RBS enlists influencers to drum up buzz about Monzo and Revolut challenger Bó

After ending 2019 with being accused of posting fake reviews, Bó is now tapping into influencers’ network to create a buzz.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) launched Bó at the end of November last year after it decided against buying challenger bank Monzo.

Instead of acquiring the FinTech unicorn, RBS set up Bó, a digital banking app that is a direct competitor to the likes of Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank.

Now RBS has attempted to create some excitement about the app by enlisting the services of a number of influencers.

In a series of sponsored Instagram posts, these influencers tell their followers how Bó is empowering them to save money and keep better track of their spending.

For instance, UK model Dominic Andersen wrote in a sponsored post, “Money Saving level: up! The penny finally dropped. All those times I was stopping on my way through London for a random snack, kombucha, ‘healthy snack’ etc kept pinging up as I used my #visauk @wearebo card.

“The notifications and simple features on the app made it very clear what I was spending too much on. When I say that I am a snack FIEND, I am not exaggerating. The categories within the app helped me to see exactly how much I was spending, and along with the money saving goals features, I was able to dial back my spending over the past month and afford a proper blowout ‘cheat meal’.”

He added, “Saving and budgeting is something I’ve always been terrible at but the Bó card and app have made it into an exciting challenge week on week!”

Although, his followers seemed to respond more to his new haircut and his choice of cuisine than the payment app.

The push to improve the app’s brand comes after it was revealed in December that several of five-star online reviews were posted before the app even went live and were probably written by the people who worked for RBS to create Bó.

This revelation caused a huge backlash against Bó.

The bank defended itself by saying that 2,800 people signed up to trial the software before the launch and that the public should “rest assured that our testers were as honest as they could regarding the app as any feedback, good or bad, only helps to improve the app.”

And the app was not exactly welcomed with open arms by more high-profile reviewers like James Cook, special correspondent at The Telegraph, who wrote, “[Bó’s] clunky, confused branding and bare bones app feel like the first attempt of a fledgling startup rather than the cutting edge of the current financial technology boom.”

Copyright © 2020 FinTech Global

Enjoying the stories?

Subscribe to our daily FinTech newsletter and get the latest industry news & research


The following investor(s) were tagged in this article.