Kroo Bank review: 3/5

We’ve tested and reviewed the Kroo current account

Kroo is one of the newest digital banks on the market. It was formally a prepayment card known as B-Social and is designed to be used among friends and family for shared expenses and bill splitting. It’s partnered with One Tree Planted, who plant two trees for everyone who signs up for Kroo, which gives it a sustainable edge. Here’s what we think of Kroo. 

Our score: 3/5

Kroo is on the way to becoming a decent bank account, but it’s still missing lots of features.

Our ratings

App rating3/5
Current account rating2/5
Rewards rating2.5/5

Customer score: 4.87/5

Average customer score from reviews left on Smart Money People

What is Kroo?

Kroo is a UK digital “challenger” bank. It got its banking licence in 2022 and migrated the customers of its prepaid offering to full current accounts.

Kroo competes with the likes of Starling, Monzo and Revolut by offering an innovative app with instant notifications and spending analytics, but no bank branches. It’s a little behind on functionality compared with them at the moment, but might surprise us down the line. 

Types of Kroo account

There’s only one type of Kroo account, its current account. This means there aren’t any premium upgrades which you have to pay for to get specific savings rates or extras. 

You can only open one current account, but you can have a number of savings Pots, which we get into later. 

Kroo rewards and extras: 2.5/5

While Kroo doesn’t offer any kind of cashback or rewards, it does pay interest into the account.              

Saving rates with Kroo

Kroo’s in-account interest is one of the biggest benefits of the account, although the rates can be beaten with a best buy savings account elsewhere.

It pays 4.35% in the account on balances up to £500,000, in comparison Starling pays 3.25% (on up to £5,000) and Chase pays 1%. This is good for balances in your account, but if you want to put away money, you’re better off with a dedicated savings account.

It’s worth noting this is a tracker rate, set at the base rate minus 0.9%. This means that if the base rate drops, which it’s expected to do in 2024 from the current rate of 5.25%, so will your savings rate. However, it’s likely other providers will also reduce what they offer when this happens, so at least Kroo has been upfront about it.

You can put money into Kroo Pots, which are like little savings spaces. These can be used to put away some money for specific categories or for general savings, which can be a great way to help you keep track of what you’ve put away. You earn the same amount of interest in these accounts as you do in the main account. This is a big positive for Kroo since most competitors don’t have decent interest rates on their pots (Tandem and Zopa are notable alternatives).

Unlike similar accounts, there aren’t any auto-savings options to help you boost your savings at all. 

Does Kroo have a switching or welcome offer?

There’s no switching offer available with Kroo — the bank isn’t even part of the current account switching service at the moment.

Latest bank switch offers (A-Z)

As of 10/4/24

Click the links for further details and analysis

The Kroo app: 3/5 

The Kroo app is where it has the most potential, however, there are still things that are missing, hence it getting a score of 3/5 in our analysis. 

Design and customisation

The app is really simple and clean. I find that it seems quite similar to other digital banks, with a simple view of your account balance and recent transactions. Your spending makes up a bar chart of your spending by category. This makes it easy to see how you’re spending and which categories you spend most in. 

All of the features that the app has are only a couple of taps away. It’s easy to see your balance, schedule new payments and send money to friends. 

The only downside is that you can’t customise anything – the best you can do is add a name and photo to a group that you’ve made. This isn’t such an issue at the moment, but as Kroo adds additional features, it might become difficult to find what you’re looking for. 

Categorisation and notifications

When you spend money, or a direct debit or standing order leaves your account, you’ll get an instant notification with the amount. This keeps you on top of your spending. 

Plus, Kroo will assign every transaction to a category, which helps you analyse your spending. These include things like groceries, retail, transport, clothing and eating out. 

Budgeting features

Budgeting is where Kroo lets itself down a little, as there’s nowhere in the app to choose a budget or assign a budget to individual categories, as you’d find with other banks. The best you can do is compare your spending to the month before. 

It will, however, tell you what percentage of your spending can be attributed to each assigned category and gives you the total for the previous month

You can set up multiple pots to create budgets, but you can’t spend from them, as you can with Starling’s pots or using multiple accounts with Chase. 

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Integrations

The Kroo app is secured with biometrics. You can turn this off in the app if you want to, but you’ll then need your Kroo password to get into the app. 

You can set up Kroo with Apple Pay and Google Pay, but sadly can’t use Fitbit Pay or Garmin Pay. While Kroo does have open banking set-up, you can’t connect it to some well-known apps like Emma or Cheddar.   

Card controls and virtual cards

You can fetch all the card details and account information from the app once your card is active – they can be copied straight out of the app if you’re making payments online. 

The card can be frozen from the app and you can view your PIN if you forget it. You can’t set your own contactless limit or set up blocks, like gambling blocks. 

Sending and receiving money in the Kroo app

Kroo was designed as a social app, designed for bill splitting and shared expenses, such as between your housemates or a group of friends. You can set up groups within the app and assign transactions to them in order to split payments. 

You all assign transactions and say how much you want it to split by and it’ll work out how much everyone owes. When you want to settle up, whoever owes the most selects “settle up” and pays the difference. Everyone gets paid back what they are owed. If you settle another way, such as in cash or with a round of drinks at the pub, you can mark it as manually settled. 

This is similar to the bill splitting app Splitwise, except it’s linked to a bank account, so you don’t need to faff about transferring via PayPal or asking one another for bank details. Although, everyone in the group needs to have a Kroo account, so it’s not that likely you’ll be able to properly use this feature. 

You can make transfers with your friends’ bank details – which can be pasted in directly. When you’re owed money, you can copy your own details to send to friends. 

You can set up new payees directly from the app as well as set up and manage standing orders. 

Kroo current account: 2/5 

While Kroo isn’t a bad current account, it’s missing a lot of functionality that you’d expect. However it’s still quite new and is releasing new features all the time, so it may eventually be able to compete with the likes of Starling and Monzo. It does have its banking licence, unlike competitor Revolut. 

Account basics

Kroo issues a card free of charge, which is sent out once your account has been approved and you’ve chosen a PIN. You can start using the card before it even arrives by setting it up with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Unfortunately, you can’t pay in cash or cheques with Kroo, but it’s said that it wants to implement this in the future. This does mean you’ll have to have a secondary account for managing cash and cheques.

Kroo allows Swift, CHAPS BACS and Faster Payments, though you’ll need to contact the customer support team if you want to make a CHAPS payment.  

There’s a £250,000 daily transfer limit to UK bank accounts. This is a lot higher than what most banks will allow. You may be asked for additional information if you try to send more than £10,000.

To compare, Monzo and Nationwide are capped at £10,000 while Starling’s limit is £1m. 

Does Kroo charge abroad?

Kroo is a good choice for using abroad. You can spend up to £10,000 each month using your card abroad, and withdraw up to £300. This is in comparison with Revolut’s £1,000 spending limit and £10m with Starling. 

It’s not the best card for spending abroad, though — we also have a guide on the top debit and credit cards for travelling, if you want to look at other options. 

Kroo account fees

Kroo is a free bank account. It also doesn’t have any paid tiers for extra features. In addition, it doesn’t charge for a replacement card, unlike several of its digital-only competitors. 

There are fees for the overdraft and any loans you choose to take out, which we detail below.

Kroo overdraft

Kroo offers an overdraft, but you have to be invited to apply. You can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to apply for it if you choose to open a Kroo account. The overdraft rate for both arranged and unarranged overdrafts is 24.9% APR and you’ll be charged a maximum of £15 in a month for unarranged overdrafts.  

We have a guide to the best bank accounts for overdrafts, if this is what you need.

Kroo loans

Kroo also offers loans, also by invite only. These have a representative APR of 8.2% for loans up to £15,000. You need to have a Kroo current account in order to be invited to apply for a loan.

Kroo Smart Money People rating: 

Over at Smart Money People, customers have scored the Kroo Current account 4.87 out of 5.

When we look at just the customer service, customers gave a rating of 4.78 out of 5.

Positive reviewers like the in-account interest, commenting that it’s a great rate. Several people commented on how easy it is to sign up and get started with Kroo.

Negative reviewers commented on several outages and didn’t feel that the customer service was up to scratch.

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Is Kroo safe?

All of your deposits into Kroo are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means that if Kroo goes bust then up to £85,000 is protected and can be reimbursed to you.  

Is Kroo a bank?

Yes, alongside the high street banks and most other digital “challenger” ones, Kroo is a fully licensed bank in the UK. This means it can operate fully as a bank and call itself one. You probably wouldn’t notice the difference day-to-day, but it means you have the FSCS protection we mentioned earlier.

It isn’t part of the current account switching service (known as CASS), though, so this isn’t one to go for when looking for a “dummy” account. 

How to apply for a Kroo account

Signing up for Kroo is as easy as with any other digital bank — it’s all done within the app. You need to have your ID on hand and it takes about 5 minutes. You’re asked a few questions, including details of your income, and you’ll need to take a “video selfie” which is compared with a photo of your ID to verify your identity. 

When I did it, I was accepted within a few minutes, but the app said it might take a day or two. 

Do you need ID for Kroo?

Yes, as part of the sign-up process you take photos of your ID and take a “video selfie” to create a Kroo account.

Is there a hard credit check for Kroo?

No, there isn’t a hard credit check when signing up. Kroo does use credit reference agencies to check your identity, but this is a soft search, which means you’ll be able to see it on your account, but other financial institutions can’t.

It’ll perform a hard check if you apply for an overdraft or a loan. 

How to add money to Kroo

Once you’ve set up your account, you can add money via an instant or a regular bank transfer. With the instant bank transfer option you simply select your bank and type in the amount you want to transfer over. Kroo then requests the payment and transfers you over to your bank’s mobile banking app to authorise the transfer. This enters your account instantly, as the name suggests.

If you select the regular bank transfer, you’ll see your account details and can copy them into your banking app to make a regular transfer. 

You can have your income paid straight into Kroo by giving your employer your account details. As mentioned earlier, you can’t pay in cash or cheques.

How to get help with Kroo

There aren’t any UK branches with Kroo. You can get help over the phone and within the app. Annoyingly, you have to have a chat with an automated bot to begin with, but it will get a real person to help you out if it can’t answer your question. 

If you’re not in a hurry then you can send Kroo an email to get some help. 

In Smart Money People reviews, people rated Kroo’s customer service a 4.78/5, with contradicting reviews on its customer service. A lot feel like they got help quickly and effectively but some people didn’t find the customer service team helpful and felt frustrated.

Pros and cons of Kroo

Pros

  • Simple app
  • Fee-free spending and withdrawals abroad
  • 4.35% in-account interest, including on Pots

Cons

  • No branches
  • Can’t pay in cash or cheques
  • No joint accounts
  • Still growing – not fully fleshed out yet

Kroo current account

BenefitsFee-free spending abroad
4.35% in-account interest
Overdraft facility available
FeeFree
Account interest4.35%
FSCS protection?Yes

Summary: Is Kroo a good bank account?

In general, Kroo is pretty decent. It’s still not fully fleshed out, so there are some features missing, which Kroo may implement later. It’s really good for splitting bills and shared expenses, but only if your friends have the account too.

Kroo pays a pretty decent 4.35% in the account, although you can still get a better rate elsewhere if you put it into a savings account. This is great for money that remains in your account, and beats most other accounts (to compare, Starling pays 3.25%). 

The inability to pay in cash or cheques does let Kroo down, but this is something that it says it plans to implement.

3 thoughts on “Kroo Bank review: 3/5

  1. I find KROO fine but now use it as a secondary account due to a couple of issues. Firstly, a standing failed to go out over the new year – KROO issued an apology on the app but it did knock my confidence a bit. Secondly, the debit card isn’t always recognised. When I try to use it to pay online it sometimes to pay additional money off my mortgage, gets rejected saying in is a foreign debit card and cannot be accepted which is somewhat frustrating.

  2. I certainly wouldn’t use Kroo as my main bank account (I wouldn’t use any app-only bank for that, as a matter of personal preference). I do, however, have a rather specialised use for it. That is as a set & forget way of feeding regular savings accounts (of which I have a fair number) and benefiting from the 4.35% interest rate while doing so. Regular savers are only really worthwhile if you drip feed into them from a well-paying savings account. But you generally can’t pay directly in to regular savings accounts from easy access savings accounts and it takes a fair bit of faffing around to drip feed efficiently. Using Kroo as a hub saves me that bother. I appreciate i may be losing a little interest by doing it this way but it’s hassle free, which is worth it for me.

  3. I find this a very unfair review in my view. Kroo is an excellent bank. They don’t charge for what most of the other banks do. The app works brilliantly and notifications are immediate. If you put on top of this the amazing interest that they pay, it is far superior to the monzo, revolut or starling offers.

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