The way that we view banking has changed significantly over the past few years. App-based challenger banks now allow us to facilitate all of our banking needs at the click of a button.
One such entrant to this ever-growing space is Pockit. Whether its sending and receiving cash, getting your wages paid, or buying goods and services online, Pockit allows you to perform your everyday banking needs via your smartphone device.
If you’re wondering whether or not Pockit is right for you, then be sure to read our comprehensive review. We’ve covered everything from how Pockit works, what the app allows you to do, fees, safety, and more.
Before we delve into the fundamentals, let’s explore what Pockit actually is.
What is Pockit?
- 1 What is Pockit?
- 2 Pockit Features and Benefits
- 3 Current Account
- 4 Pre-Paid Debit Card
- 5 International Transfers
- 6 How Does Pockit Work?
- 7 Verifying Your Identity
- 8 Funding Your Account
- 9 Withdrawing Funds
- 10 Pockit Fees and Limits
- 11 Fees: Basic Account Functions
- 12 Fees: International Usage
- 13 Limits
- 14 What is Customer Service Like at Pockit?
- 15 Does Pockit Have a Good Reputation?
- 16 Is Pockit Safe?
- 17 Increase Your Credit Score via Pockit’s LOQBOX
- 18 Pockit Review: The Verdict?
- 19 Pockit
- 20 Pros
- 21 Cons
First and foremost, it is important to note that Pockit is not a bank, nor does it brand itself as one. On the contrary, Pockit is classified as a ‘pre-paid account’. As noted by the company themselves, “Pockit is a fair, no-nonsense alternative to traditional banking”.
Leaving the terminology to one side, Pockit still allows you to perform most of the account functions that you would get from a traditional high street bank. For example, Pockit provides you with your very own current account, allowing you to send and receive money as you normally would. As you also get a pre-paid MasterCard, you can easily buy things in-store and online.
Nevertheless, although you might not have heard about Pockit in the same light as other challenger pre-paid accounts such as Revolut and Monzo, the app was actually launched back in 2014. Since its launch, Pockit has acquired more than 160,000 customers in the UK.
While basic current account functions can be performed via the Pockit app, you will still need to use a traditional bank for your other financial needs. This essentially includes anything tied to credit facilities, such as overdrafts, loans, credit cards, and mortgages.
So now that you have an idea of what Pockit is, in the next section we are going to explore some of the app’s main features and benefits.
Pockit Features and Benefits
If you’ve ever used a challenger bank-style app before, then Pockit offers a number of similar features. We’ve broken these down for you in more detail below.
One of the most important features offered with a Pockit account is that of a current account. Much like you would get with a traditional high street bank, Pockit provides you with a UK account number and sort code.
While some pre-paid accounts give you generic account details that are the same for all customers, it is important to note that with Pockit you get a unique account number and sort code. As such, this allows you to receive money with ease.
Whether you want your wages paid in, or you need a friend to transfer you some funds, all they need is your unique Pockit account details. As you are given a unique current account, this also allows you to set-up direct debits. Whether it’s to pay your monthly phone bill, utilities, or gym membership, this can also be achieved via your Pockit app.
When it comes to transferring money out of your Pockit current account, this can be done at the click of a button. Transfers are performed in the very same way as a conventional bank, meaning that all you need is the receiver’s name and bank details.
Take note, and as mentioned above, Pockit does not offer overdrafts on your current account as it is not a bank.
Pre-Paid Debit Card
When you first open your Pockit account, you will also be given a pre-paid MasterCard. This operates in exactly the same way as a traditional debit card. The only difference is that you will not be able to spend more than you have on your card. Although this is how debit cards typically work anyway, some banks allow you to overspend, which results in an unauthorized overdraft.
Your Pockit pre-paid debit card will allow you to make purchases anywhere online that accepts MasterCard payments. The MasterCard is also contactless, meaning that you can spend your funds in-store with ease. You can have a total of three Pockit pre-paid cards at any given time. Delivery usually takes about 2 working days from the moment you open your account.
Although it took a few years for the team at Pockit to launch their international transfer feature, this has now been operational since 2017. However, only a select number of countries are supported at present. Here’s a list of all the countries you can send money to.
- the Netherlands
- the Philippines
If you need to send money to countries not listed above, then you’ll need to do it through another challenger banking app.
How Does Pockit Work?
Pockit is a pre-paid account that is accessed exclusively via your mobile phone. As such, the company does not have any physical branches. Although desktop and laptop usage across Mac OS X, Windows and Linux has recently been launched in Beta, it’s probably best to wait until the official release before trying it.
Nevertheless, as is now standard in the mobile application space, the Pockit app is only available across Android and iOS devices.
Verifying Your Identity
Once you download and install the app, you will then be required to go through a KYC (know-your-customer) process. This is to ensure that the company remains fully compliant with anti-money laundering regulations.
As is the case with most challenger-banking apps, the KYC process is significantly more convenient in comparison to a traditional high street bank. Ordinarily, you would be required to visit your nearest branch to hand in countless amounts of documents. It can then take days, if not weeks to get your account open.
On the contrary, the account opening process takes just a few minutes with Pockit. In order to verify your identity, all you need to do is upload a copy of your government issued ID (passport, driver’s license or national ID card), alongside a ‘selfie’, and then you’re good to go.
Funding Your Account
Once your account is set-up, you can then begin using your Pockit account straight away. To fund your account, you have two options. The easiest way to deposit money into your Pocket current account is to initiate a bank transfer. You just need to transfer the funds to your unique current account number and sort code, and the deposit should show up within a couple of hours.
The other option that you have is to physically deposit cash at a PayPoint location. You’ll find PayPoint at more than 28,000 locations in the UK, such as petrol stations, convenience stores and supermarkets. All you need to do is present your Pockit pre-paid MasterCard to the PayPoint cashier, tell them how much you want to deposit, and the cashier will process it on your behalf.
If you want to get money out of your Pockit account, you can do this by performing a simple bank transfer. Alternatively, you can also withdraw money from an ATM with your pre-paid debit card.
Pockit Fees and Limits
Although Pockit is free to download from either the Google Play or Apple Store, there are a number of fees that you need to take into consideration.
Fees: Basic Account Functions
When you order your pre-paid MasterCard, pay in cash at a PayPoint location, withdraw money from an ATM, or perform a bank transfer to another account, you will be charged a flat fee of 99p.
Although this might not sound like a lot, it is important to remember that other challenger banking apps like Revolut and Monzo do not charge to send money, nor do they charge to withdraw from a UK ATM.
On top of the above, you will also need to pay a monthly fee to use Pockit. You’ll be charged 99p per month for as long as you hold an account. Although we are not usually fans of current accounts that charge monthly fees, at 99p, this is somewhat minimal.
Fees: International Usage
One of the main pitfalls with Pockit is that you are charged hefty fees when using your card abroad. While the app was not specifically designed for overseas usage, it is always useful to have a pre-paid card when on holiday.
Firstly, you will be charged a flat fee of £2.25 every time you use your card at an overseas ATM. As such, your best bet is to withdraw one large chunk of cash, rather than performing smaller, frequent withdrawals.
Secondly, Pocket will charge you a whopping 4% foreign exchange fee whenever you use your card abroad. This is significantly higher than other challenger banking apps on the market, and in most cases, higher than traditional high street banks.
Pockit offers two account tiers. When you first open an account, you will be put on its Simple Limit Account. Although this will allow you to use your current account and pre-paid card, the limits are super small.
As soon as you confirm your identity, you will be automatically upgraded to a Full Limit Account.
However, even with the Full Limit Account, the limits imposed by Pockit are somewhat uninspiring. For example, the maximum cash deposit you can make per day is just £249 (£200 with Simple Limit Account).
In terms of adding money to your account via a bank transfer, although you can transfer £1,500 per time, this is capped at £5,000 per month. While for most of us this will be fine, for some, it might be problematic. More specifically, if you were planning to get your wages paid into your Pockit account, you won’t be able to do this if the amount exceeds the daily limit of £1,500. Withdrawals are capped at £250 per day, and £5,000 per month.
So now that we’ve covered fees and limits, in the next part of our Pockit review we are going to explore customer support.
What is Customer Service Like at Pockit?
As with any institution that you store your money with, customer service is an extremely important metric to consider. This is one of the main selling points from challenger banks, as they recognize the frustrations that customers often have when dealing with the traditional banking space.
In terms of contacting the Pockit support team, you have two main options. You can either call the team at 0203 3229 170, or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, Pockit are actively present on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We often find that companies are quick to respond when the issue is made public, so this is a potential option for you if you are struggling to get a problem solved.
It is actually very disappointing that Pockit does not offer an in-app live chat facility. In fact, this is somewhat unusual, as most of Pockit’s market rivals offer in-app support.
Nevertheless, although the customer service team does work 7 days per week, they are only available between 9am and 6pm, UK time. As such, regardless of which contact channel you opt for, your account query will only be worked on during these hours.
Does Pockit Have a Good Reputation?
As Pockit has been in business since 2014, we now have a good amount of data available in the public domain to assess the company’s reputation. Firstly, across more than 5,300 individual reviews, Pockit has a TrustPilot score of 4/5.
When exploring some of the more negative comments in more detail, there appears to be customers that claim to have had their accounts frozen. It remains to be seen why this is and how legitimate the claims are. However, with 79% of the 5,300+ TrustPilot reviewers rating Pockit as Excellent or Good, this is potentially a more credible reflection of the company.
Across the Google Play and iOS App Store, the Pockit app has a rating of 3.7/5 and at 2.89/5, respectively.
Is Pockit Safe?
One of the most important aspects when evaluating whether or not you should go with a challenger banking app is to assess how safe your funds are. As noted earlier, Pockit is not a bank. Rather, the app operates as a pre-paid current account. What this means for you is that your funds are not protected under the UK government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Ordinarily, traditional high street banks that are part of the FSCS will protect your savings up to £85,000. However, this isn’t offered on the money held within your Pockit account.
As such, were Pockit to ever go-under, your money would be at risk.
Although Pockit doesn’t have a banking license, the company is authorized by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011.
Increase Your Credit Score via Pockit’s LOQBOX
On top of the key account features provided by Pockit, the app recently launched its LOQBOX savings platform. The way that LOQBOX works is you specify a fixed amount that you want to save each month. At the end of the 12 months, Pockit claim that as long as you meet your savings goals, you will improve your credit score.
In fact, Pockit state that if your credit score hasn’t improved, then you’ll get your LOQBOX fees back. In order to use the LOQBOX feature, you will need to pay an initial fee of £9.99, followed by a monthly fee of 99p. If during the 12 month savings period you are unable to meet your goals, you can simply withdraw your money out. However, this means that you won’t benefit from an improved credit score.
Moreover, if you miss a payment before unlocking your Pockit LOQBOX, this can actually have a detrimental affect on your credit score. As such, you should only sign up for this feature if you are confident that you can meet your savings goals.
Pockit Review: The Verdict?
In summary, Pockit certainly has its good and bad points. On the one hand, the app makes it super simple to perform everyday banking needs at the click of a button.
Whether you are looking to transfer money to somebody, get your wages paid-in, or need to withdraw cash from an ATM, Pockit makes the process really simple. Moreover, as Pockit does not require you to under-go a credit check to get an account, the app is perfect for those that find they often get refused by more traditional banks.
On the other hand, Pockit also has its flaws. For example, we found that the account limits were somewhat small in comparison to other challenger banking apps. However, this might be suitable if you are only looking to use Pockit as a side-account, rather than for your main spending habits.
It would also be nice if the team at Pockit were to review the 4% foreign exchange rate they charge when you use your card abroad, as well as add more supported countries when performing an international transfer.