I wrote about virtual assistants a few weeks ago, which made me realise that I hadn’t yet explored Cleo in more detail. Cleo is a virtual assistant that I believe can help me save money. However, my knowledge of Cleo ends there, so let’s have a closer look at Cleo and its onboarding process:
- How did Cleo come to my attention? — I came across Cleo a few months ago as I was looking at so-called ‘robo advisers’ like Betterment and Nutmeg.
- My quick summary of Cleo (before using it)? — When you search for Cleo, Google will tell you that it’s an “Intelligent assistant that helps you save money”. I therefore expect a virtual assistant that will give me a better view of my expenses and gives me tips on how to spend less. I expect an app that’s highly personalised, aiming to making saving fun. I guess a bit similar to Qapital, an app that I reviewed a few months ago.
- How does Cleo explain itself in the first minute? — I like how how the homepage of https://meetcleo.com/ talks about Cleo being “The simplest way to manage your money” (see Fig. 1 below). The page also mentions “bank level security” although I must admit that I’m not entirely sure what that means in the context of Cleo.
- Getting started, what’s the process like (1)? — Cleo’s onboarding process feels very intuitive and easy, particularly the part where Cleo syncs with my bank account (see Fig. 3 below). The messaging about how Cleo will treat my current account data instills trust and is clear, even to the point where I get a text from Cleo to say that banks are a bit slow when it comes to synching (see Fig. 8 below). However, when I’m asked to set my monthly income, I’m not sure what purpose this will serve and how I’ll benefit from sharing this data with Cleo (see Fig. 4 below).
- Getting started, what’s the process like (2)? — The simplicity of the onboarding process is reinforced by the text messages that I’m getting from Cleo on my mobile whilst onboarding on my laptop (see Fig. 8 below).
- Did Cleo deliver on my expectations (1) — After completing my onboarding with Cleo, I get a pretty comprehensive overview of my bills and spending (see Fig. 7 below). Perhaps I hadn’t fully set my own expectations when signing up with Cleo, but I’m left with a faint feeling of disappointment, expecting to receive more insights around my spending patterns or be able to ask Cleo specific questions about my balance. For example, when I ask Cleo about how to best increase my balance, she refers me to the generic balance call to action which she’d shared with me 3 seconds prior in the same exchange on Facebook Messenger (see Fig. 10 below).
- Did Cleo deliver on my expectations (2) — Some of the machine learning parts that underpin Cleo feel like they’re working pretty well, and getting started with Cleo felt very seamless and self-explanatory. I’m, however, keen to see how Cleo will develop further over the coming months, in becoming truly ‘intelligent’ about my spending habits and ways for me to save money.
Fig. 1 — Screenshot of the homepage of https://meetcleo.com/
Fig. 2 — Screenshot of the first step of the Cleo sign-up flow
Fig. 3 — Screenshot of the second step of the Cleo sign-up flow
Fig. 4 — Syncing a bank account with Cleo
Fig. 5 — Screenshot of setting a monthly income in Cleo
Fig. 6 — Screenshots of the workflow around adding bills
Fig. 7 — Screenshot of the ‘outputs’ of the info entered into Cleo
Fig. 8 — Text updates from Cleo throughout the onboarding process
Fig. 9 — Chat message from Barney, CEO and Co-Founder of Cleo
Fig. 10 — Chatting with Cleo through Facebook Messenger