- Review: Dobot
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Mill Valley, California-based Dobot is a financial application that links your goals with your income and spending habits. The purpose is to make it easier for you to save and invest money through your regular financial activity.
The application helps you to save money by enabling you to visualize your goals. Once you do, the application makes saving money toward those goals an automatic process.
Dobot was founded by three individuals: Brad Pope, Brian Davis and John Longley, the company’s CEO. The three bring together a combined 70 years of experience at some of the world’s largest investment firms.
How Does Dobot Work?
You connect your checking account to the Dobot application, and it uses an algorithm to analyze your spending patterns and to calculate safe savings amounts. The algorithm is designed to make sure you have sufficient funds to cover your spending needs while also saving money.
Every few days, the application will deposit small amounts of money into your Dobot savings account. In addition, you always have the option to add more money to the account, since you can easily transfer money into the savings account anytime you like.
You can also withdraw funds anytime. Withdrawals can take up to three business days, but if your withdrawal request is entered before 3:00 PM Pacific Time, your funds will usually arrive in your checking account on the next business day.
Dobot has the capacity to connect with more than 9,000 banks across the country. If your bank is not one of the 9,000, you can contact Dobot to see when and if it can be added.
In order to sign up, you need to create an account, connect it to your bank and then download the app. Documentation required will include a copy of a government-issued photo ID and a copy of a utility bill, bank statement or other bill that confirms your home address.
Creating and funding goals. Once you have the app, you can set your goals. For example, if you want to save money to travel, you can set a goal to save a certain amount of money each month so that you will have enough money for your trip by the time you are ready to go. The app will allocate amounts to contribute to your goals from your checking account.
You can set as many savings goals as you like, and Dobot will work to fund them.
Along the way, Dobot sends you motivational messages and advice by text and email in order to help you to reach your goals.
Dobot Community. The Dobot application also works through its own community by allowing you to invite other savers to share their experiences with you and help cheer you on as you cheer them on.
|Mobile App||Yes — Apple iOS and Google Android|
|Web Site Access||Yes — Currently lacks any functionality|
|Promotions||Get $5 For Trying Dobot|
- Account Types — Savings accumulated through the Dobot app are held in a non-interest-bearing savings account. The funds can be transferred to your linked checking account and then invested in any other accounts you have.
- Account Protection — Funds held in Dobot savings are FDIC insured, for balances up to $250,000 per person.
- Communication With the Dobot App — Dobot will send you messages regarding your account to your email (which is required at application), by phone or via text to your mobile device. It may do this by first sending a code to your mobile device, which you must enter as instructed.
- Customer Support — Dobot customer service is available by email, on Twitter or by phone. The customer service team is available Monday through Friday, from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM (all times Pacific).
- Security — Dobot uses bank-level security, including 256-bit encryption, to anonymize and encrypt your personal information before it is stored on the application servers. Dobot never stores bank account logins.
- Free Service — There are absolutely no fees required for the use of the Dobot application. However the company does indicate a fee may be charged in the future, with reasonable advance notice.
- Passive Savings — Much like payroll -deducted savings, Dobot’s automatic savings feature takes saving money out of your hands and makes it an automatic process. This can be the perfect way either to save money passively or to help a non-saver to become a saver.
- Not for Long-Term Savings — There is no interest paid on the money you have in your Dobot savings account. However, you are always free to transfer money into your linked checking account, to be invested in whatever account you choose.
- Third-Party Links — The Dobot terms of service disclose: “The Services may contain links or connections to third-party websites or services that are not owned or operated by us or third-party service providers or licensors. We provide such links and connections for your reference only.” That sounds like advertisements. This will be a problem only if third-party ads bother you.
- Must Have Extra Money — Dobot saves money by transferring unused amounts in your budget to the Dobot savings account. In order for this to work, there has to be extra room in your budget in the first place. The app can enable you to save for your goals but only if you’re committed to making the room in your budget.
Dobot’s features and functionality are similar to those of Digit. Dobot’s biggest limitation is it’s not for long-term savings, as you do not gain any interest in your savings. In our opinion, if you are looking for longer-term savings we recommend using the program we have named best in the microsavings category, Acorns.