PFM app Plum adds two sustainable funds

The UK-based personal finance management (PFM) app added two funds, Balanced Ethical and Growth Ethical, which group companies committed to ethical, social and governance (ESG) criteria, per Finextra. Plum already offers 10 funds, including Tech Giants, Best of British, and ESG-focused Clean and Green. In addition to investing, Plum links to users’ bank accounts via an API and uses AI to analyze transactional data and automate round-ups into a free, easy-access 0.25% annual equivalent return (AER) savings account or a 0.40% AER account for £1 ($1.28) a month.

With the new funds, Plum is banking on growing consumer interest in ESG investing: 30% of Plum investors in October ranked ESG funds as their preferred investing option, per Finextra, underscoring how adding sustainable investing options is key to Plum’s and other fintechs’ user growth going forward, as Insider Intelligence expected.

Broadening its ESG offering will also help attract millennial investors, its main user base: 95% of millennials expressed interest in sustainable investing in 2019, and they will soon become the largest investor cohort, with $68 trillion set to move from parents to their next of kin over the next 25 years.

To avoid getting lost among other sustainable portfolios, like Moneybox and Nutmeg, and boost adoption of its new pension, Plum should add more personalized insights. Personalization is key to maximizing ROI on PFM tools, and here, Plum could use its AI capabilities to offer insights into individual users’ investment decisions, such as the environmental impact of their portfolio. More personalized ESG investing options could also boost adoption of its upcoming Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), which lets users make their own investment decisions by picking which Plum funds to invest in. Online pension provider PensionBee, for example, launched a fossil fuel-free fund after users pledged £100 million ($128.2 million) worth of retirement savings, highlighting the popularity of sustainable investing in pensions.