Help me, I’m (time) poor 

In between the 9 to 5 work day, daily sweat sessions, midweek catch ups and Facetiming your mum, spare time is a luxury few are familiar with.

The glorification of busyness is discussed in self development books and mindfulness articles, and attributes to higher spending in the name of saving time.

Getting an Uber instead of the tube; getting your weekly shop delivered because you can’t bear the walk; frequenting Taskrabbit for trivial chores; getting Deliveroo to the office and a Pret A Manger latte because you can’t spare the 3 minutes at work.

Saving has fallen down the rank of priorities and if we could only find a free time slot in our busy schedules, we would soon realise that. 

Luxuries have become necessities 

We’re all guilty of the ‘lifestyle creep’: as you make more money, what once seemed like luxuries become necessities. Can you imagine a time without 4G, Spotify, Netflix, gym membership or that extra 60p for almond milk?

Our society’s increased purchase power has redefined what is considered ‘normal’. We’ve reached a point where individuals feel deprived without the “basics” that we accept as a standard quality of life.

 

Pity party

‘Learned helplessness’ is a factor stopping many of us from even trying to save. If you’ve never heard of the term, it roughly translates to us all having a subconscious pity party.

I don’t earn enough to save’; ‘I suck at saving’. In a society that has become dependent on immediacy and convenience, it seems our reaction to challenges which require effort and patience is to dismiss it.

 

So, what can you do about it?

We are all victim to the illusion that spending is easier than saving.

The solution’s simple: download Chip and pay 👏 yourself 👏 first. We see you rolling your eyes, but we like to think we’ve mastered the art of making saving easier than spending.

Every few days we’ll stash away an amount you can afford without you having to do a thing. You’re welcome.

Sign up, sit back and see the savings.

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Cheap date ideas in London

Falling in love might be free. But dates sure as hell ain’t. Chip’s writer Sheridan takes us through a few cheap dates in the city of love (*cough* London) to help you find the one, whilst spending a little bit less.

This will be the first in our #CheapAsChips series of articles on ideas to bag bargains and cut costs.

When I say “London” you say “love”, right?

When I say “London” you say “love”, right?

In between the treasured Kodak moments spent lovingly staring at your partner with complete adoration are times when you unwillingly revert your gaze to your battered bank balance, manifesting a slightly different heartfelt feeling; usually taking the formation of a palpitation and/or heart attack. 

There’s no denying it; relationships are expensive. 

£7.99 Hallmark Valentine’s Day card, an extra £23 per week in tube detours (don’t even mention what the extra exposure to pollution is doing to my respiratory system), plus the crippling expense of purchasing another toothbrush to keep at their place. While the reward is invaluable, the ‘maintenance fees’ can make saving that tad bit harder. 

Well folks, we’re here to tell you the price of love doesn’t have to be synonymous with debt. 

We acknowledge London isn’t exactly the city of love, but since Chip HQ is based here, we’ve made it so for the next 10 minutes to list six budget-friendly, romance-friendly date ideas to maximise your savings without minimising the luuuurrrve. 

 

Free tester market crawl

If there’s one thing more wholesome than everlasting companionship, it’s complimentary cubes of aged cheddar hoisted on toothpicks.

London boasts a plethora of food markets, namely Borough, Portobello Road and Camden, all brimming with a myriad of vendors dishing out free testers to satisfy all your sweet, savory and spendless cravings. 

Plus, if you’re still in the early stages of your relationship and don’t want to reveal your grotesque eating habits, bite-sized snacks are a safe option.  

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YouTube cooking class

Do-it-yourself culinary experiences are far more entertaining in pairs. It’s not proven, but we’re making the call. 

Instead of paying £50 at your favourite Indian restaurant, why not learn how to make Butter Chicken for a fraction of the cost? Chances are you’ll probably have enough left over for four days worth of lunches, so it’s a double win in the savings department - provided none of you have the kitchen temper of Gordon Ramsay.

 

Pay less picnic-ing

Low effort, low budget, and yet the humble picnic boasts a historically high success rate. 

Gather up some blankets, pillows, an exotic dip, suitable Spotify playlist, a wicker basket, a lush bit of grass and you have yourself a date. One of our favourite places to lay down the rug in London is Richmond Park - you may even spot a deer! 

If London weather isn’t exactly working in your favour, revert back to the roots of your childhood and pitch a tent indoors.

 

Quiz night 

Who says you need to reserve a table at a Michelin star restaurant that costs you six months pay and a kidney to impress your companion? Win them over with your exceptionally good general knowledge finesse.

London is in abundance of trivia and quiz nights, themes ranging from the Marvel Universe to 80s pop icons. 

Almost always free to participate in, you are guaranteed a laugh and also provided a subtle way to test your partners intelligence, handy when calculating if your offspring will be geniuses. 

See here to find one near you.

 

Primrose Hill

Amazing views and amazingly cheap Sainsbury’s wine are a match made in heaven. 

Nestled in behind Regents Park, skip the temptation of the aglow bars in neighbouring Camden to take in the panoramic view of London with your significant other (bonus points if you time it for sunset). 

Just imagine the Instagram potential. 

Other towns must have something like Primrose Hill…

Other towns must have something like Primrose Hill…

 

Any of London’s museums

All of London’s big museums and galleries are free (just don’t go into the gift/coffee shop). Nothing like looking at some art to kindle romance, whether it’s the pre-Raphaelites that get you hot under the collar, or the Natural History Museum gets you thinking about natural selection…

Tom, our Head of Content (who seems to be a veteran of cheap dates… he’s promised a follow up article), recommends V&A Friday Lates and sneaking into gallery parties to pinch free prosecco.

With all these ways to save, why not create a new savings goal using the Chip app and put away those pennies towards the date of all dates. We’re thinking: Flights + spaghetti for two + cute dogs.

 
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Fintech for beginners

Everything you ever needed to know (but were afraid to ask) about fintech, by Chip’s blogger in residence Sheridan.

Fintech - from paying with your phone through to crypto-currency, technology is shaking up the old world of finance.

Fintech - from paying with your phone through to crypto-currency, technology is shaking up the old world of finance.

We’re all friends here, so let’s get real for a moment.  

How often have you found yourself betwixt a conversation you know absolutely nothing about, paralyzed and too embarrassed to ask for clarification? We’re going to assume there are a lot of virtually raised hands and silent confessions.  

The situation is generally followed by an attempt to conceal any expression that may indicate you have no idea what your interlocutor is talking about, nodding in agreement at timed intervals before faking a bathroom emergency, using this time to desperately ask Siri to debrief you.  

For many, Brexit fintech may well be the buzzword that sends you into this downward spiral of confusion, but rest assured, we have your back.  

 
 

Let’s talk definitions 

We’ll start by clarifying fintech, to my disappointment, is in no way related to shark fin technology. 

Put simply, fintech is a portmanteau of the words finance and technology; an industry alliance that can only be described as an iconic power couple.  

‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what does fintech mean?’, we hear you say. 

Let’s dust off the old Merriam-Webster dictionary (correction, Google), shall we? 

noun 

Computer programs and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services.

Examples of fintech-oriented companies include a few small businesses, you may have heard of them: Paypal, WorldPay, TransferWise, Monzo. Sound familiar?  

The industry hybrid encompasses both business-to-business (like blockchain), peer-to-peer (companies like Splitwise), start-ups (like Chip!) and established tech and finance companies integrating the other into their business, like banking apps.  

In 2019, fintech is ubiquitous. Mobile payment, mobile transfer, crowdfunding and heated arguments about bitcoin have infiltrated our daily routine and we’re not turning back.

As we continue to innovate and develop new technology to satisfy the burning consumer desire for immediacy and convenience, the fintech industry is, in so many words, so hot right now.  

Once upon a time, books were cutting edge tech too…

Once upon a time, books were cutting edge tech too…

 

60 second history lesson  

Retrospectively, the finance and technology industry gave birth to fintech 1.0 in the 1800s. Motivated by financial globalisation, this era encapsulated the first transatlantic cable, all the way through to the introduction of the credit card in the 1950s.  

Fintech 1.0 then rolled over to 2.0 in 1967 with the shift from analog to digital. Fintech 2.0 saw the introduction of the handheld calculator, the first digital stock exchange, first ATM and subsequently the conception of online banking and digitisation of finances with the arrival of the Internet.  

The fintech we know and love today came after the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, characterised by the likes of Apple Pay, Artificial Intelligence, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Augmented Reality.

Smartphones have revolutionised the way we interacted with our money, allowing us to send and receive funds instantaneously and seamlessly, making way for hundreds of new applications and business ideas. 

As one of the biggest disruptors in modern times, the fintech sector in the UK alone generate revenue of £6.6bn per year, home to more billion-dollar startups than anywhere else in Europe.

Technology - it's inexcorably advancing, before you know it our smartphones will look as retro as this. ☝️

 

The Future

*Cue the laser beams and robots* 

Fintech is rewriting the finance ecosystem at lighting speed.  

With technology at the forefront of modern economy, fintech is transforming the traditionally grey stereotype attached to finances into one of colour, and empowering consumers through democratic innovation.  

With no sign of slowing, the number of UK fintech firms are expected to more than double from 1600 by 20303. 

82% of incumbents are predicted to increase fintech partnerships in the next few years, making fintech startups a hot commodity to investors.  

 

Fintech and Chip: A Love Story 

A bit of a polygamous love story at that. Our savvy little app utilises multiple byproducts of fintech such as automation, AI and Open Banking to help us create the best savings app in the world. 

Open Banking, as explained by MoneySavingExpert, means all UK-regulated banks have to let you share your financial data such as your spending habits, regular payments and companies you use with authorised providers - like us. By accessing your transaction history, we harness AI technology to calculate exactly how much you can afford to save every four days and process it automatically. Saving effort, saving money! 

As technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, Chip and the fintech industry are constantly challenging the conventional and redefining the traditional bilateral relationship between finance and technology.5  

To be the first to hear of the latest developments in the Chip app and fintech technology, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

 
 
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Meet Chip's new writer

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G’day guys,

I’m Sheridan - Chip’s new Content Writer. I’ll be writing, well, the content, so get used to seeing my pasty mug next to the blog posts on the Chip website!

I always like to introduce myself with the patriotic ‘g’day’ as a subtle segway into revealing I’m Australian, having traded in the lamingtons for scones in the pursuit of something new.

With a background in marketing and journalism, I’m looking forward to writing about all things Chip, ideally while eating chips - occasionally of the sweet potato kind when I’m feeling extra devilish.

Likes: writing words, reading words, peanut butter, the star emoji, cool pants, espresso martinis, travelling (so predictable), a carefully articulated Spotify playlist, food related activities and having a ‘laff’ (am I using that right?). I also have my own blog, Never Regular, where I post frivolous tales and unsolicited anecdotes.

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Be sure to follow the Chip blog, our Twitter (@GetChip), or Instagram (Get_Chip) to keep up with the latest Chip news.


 
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Keeping up with your richer friends

“No one wants to be the one at the group big boozey meal, who carefully orders the cheapest thing on the menu and only has one drink, and doesn’t want to just split the bill.”

As we launch our new goals update, we thought this would be a great opportunity to share a story from our community, of a young woman who used Chip goals to stop feeling left out from her friends’ big plans.

When socialising is out of reach 🙇‍♀️

I love my friends, but it’s hard being the poorest one in the group.

Well, no, I’m not poor. Not by national standards. I have a good job in London, in an industry I love working in. Like any twenty something over half my salary gets sucked up to rent a place (and no, I don’t live in anywhere fancy, I live in a houseshare on the outskirts of Zone 3). Basically, I get by, but keeping up with my friends is hard.

A thoroughly normal background 🏠

I hope mine is a story a few people out there can relate to! I was a bright kid from a normal comprehensive school, and made it into a good university.

I have a thoroughly ‘normal’ middle-England suburban background; i.e. my parents always made sure we were fed, clothed and got something nice for Christmas and birthdays. But we definitely weren’t well-off; we never really went on holidays, or had anything like the latest iPhones, and my brothers shared a bedroom.

I made some great friends at university who I’ve stayed close with now I’ve graduated and moved to London for work, they’ve been great at helping me settle into what can be a tough town. But as we grow up I’m starting to feel our different backgrounds and income more and more.

Disclaimer: these are stock photos! If they’re sensitive, we’ll keep any community stories completely anonymous. 🕵️‍♀️

Disclaimer: these are stock photos! If they’re sensitive, we’ll keep any community stories completely anonymous. 🕵️‍♀️

Back when we met as students, I didn’t really notice being much less well-off than my friends, as we were all (apparently) scraping by in student digs.

Admittedly, I spent my summers waitressing back in my hometown, whilst my friends generally did high-flying internships or went travelling. And yes, they did come across as a bit posh.

But during term time it just felt like we were all in it together. Especially since we were generally just out drinking cider-black in the student union, or going to house parties.

Feeling left out: where do my friends get their money? 🏰

It was only really when we all graduated and started working that I began to realise there must be a dramatic difference in our incomes, or either that, all my friends are just running up huge credit card bills.

They regularly organise ski trips, city breaks, nice meals, big nights out, west-end shows, and festivals together. And have now started organising extravagant hen do’s. And basically, I just can’t afford to join in 90% of the things they all do together. I try my best to keep up, but I can’t really justify the expense.

I’m aware I should count myself lucky. They’re a great bunch of friends, they’re fun and kind, and we’re all very close. We’re very good at helping each other through break-ups and life’s little struggles. But I just don’t think they really understand what it’s like to need to be careful with your money.

And it’s crap and a bit embarrassing. I don’t really know how to bring it up, and I don’t want to snub them, or spoil the fun. But no-one wants to be that person at the group big boozey meal, who carefully orders the cheapest thing on the menu and only has one drink, and doesn’t want to just split the bill.

I was at a bit of a loss. I thought it’d be a bit extreme to try and get new friends. And avoiding them just seemed ridiculous.

How Chip helped me keep up 🚀

For a while I considered getting a credit card, but I didn’t really like the idea of spending beyond my means for essentially frivolous things.

Then I stumbled across Chip (thanks to the journalist Laura Whately). As my friends are quite organised, and give plenty of notice on their plans, I use Chip’s goals feature to save up for something we’re doing together and now can join in on the fun every couple of months.

I was terrible at saving up for things before, but now it’s just done for me. I genuinely I love Chip, I don’t really notice the money leaving my bank account, as I leave Chip just ticking along on the lowest setting.

I’m hoping to join my squad on something big this year! Hopefully a holiday or a hen do.

I’m aware I need a long term plan (other than winning the lottery, or getting a lovely rich partner), but I’m hoping I’ll get a pay rise in the next few years and start saving for my future.

 

Do you have a story you’d like to share? 📝

We love hearing from our community and we think your stories can help inspire other Chip savers to hit their goals. We’ll even give you an extra bonus.

Just head here and fill out the form, or drop an email to the editor (Tom@getchip.uk) with the subject line ‘My Story’.

The future of Chip

Why you will now need to connect your card to keep using Chip

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So, you’ll have heard a lot about ‘instant saves’ and ‘connecting your card’ in the past few weeks.

If all this has passed you by, you can now connect your card to Chip, which is good for a few reasons:

  • 🏃 Save faster - your saves will reach Chip instantly (you still have between 9am and 4pm to cancel an automatic save)

  • 💸 Spend sooner - enjoy your money right away, no need to wait 2-3 days for it to reach your bank account

  • 🕹️ More control - your money right where you want it

  • 🔒 Improved security - complete visibility over your cash all the time

You will need to connect your card to keep using Chip

We used to move your money via Direct Debit, but our big Chip 2.0 update introduced ‘instant saves’, which move your money via card payment (but you need to connect your card).

We’ve tested the two systems over the past six weeks and basically found that everything, absolutely everything, works better for our savers who have connected their card.

And as it’ll get increasingly difficult for us to maintain two systems as we grow, we’re going to phase out Direct Debits and only support card payments.

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We’re not quite sure when we’ll be phasing them out entirely (this news is hot off the press today), but our engineering team won’t be working on Direct Debit fixes from now on.

So, if you encounter any issues with your saves and you’ve not connected your card, the customer service team might recommend simply connecting your card as a solution.

How to connect your card ⚡💳

Just open Chip and head to Account > Connected account > Bank card and add the debit card for the bank account you've connected to Chip.

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You can even just take a picture of it, instead of messing around typing out your card number and expiry dates.

What’s so great about card payments? 💸

The bottom line is moving money as a card payment is far less complicated. Your money is usually moved instantly, and always within the same working day. We go into more detail and explain all the benefits here.

We’ve also found that our tech runs much more smoothly once debit cards are plugged in.

Without going into too much detail (for security and trade secret reasons), card connection makes Chip a much more stable and secure app, and massively reduces the number of possible bugs that could pop up.

What’s wrong with Direct Debit? 🐌

To put it simply; they’re far too slow.

It takes around 2-3 days to move the money back and forth via Direct Debit. So, to give you (and us) accurate visibility over your money, involved some complicated behind the scenes tech to predict where the money is.

This worked fine for the big banks that developed and designed Direct Debits, but we wanted to find a better, simpler way to move money. And with card payments, we’ve found it.

Why we're going on (and on) about instant saves

Sorry for hammering the point home about instant saves…

Sorry for hammering the point home about instant saves…

You can now have complete visibility over where your money is, at all times! If all of this has passed you by, take a look at this sensible guide and this fun blog article.

We’re aware we’ve been hammering this point a bit, but we’re only doing it because;

  • A lot of you asked us to give you instant saves!

  • We want to improve our security and give you better visibility over your money

  • We want to make using Chip as simple as possible for you

  • So we can crack on with developing some new features that rely on instant saves

The original problem - ‘pending’

Our community flagged that sometimes it could be complicated, slow and confusing to move your money in and out of Chip.

This was because of the way Direct Debits work, where there is a 2-3 day processing time between the money leaving your account and reaching Chip, and vice versa.

And at times this could be confusing, leaving some of our savers wondering where their money is, as we all waited for the banks to move their money (and doing whatever it is that banks do when it takes them 2-3 days to do something…) either in or out of Chip.

A few of you got annoyed. And fair enough, this wasn’t good enough.

Slowwwww banks 🐌

Banking in the UK has traditionally been a slow moving business - it’s only in the last few years that start-ups like Chip have been trying to inject some life into the sector.

So, the existing infrastructure (yes I’m writing about banking payment infrastructure, no it’s not dull) was slower than our ambitions.

The solution - card connection ⚡ 💳

We needed to get creative to solve the problem and came up with a neat solution.

You know what doesn’t take 2-3 days to process? Card transactions!

So, we did a lot of work to set ourselves up to be able to process your saves and withdrawals as a card transaction. We decided it made sense to deploy as part of our big Chip 2.0 update so all new savers can avoid the pain of ‘pending’ saves.

The result - instant saves and withdrawals

So now you can move your money in and out of Chip instantly.

  • 🏃 Save faster - your saves will reach Chip instantly (you still have between 9am and 4pm to cancel an automatic save)

  • 💸 Spend sooner - enjoy your money right away, not wait 2-3 days for it to hit your account

  • 🕹️ More control - have your money right where you want it

  • 🔒 Improved security - have complete visibility over your cash all the time

"Eh, didn't I already connect my card?"  

If you set up Chip before 02 April 2019 you would have set up a direct debit mandate, but you wouldn't have given us your card details back then.

Which is why we're asking for them now. 

And anyone who’s new to Chip now needs to connect their card to get set up.

It only takes a moment!

We’ve made it as easy as possible. We’re working on making it even easier (we’re trying to figure a way to be able to send you links that’ll take you to the right place in your app).

Just open Chip and head to: Account > Connected account > Bank card

And add the debit card linked to the bank account you've connected to Chip. You can also just take a picture of it instead of faffing around typing out your card details.

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Why don’t you want to be able to move your money instantly?

There’s only a few of you left who haven’t connected your card and can’t instant save.

We could keep telling you why it’s better, faster, smoother, and something most of our community has been begging us to implement, but no one likes to have a one way conversation!

So tell us what’s stopping you from (or why you just don’t want to) connect your card to Chip.

Name *
Name

Things not as fast as instant saves

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As part of the shiny new Chip 2.0 update you can move money in and out of your Chip account instantly. Read more about it here.

To get instant saves. You just need to connect your card. Open Chip and head to:

Account > Connected account > Bank card

Then add the debit card linked to the bank account you've connected to Chip. Easy. Fast. Instant.

But what does fast mean? You need a reference point to understand it. So check out these fast things, that are still slower than our instant saves.

 

Usain Bolt 🏃🏿

The world’s fastest human, Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt set the 100 metre world record at 9.58 seconds, and his absolute fastest recorded speed was 29.55 mph.

That’s absurdly fast for a human, but much slower than everything else on this list, and doesn’t come near how fast our instant save feature is (also, whilst he’s a stand-up guy, I’m sure he’s got better things to do than run around delivering your cash).

 

Cheetah 🐈

As every child, on every playground ever knows, the Cheetah is the fastest animal on earth, clocking in at 75 mph going at full speed.

However, even if you were to duct tape your cash to a cheetah, give it a slap on the backside and send it tearing towards ChipHQ, it still wouldn’t be as fast as connecting your card to Chip and enjoying instant saves.

 

Mantis Shrimp 🦐

OK so this funky little sea creature isn’t the fastest animal, but it gets an honourable mention as the fastest accelerating animal, as it’s able to flick out its claws at 51 mph from a standing start, that’s an accelerating force of 10,400g (basically the same as a cannon).

But even if you got one of these amazing critters to flick over pound coins to us, it’d still be slower than our instant saves.

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Peregrine Falcon 🦅

So the fastest animal is actually a peregrine falcon on an attack dive, blasting down through the sky at a ludicrous 242 mph, there’s no chance of anything out-pacing a falcon…

Unless it’s one of our instant saves. Even the fastest animal alive can’t catch your money as it moves back and forth between your Chip account.

 

Bugatti Veyron 🏎️ 

The beautiful Bugatti Veyron is the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a top speed of 268 mph.

It’ll set you back at least a cool £1 million to buy, and given you probably still need to obey traffic laws, there’s probably no way you can get your money to and from Chip faster than using our instant saves.

Though, we will concede this is a much more stylish way for your money to travel.

 

Amazon Prime 📦

We don’t know how they do it (we feel it’s probably better to not ask Alexa too many questions about how they do it, if you want to sleep at night and keep enjoying the hyper fast deliveries), but there’s no getting away from the fact that Amazon Prime is ludicrously fast.

And they’re getting faster - their new experimental drone powered Prime Air promises a ridiculously fast 30 minute delivery time!

But, guess what, even if you got an Amazon drone to fly your money directly to Chip HQ, it’s still not as fast as instant saves.

 

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird 🚀

This cold war spy plane is the fastest plane ever built, back when it flew, it hit speeds over three times the speed of sound (Mach 3). Whilst the Blackbird’s top speed is still classified, its fastest recorded speed was 2,189.9 mph.

But even if you were to get elected US President, pull the Blackbird fleet out of retirement, hand your cash to a trusted pilot, and send them on a beeline for the Chip office (we’ll assume you could land this thing on Shoreditch High Street), it still wouldn’t come near to how fast instant saves are.

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The Millennium Falcon 🛸

So, the fastest ship from a galaxy far far away, and a long time ago, could theoretically beat our instant saves, because the Millennium Falcon does strictly speaking travel faster than the speed of light.

This means some funky things could potentially happen with time travel and the like.

Let’s say you were to get Han and Chewie to deliver your money to Chip, it could lead to the kind of confusing things like the Millennium Falcon landing in the heart of Shoreditch with your money before you sent it.

And that just wouldn’t really be practical… so… just connect your card and enjoy instant saves that way!

 

How to get instant saves working

It's very, very, very easy. Just open Chip and head to:

Account > Connected account > Bank card

And add the debit card linked to the bank account you've connected to Chip.

You can also just take a picture of it instead of faffing around typing out your card details. The future is now.

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ChipLead gets 13k shares on April Fools day

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We raised a few eyebrows on 1 April when we released ChipLead - Chip’s answer to the metal card craze in Fintech. A few day’s after Apple launched their own card made of titanium, we knew we had to join the party...

But ChipLead was different. Dreamed up by our very own Harry F, the card was designed to ‘weigh down your spending’ to help you hit your saving goals. It was the card you would never want to use.

We put together a sleek video and some cool designs, then asked users to share this page to join the queue for one of our 10,001 cards.

Some Chip fans were a little hasty to hit the share button, and probably missed the disclaimer pictured below. Look closely!

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ChipLead made people laugh, and as a result, was shared over 13,000 times with an estimated 1,000,000 impressions. #viral

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It created a buzz around Chip and at the right time too, because on 2 April we launched Chip 2.0, our total redesign of the Chip app, which is far from a joke.

Have a look at the ChipLead page here to see what all the fuss was about.

What will we do next year? Who knows... just make sure you’re on guard.

All the awards, all the time

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OK, so we’re aware we’re at risk of getting into bragging territory… but we’ve got three new awards to add to our trophy cabinet (well, we don’t have one, but we should look into it now).

We picked up two awards at the Crowdcube awards, and we're absolutely ecstatic to have won “Best Personal Finance App” at the very prestigious and very proper British Bank Awards (other winners included the likes of Monzo, Natwest and Starling Bank).

Chip’s fast-growing team here delighted to take to the stage and celebrate. Tali, our COO, says she should be holding the award here.

Chip’s fast-growing team here delighted to take to the stage and celebrate. Tali, our COO, says she should be holding the award here.

So once again, team Chip dusted off our black tie gear, scrubbed up, and headed off to Cafe de Paris to scoop up some awards.

It was a great night, we got to meet some of our competitors and connect with potential partners too.

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We were up against some tough competition, so when the nominees were read out, the tension was real. But we erupted into cheers when we took to the stage to thunderous applause.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for us. The help, support and belief we get from our community is powering us to the next level, and really puts us head and shoulders above our competition.

We loved the screen announcing the finalists, however, they did use our old logo, so just pretend the new Chip smile is in there.

We loved the screen announcing the finalists, however, they did use our old logo, so just pretend the new Chip smile is in there.

What’s next for Chip?

We’ve got big plans both for Chip in 2019.

First up is Chip 2.0, our shiny new update of the app that will be deployed gradually in the coming months. Currently 2,000 of our dedicated Chip Champions are testing the final beta version before we make the last tweaks and bug fixes and release to everyone.

Then there’s ChipX, our community lending platform that will see savers get solid returns and borrowers benefit from fairer lending.

So watch this space.

MAILCHIP #012: Winning awards and building the team

This picture is way cooler without the two people in high-vis holding the ladder still…

This picture is way cooler without the two people in high-vis holding the ladder still…

Usually, we would say it’s been a while, but that’s not entirely true…

We’ve actually never spoken because I’m Tom, Chip’s new content guy and this is my first ever Mailchip (if you’re on Facebook you might have already bumped into me). Read all about me here.

One of my aims is to make Mailchips a more regular thing, so you’ll be hearing more from me in the future. But, don’t worry, Alex and Paul aren’t going anywhere!

Awards season 🏆

We know it’s not quite the Oscars, but we won ‘Best App’ at the World Banking Awards, and Simon (our CEO and founder) channeled his inner Olivia Colman and gave a great acceptance speech.

But wait. There’s more....

We’ve been shortlisted for ‘Best Personal Finance App’ in the British Bank Awards. We’ll find out if we’ve won on Thursday. Fingers crossed. We finished the popular voting round in first place, so a huge thanks to everyone who voted!

And we’re hoping to clean up at Crowdcube’s awards too. We’ve been nominated for two awards; ‘Campaign of The Year’ and ‘Video of the Year.’ 

New Talent - The A-Team 🚁

Since our record-breaking crowdfund at the end of 2018, we’ve been focused on hiring some great talent. 

So say hello to Adam (iOS developer) and Alan (Head of Engineering), they bring over 20 years of collective tech experience to the Chip team. We’ve nick-named them the A-Team, learn about them here.

Since joining they’ve released the Chip 2.0 beta to 2,000 more Chip Investors, and have set up a timeframe for the full release. They love it when a plan comes together.

Recommend a PHP developer and we will buy you an iPhone X 📱

We’re after talented PHP developers, if you know any and think they’d like the challenge of building Chip, send them our way. If we hire them, we’ll give you an iPhone X!

Just send an email to careers@getchip.uk and CC in who you’re recommending. The only catch is you need to be Chip customer and we won’t accept any referrals from recruiters. 

Our new tech blog ️📰

If you want to have a look at how we’re building Chip and what we think about FinTech and the world too, check out our new tech blog. 

Instagram takeovers 📷

We’re three weeks into our “Team Takeover” series. We think they’re a fun way to share the highs, lows and hard work that goes into making things happen at Chip. 

@get_chip

Until next time.

Tom 

We've won an award!

We too, like to celebrate our victories by shouting jubilantly into a field, like this man. Don’t you?

We too, like to celebrate our victories by shouting jubilantly into a field, like this man. Don’t you?

We’re delighted to say we’ve just won an award for the “Best Banking App 2019” at London’s inaugural World Banking Awards!

Not to be confused with the British Banking Awards that’s happening March. We’re gunning for victory there too, we reckon we’ll be a shoe-in with your votes behind us!

The boys from marketing looking #superfly before heading off. Tom is channelling his inner Don Draper.

The boys from marketing looking #superfly before heading off. Tom is channelling his inner Don Draper.

We scrubbed up into our best black-tie outfits, stepped out and saw off some stiff competition from the likes of Moneybox, Money Dashboard and Cleo.

Simon, our founder and CEO, did his best to hold off from giving a full-blown Oscar-style speech, but does want to say thanks to his mum.

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Exciting things to come

We’re not going to rest on our laurels, and after we launch Chip 2.0 and ChipX this year we’re going to be even better than the best banking app.

We’ve hired a lot of great talent after our record breaking crowdfund, and we’re now supercharged to shake up consumer finance in the UK with some exciting and innovative ideas.

Green is the new green

It’s about time we come up with a name for our new green, we’d love your help.



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The beady-eyed among you will have noticed there’s a slightly new green in town. It’s a bit nearer to turquoise than our old green.

That’s the new green on the right. Look at it, evoking feelings of hope and excitement. The old green will always have special place in our hearts.

That’s the new green on the right. Look at it, evoking feelings of hope and excitement. The old green will always have special place in our hearts.

We like to think it’s bright, bold and makes you think of the exciting things you’re going to make happen. Or at least that’s what our design people say.

We’re moving Chip over to this new green as we launch Chip 2.0 and it will become Chip’s new main colour. We’ve already used it for our socks and this community site, and soon we’ll use it across our shiny new main website too.

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Name that colour

We’re trying to come up with a name for it (it’s currently got the very sexy name of #07CEB3, ie just its hex code) and thought 100,000 heads would be better than one, so we’re asking the Chip community to send us in their suggestions.

Name *
Name

Chip Socks - a monumental feet

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“Nothing feels as good as a new pair of socks” - Everyone

We recently completed the greatest logistical task in our short history.

We don’t mean the responsibility of saving £58,000,000+ for our 75,000+ users. No, we mean the designing and disseminating the iconic Chip sock.

THE OFFER - A PAIR OF SOCKS

Back in November, we promised a pair of Chip socks to the investors that really believe in us, and because we didn’t want to do things by halves, we offered two designs.

If you put in £300, we sent you an exclusive ChipMunk sock, and for our champion investors who put in more than £1,200 we sent out some very swanky Chip Champion socks.

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THE DESIGN

We got to work, spending long days and sleepless nights painstakingly crafting the perfect sock (all the while managing the small business of the most successful crowdfund in UK history 🚀).

After lengthy consultancy sessions with Shoreditch fashionistas, we settled on a design that was sleek and refined, subtle and sharp.

See exhibit A, the ‘ChipMunk’ sock with the cheeky ears, and the ‘Chip Champion’ sock, with its triumphal crown motif.

“ Take my money!  😍” - @DBeckham7

Take my money! 😍” - @DBeckham7

“ Rarw  🔥” - @AnnaVogueWintour

Rarw 🔥” - @AnnaVogueWintour

THE PACKING AND POSTING

Once the socks were ordered, designed and responsibly produced, it was the task of Chip’s house elves to wrap, pack and post them.

The effort was vast, and the whole office chipped in, the socks are now with their rightful owners and warming the toes of Chip investors all over the country.

We’ve sampled a few of our favourite pics below… see if you can spot yourself, or your pet.

If you invested over £300 and for some reason, the socks didn’t get to you, fill in the form below and we will chase them up.

We will cross-reference the list with our data too, so no cheating!

Name *
Name

And if you, like a few other Chip users, are interested in the socks but didn’t invest, keep your eyes peeled for ways to get your pair (and other #ChipMerch) in the future!

You’re the best.

-TeamChip

Help us win!

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We’ve been nominated for a British Bank Award in the Best Personal Finance App category!

First of all, we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who nominated us. We want to build the best savings account in the world, and your support is one of the things that’s helping us get there.

But we’ve not won yet, and we’re up against some stiff competition. So, we need your votes to win.

How to vote

Voting is as easy as one, two three. Just head over to British Bank Awards website and:

  1. Type “Chip” into the ‘Choose a company’ box

  2. Select “Savings App” for you product

  3. Rate us, write us a nice review, and hit submit

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Fingers crossed

Like we said we’re up against some great apps, but we think we’ve got a strong chance.


Suraya's 'effortless' saving

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Meet Suraya. She’s studying for a PHD and struggles to make time to even think about saving thanks to her hectic student lifestyle.

With plans to move back to Malaysia after graduating and a love of treating her family to some pretty big Christmas presents, she wasn’t sure if it would all be possible. 

That is, until she downloaded Chip… and the rest is history. 

This is Suraya’s Chip story.

“I started using Chip back in July 2017, so just over a year now but it doesn’t feel like it,” says Suraya. “I actually didn’t have to give it too much thought. Saw the app, installed it and boom! Just the right amount of money was squirrelled away every month.

“I’ve used it to get Christmas presents (one of the presents was a flying lesson for my boyfriend - but we still haven’t booked a session). The rest I’m saving up to cover shipping costs when I have to move back to Malaysia at the end of my studies.”

Suraya tells us what she loves most about Chip is that it makes saving effortless. 🤑

“This app has definitely helped me save a lot of money in the best way possible - without me needing to think about it. As a PhD student, things are stressful and hectic as is and Chip has definitely helped to take savings off my plate in a fun effective way. So I’d like to say thank you to the team!”

As well as helping her save up for the things she really wants, Suraya actually enjoys using the app - especially chatting to our friendly bot. She also loves checking out the latest gifs whenever she pops in to make a manual save or check her Chip balance.

“The Chip chat interface is great and and having a chat interface adds a nice personal touch - almost feels like you’re texting a friend,” she says. “Also, I personally am obsessed with gifs so the gifs on Chip chat has definitely kept me hooked onto the app!”

That’s what we’re all about here at Chip. Making saving easy and making it fun. 🙌

If you’ve got a story you’d like to share, then get in touch with us! We love hearing all about your Chip journeys! Just send it over to hello@getchip.uk. 🚀

Savings terms you need to know

There's never been a more important time to get good at saving.

In today's economy, putting money aside for the future is the best way to ensure you'll be able to get what you really, really want in life.

But, like everything, saving lingo can be a little difficult to understand sometimes.

So, here’s everything you need to know about those tricky savings terms.

What you need to know

Interest

If the banks called interest ‘free money’, we’d be biting their hands off. Unfortunately, they don’t – but that’s basically what it is. The interest rates offered by banks are influenced by THE bank – the Bank of England – which sets the base rate. Interest rates are infamously low at the moment because the base rate is 0.25% – it’s been taken down a peg or three since 2008. You’ll see interest advertised as AER (annual equivalent rate) which simply makes it easier to compare accounts.

 

Compounding

As interest accrues on your savings, it compounds. Einstein thought that compounding was the eighth wonder of the world, apparently. It means extra free money for savers because you get paid interest on your interest. You can maximise compound interest by starting as early as you can, and leaving the money to grow for as long as possible. You can read more about the magic of compounding here.

 

Inflation

Sadly, as you’re busy saving, the world is busy getting more expensive, thanks to inflation. Depressing right? Inflation is the reason pay rises exist and savings earn interest – so your money keeps pace with how much everything costs. If you’re interested in inflation, there’s more info here.

 

Tax

While we’re on depressing topics, don’t forget tax. Nothing is safe from tax, including savings. However, if you’re a basic-rate taxpayer the first £1,000 you earn in interest on your cash savings each year is tax free. As an example, £50,000 savings earning 2% interest equals to £1,000 interest in a year – so your money is safe until then. If you’re a higher-rate taxpayer (40%) your allowance is £500 and if you pay 45% tax then all of your savings interest is taxed.

5 common credit score myths: BUSTED

The face you’ll make after we bust these myths.

The face you’ll make after we bust these myths.

Ooooh. My credit score. 😴Yeah, okay, it’s not exactly the most exciting of subjects. But your credit score is a boring thing than can take you to exciting places.

Think of it a bit like saving. Saving isn't fun (at least, it wasn’t until Chip came along 😜) but it can lead to whole lotta fun stuff.

In fact, learning about your credit score is even easier than saving, because all you have to do is read these five fun credit score myth-busters - and you'll be a pro. 😎

Myth 1: You have a credit score

Nope.

You don’t have a credit score – you have a credit report (also called your credit file). Each lender or bank looks at your credit report and assesses you independently before deciding whether to lend you money. Your credit report includes details of any current accounts, loans, bill payments along with public information such as your name and date of birth. Three main companies in the UK compile credit reports: Experian, Equifax and Callcredit – you can ask any of them for your credit report. They might also give you a ‘score’, which is a rough indication of how you’re doing (but it’s not the be-all and end-all).

 

Myth 2: If you’ve never borrowed money, you’ll have a great credit score

Er….nope.

When you apply for any kind of credit or loan, the lender runs a credit check on you to decide whether to approve you. They run all kinds of calculations to try and predict your future behaviour, based an overall picture of how you’ve used credit recently. If you you’ve never borrowed money before, it can be really hard to get credit because there’s no proof that you can use it properly. That’s why starting early to build up a good credit history is really important (more on that later).

 

Myth 3: There is a credit ‘blacklist’

Good news: nope!

A low credit score can stop you getting access to credit. Mortgages, car finance, overdrafts, credit cards…they’re all hard to get if your credit score is low. However, the idea that there is some kind of ‘blacklist’ isn’t true. Just because one lender has rejected you, doesn’t mean they all will. They all have different criteria and ways of deciding whether to lend to you. That said, applying for credit leaves a ‘footprint’ on your file, and having lots of footprints can make it even harder to get credit in the future. Instead, use an eligibility calculator like this onebefore applying, to avoid avoidable rejections.

 

Myth 4: Your credit score is based on every detail of your life ever

NOPE.

The information contained in your credit report is designed to flag up potential warning signs to lenders, such as missed loan repayments or defaults. Most of it only stays on your file for about six years, because lenders only care about your recent behaviour. There are loads things that people think show up on their credit report which in fact don’t – including ‘soft checks’ such as the one we carry out to verify your identity you sign up to Chip. Lenders can’t see your salary, any savings accounts or any student loan debt, and none of these things affect your credit score.

 

Myth 5: All debt is bad for your credit score

NOOOOOOOOPE.

Like we said earlier, borrowing money and paying it back is pretty much the key to a good credit score. So borrowing money isn’t the risky part – paying it back on time is what matters. Never take a payday loan though – the lender might claim that repayments will improve your credit rating, but in reality it’s a big black mark on your credit history. For people just starting out, this might mean getting a credit card for regular purchases and paying it off in full each month. It’s also okay to use an arranged overdraft (and keep saving while you’re using it), as long as you go back into the black on payday.

7 ways to improve your saving

We all know saving is hard - that's why we created Chip! But (as well as downloading our super little green app) there are plenty of ways you can train yourself to stash more away. All you need is a little guidance...

If you’re struggling to save, here are the most common reasons why this might be – along with the quick fixes that actually do work. Think of it as our how-to guide to being better off, with pretty little effort.

These 7 things could be standing in between you and the riches you know you deserve... it's time to overcome them.

You’re skint

If there’s never enough cash in the bank, savings are off the table, right? Wrong: you’ve just got to get tactical. If there’s something you enjoy, work out how to make money from it. Whether it's a full blown one-man business or a spare-time filler you could be raking it in and enjoying yourself at the same time. If not, you could always ask for a pay rise (or get a better paid job) – we dare you. If you’ve got the skill, the experience and the cojones, the worst your boss can say is ‘no’.

 

You don’t have the savings habit

It doesn’t matter – you don’t need it. Lots of personal finance gurus say the best way to get the savings habit is to ‘skim’ your bank account – just sweeping spare change into a savings account little and often. Luckily, this is the process that Chip automates, so you don’t need to remember, you don’t need to motivate yourself and you definitely don’t need to do any calculations.

 

Your quirks get in the way

It could be your love of Little Mix, or your daily devotion to extra-hot almond milk lattes – either way, it’s about priorities. Everyone should have a frivolous blow-out at least once in a lifetime: the secret is to do it strategically. Challenge yourself to cut down and hoard the extra cash (in your savings account) for something truly special later in the year. Having a savings goal – something you really, really want – makes going without much less painful.

 

Saving is boring

Yes, of course saving isn't as fun as spending your money on the things you love, but think of the bigger picture. That picture gets a hell of a lot brighter when the people you love are saving with you. That's why with Chip 2.0, we've created Squad Goals. So, if you've got a Lad's holiday or a girl's weekend planned, you can save up together. Invite your friends to a goal, track their progress, motivate them and make enjoy the saving journey.

 

You don’t see the point

Why save, when you could be sipping on your latte? Because free cash. Interest is free money paid to patient people, and your Chip savings account pays up to 5% bonus (in the same way as interest) on your stash. That’s got to be worth having.

 

You don’t ‘do’ money

You’re allowed to think saving is boring and time-consuming – but it’s also making other people richer than you! If you really don’t want to give any head space to thinking about saving, just let Chip do it for you. We hear from people all the time who’ve literally forgotten about Chip – and then discovered a handy £300 that’s been quietly piling up without them noticing.

 

You’re in debt

While most of us rely on credit cards, overdrafts or mortgages to get things we need, borrowing gets stressful if you can’t afford to pay back what you owe. If debt is stopping you getting on top of your savings, get professional help: try StepChange Debt Charity for free advice about managing and reducing what you owe. You can also use savings to pay off overdrafts or credit cards, to give yourself a fresh start.

 

Sh!t happens

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Unexpected costs are sometimes just part of the deal, and savings are a buffer against them, so keep a stash just in case. Have a separate savings pot for the cool stuff you want to do, buy or achieve.

Chip downtime. What actually happened?

At around 11pm on Friday evening we ran a maintenance script, the primary goal of which is to prevent downtime. Ironically, it caused our database to malfunction. We followed procedure and switched it off. However, it had entrenched several bugs in the stack which in turn caused numerous disruptions to Chip throughout the night until approximately 8:00 am Saturday morning when the issues were finally resolved.

To make matters worse, we had an unexpected spike of user activity on Friday evening and the server struggled to cope with the maintenance issue and the increase in volume. Sod's law as they say - the perfect storm of problems.

Has the issue now been resolved?

I would like to reassure you that the issue has now been resolved and we won't be running that maintenance script again! I can also confirm that all personal data and customer savings were completely secure at all times.

Our promise to you

It is never acceptable for our savers to be without access to their savings  — period. We have learnt a great deal from this experience and we are actively working on implementing a number of processes to constantly improve our technical infrastructure and eliminate incidents like this.

Thank you for your trust and continued support.

Simon

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