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PLUM

Plum’s jargon-free investment services help more people reach their financial goals, more quickly, with a little help from automated and reliable payments

Plum

About

Money management and wealth creation app

Integration

Uses GoCardless API

Payment type

Recurring payments

Success+

Protect+

Office locations

Payer locations

Find out more about Plum

Key benefits

0.48%

Payment failures reduced from 3.6% to 0.48% with Success+ 

£38,000

saved over nine months with Protect+

131%

increase in value of total monthly deposits since November 2019

7.5x

improvement in failed payments collected

Investing made easy

Money management app Plum is changing the tone of wealth creation, with jargon-free and intuitive savings and investment experiences for consumers with any level of experience.

It enables customers to regularly put aside as much or as little as they want – either through custom plans or subscription services – to be invested in a range of products. From mutual funds to pensions to ISAs, its vision is to democratise wealth creation and investment and enable everybody and anybody to increase their wealth in the long term.

And, explains Elise Nunn, Plum’s Head of Operations, payment automation is fundamental to achieving this goal: “Automation allows customers to set and forget their regular payments, making it easy for them to engage in repeat and healthy financial behaviours. The Plum app does the rest by investing their money in a diversified set of products.”

Automated, repeatable, dependable

Plum turned to GoCardless to build an automated billing system with low failure rates, which would best support its customer experience. “Customers depend on the ability to move money frequently and seamlessly from their bank account to Plum, so any failures jar sharply with that experience,” said Elise. “GoCardless account-to-account payments are more cost-effective and reliable than cards, which are expensive to process and prone to fail when cards expire or get cancelled.”

“70% of customer payments now go through GoCardless and we’ve been able to scale rapidly since 2016 when we first started working together,” explained Elise. “We've seen our total monthly deposits increase in value by 131% since November 2019 alone, thanks to working with GoCardless and the seamless payment experience it enables.”

On the back of such strong growth, Plum integrated Success+ from GoCardless to transform the way it collects failed payments for its subscription-based products.

Success+ uses GoCardless’ payment intelligence data and machine learning to reduce failed payments. It does this thanks to intelligent retries, which identify when each customer is most likely to have funds in their account, and automatically retries payments on that day to improve the customer experience.

The impact was immediate — we’ve seen payment failures drop from 3.6% to 0.48% in three months. This 7.5x improvement in failed payments collected is huge for a fast-growing company like Plum — and helps ensure a seamless experience for our customers.

Fighting back on fraud with Protect+

Like most online merchants, Plum is often targeted by fraudsters, particularly those looking to abuse the chargeback system. GoCardless Protect+ uses payment intelligence to identify, prevent and monitor for potential fraud. It’s helped Plum save more than £38,000 over nine months.

Plum started piloting Protect+ earlier this year, which has helped them to tackle fraud. Maciej Lorek, Fraud and Chargeback Team Leader at Plum, explained how Protect+ helped Plum following one particular incident they faced. “The fraudsters deposited and withdrew funds from Plum, and then doubled their money by requesting chargebacks from the banks. Protect+ helped us successfully dispute the fraudulent chargebacks and recover the money.”

Protect+ has made life a lot simpler – and payments a lot safer – for Maciej and his team. “We are human beings and so we cannot predict everything. Having GoCardless and Protect+ in our corner gives us a very important sense of confidence,” he explained. “We receive a list of chargebacks that we could challenge from Protect+, which saves us the job of analysing things on our side. And we feel more secure because even if the fraudsters are successful we know we will be supported to recover the funds.”

More energy for innovation

Working with GoCardless to first automate their payments experience, and then to transform failed payments collection, has enabled Plum to invest more resources in improving its product, explained CEO and Founder Victor Trokoudes.

“Instead of system maintenance and chasing payments we can focus on delivering new product features and enhancing the Plum interface,” he said. “In fact, without GoCardless I don't think we could have even created the product we have today.”

This is enabling Plum to drive an aggressive expansion into mainland Europe, starting with France, Ireland, and Spain, while also onboarding new features and investment vehicles. “We’re continuing to build out our feature set, ensuring we tightly tailor these to user experience. GoCardless continues to be a key strategic partner as we expand globally, helping Plum to accelerate our growth and ensuring a seamless payment experience for customers,” said Victor.

The company’s future plans also include using GoCardless for Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs), made possible by access to banks’ open banking APIs and the UK’s Faster Payment instant payment rails. Elise explained: “VRPs will allow us to both process payments instantly and vary the amount customers invest in line with their financial situation at any given moment – all part of continuing to be a responsive wealth creation partner for them.”

Disruption meets stability: fintech’s dream combo

The combination of stability and innovation provided by GoCardless means the Plum team feel confident they have an ideal long-term partner for the fast-moving world of fintech.

“Fintech is evolving all the time and it can be disruptive when partners change their APIs or new regulatory requirements come online,” Elise said. “GoCardless has provided an extremely stable product and I can't remember a single occasion where we had to intervene on a broad, sweeping technical problem."

In a constantly changing landscape, it's amazing to be able to lean on a partner like GoCardless.