Mylo and KOHO are different in many ways but also similar in a lot of ways. So, in true Dollar Build fashion, I thought they’d be perfect for a head to head battle.
I’ve become obsessed with one of these apps. The other will be deleted once I’m done writing this post.
I use one of them multiple times a day and it has changed my life for the better. The other one is just not quite ready for prime time and has a lot of catching up to do.
So, which is which?
You’ll have to keep reading to find out. But I promise it’ll be worth it. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make this comparison as helpful and complete as possible.
So, if I missed anything or if you have any questions about either app, please let me know in the comments below.
Without further ado.
Let’s do this!
Roundups Feature Comparison
WINNER: KOHO (hands down)
Firstly, what is a roundup? A roundup is a savings tool that allows you to save effortlessly by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. For example, if you buy a coffee at Starbucks for $4.25, your transaction will be rounded up to $5 and the extra $0.75 will be put aside in a savings vehicle.
This feature is what inspired me to try both apps. In theory it’s a great feature. It allows you to save without changing your spending habits.
KOHO and Mylo both offer a roundup feature. However, as you know, not all features are created equal. And KOHO’s implementation is far superior in my opinion. That’s why this was easy to declare a winner. KOHO’s roundup feature is awesome whereas Mylo’s roundups are just a marketing gimmick.
So, let me explain.
With KOHO, roundups happen in real time. (at least that’s what they want you to think) That means that as soon as you make a purchase, the extra cents are removed from your spendable balance. This makes it worry free and easy. You’re able to see your savings in real time. (which is awesome) They can do this in realtime because, they aren’t moving your money anywhere, it stays on your KOHO card. But it’s a nifty UI trick and changes your mindset. So, kudos to KOHO for figuring it out!
On the other hand, with Mylo, roundups only appear 2-3 business days after the transaction AND they only get deposited to your Mylo account 1x week. (every Monday) It may be hard to explain why this is such a big difference through text. But it’s huge a drawback.
For example, you spend all week and have accumulated $5.23 in roundups, now, on the following Monday, Mylo will take $5.23 from your bank account and deposit it to your Mylo account. In other words, Mylo isn’t doing anything other than counting your change then depositing it 1x week.
In that case, you might as well just set an automatic deposit of $5/week instead. At least then you’ll know how much you’re saving. It won’t just be a random meaningless amount that gets deposited every Monday.
Try KOHO roundups (Use referral code: DOLLARBUILD for an extra 1% cashback)
Try Mylo roundups and get $5 signup bonus.
PowerUps vs. Mylo Perks
WINNER: KOHO (no contest)
What is a PowerUp? It’s KOHO free rewards system. They give you instant cash-back. You get PowerUps of 0.5% on whatever you spend. You’ll see the cash-back in your Savings tab within 1-2 business days of the original authorized purchase.
With KOHO, you get 0.5% back on ALL your purchases by default. But you can increase that amount by 1% for each referral (more later). Plus, you get additional PowerUps from some of their partners. All PowerUps happen automatically without lifting a finger.
What is Mylo Perks? It’s Mylo’s free rewards system. Perks are exclusive deals and discounts from various brands. Each month, Mylo has a few (3-4) brands that you can get cash back if you shop with them.
You probably already see why it’s a no brainer for KOHO to win this category.
- With KOHO, you get rewards on EVERYTHING (plus extra rewards from many select brands). With Mylo you only get Perks from a few brands and it changes every month. And honestly, Mylo’s Perks aren’t that appealing either. ($5 cash back from Busbud.com only valid for 30 days. Ummm. Ok…?)
- With KOHO it’s automatic. You don’t have to do anything; you just get cashback as you use the app. With Mylo, you must first “activate” the offer, then go and buy whatever it is they’re promoting that month. The fact that Mylo makes you “activate” an offer first, feels like the stone age. Everything should just be automatic nowadays. Again, the “Perks” aren’t even that appealing.
Try KOHO PowerUps (Use referral code: DOLLARBUILD for an extra 1% cashback)
Try Mylo Perks and get $5 signup bonus.
Another win for KOHO. They offer a 1% referral bonus for 90 days (3 months) for each invite. For example, let’s say you normally put $2,000/month of transactions through KOHO. (I think that’s a fair estimate) You would get 1% x $2,000 = $20 then times 3 months = $60.00
With Mylo, you only get $5 as a one-time bonus for each referral.
Style and UI
I must give a slight edge to Mylo for this one. Mylo’s design is clean simple and minimalist. It’s also appealing to look at. It would be very easy for anyone to pick up and navigate.
However, you could argue that it’s a bit too minimalist and can get boring. Nonetheless, the app is very responsive and fast. I don’t have any issues with their design.
On the other hand, I also like KOHO’s design. I like the edgy styling and color play.
However, some screens don’t look as polished as others and it can get a bit cluttered.
Still that’s not why KOHO loses this category. They lose because the app feels “non-native”. Don’t quote me on this as I don’t know for sure, but I think the app is built on a shared framework called Ionic. This allows them to have 1 codebase for Apple and Android. (which is great) However, the drawback is that it can be a bit sluggish. This is my biggest gripe with KOHO, and I hope they fix it one day.
Both apps do a good job with the goal creation flow. The implementation is slightly different, but both are easy and straight forward. I honestly can’t pick a winner here. I’ll include screenshots below so you can see.
KOHO takes this one. Both apps have the standard funding options like bank transfers in lump sums or automated weekly/monthly deposits. They both make it very easy to setup.
However, KOHO has one additional option that edges them for the win. They allow for instant e-transfers and they automate the Q&A for you.
For example, I can get money on my KOHO card instantly by just sending an e-transfer to my unique KOHO email with my transfer code as the answer. Then it magically appears in my account. It’s cool!
This is an easy one. Mylo wins this because KOHO doesn’t invest your money. KOHO makes saving very easy, but they don’t invest it. (Although it’s coming, they’re working on a partnership with Wealthsimple) However, as of right now Mylo will invest your money in a basket of ETFs.
Even though Mylo beats KOHO here, I do have issues with Mylo’s methodology. I created a short-term goal (6 months) and Mylo invested my money in their “Moderate-Aggressive” portfolio of ETFs (Bonds and stocks). I guess this was decided based on my age and risk tolerance.
However, a short-term goal should NEVER be exposed to risks. In 6 months, anything can happen. Imagine, I worked my a** off, saved $1,000 in 6 months to buy a new TV, then when I go to cash out, I see I only have $950? I would be p***ed!
I’m a Finance major so I fully understand risk tolerance and time horizon. However, I think Mylo’s algorithm is using my age RATHER than the end date of the goal to compute time horizon. A 6-month goal should only be invested in cash and cash equivalents.
Also, Mylo doesn’t show your investment returns ANYWHERE. They only show your portfolio allocation. There’s no graphs, charts or anything.
So, if you’re looking for an investing platform, I would highly recommend Wealthsimple over Mylo (end rant…)
Try Wealthsimple (For FREE)
Try Mylo and get $5 signup bonus.
This is another easy one. KOHO is FREE. (they do have a premium plan for $9/month, but it’s not needed)
Mylo charges $1+tx /month for the basic plan, or $3+tx/month for Mylo Advantage which is required if you want an RRSP or TFSA account.
What I enjoy about Mylo
Clean interface. Easy to use. Fast. Reliable app.
What I hate about Mylo
Not great as a savings tool. No classifier for transactions. Not good for Investments (Try Wealthsimple instead). Doesn’t show any graphs or returns. No distinction between TFSA and regular accounts. Roundups are Delayed. Costs $1-$3/month. Feels gimmicky. Mylo “perks” are lame.
What I enjoy about KOHO
Real time notifications. Real time roundups. PowerUps. Makes saving easy and fun. App is addictive and cool. Metal cards coming!
What I hate about KOHO
Can feel non-native at times and laggy. Can be a bit cluttered and unpolished.
I don’t want to knock either company. In the end, they are both on a very important mission to help Canadians save more. It’s a big problem that needs solving, so I hope they both succeed!
However, in life, there are winners and there are losers. And as of right now, the clear winner in my opinion is KOHO.
I’m fully on board with Mylo’s mission. But the app just feels gimmicky. Most of its features are just mediocre at best.
It’s hard to say, but the reality is that it doesn’t do any of these things very well right now. So, I can’t help but feel like Mylo is playing catchup and fighting an uphill battle.
Nonetheless, competition is good, and I hope they can succeed in the competitive Fintech landscape. They just closed a Series A funding of $10 million. So, hopefully it’ll be spent on improving the app and finding their niche.
To the victor goes the spoils. Winner winner chicken dinner. (that’s all the corny lines I can think of right now…)
Pro Tip: Use referral code: DOLLARBUILD for an extra 1% cashback
To be honest, I was reluctant to try KOHO at first.
Mainly because I thought the marketing was a bit confusing.
Is it a bank account? Is it a credit card? Is it Saving app?
I wasn’t sure what it was or why I needed at first. I thought I was fine with my free Tangerine account for banking and my Wealthsimple account for saving/investing.
However, in the end I am so thankful I gave it a shot!
Firstly, it makes saving easy and enjoyable. You don’t have to think about it. Just by using the app, you are inherently saving money through Roundups and PowerUps.
Second, there’s a certain “je ne sais quois” about the app that makes it very rewarding and fun to use.
I still get excited to whip out my KOHO card, tap the registry and then check my phone’s notification in real-time.
Especially knowing that I’m saving money with each transaction. I’m also super stoked about their metal cards that are launching later this year. There’s a cool factor with KOHO and a feeling that you just can’t really describe unless you try it for yourself.
So, in conclusion I think if you’re looking for an easy way to save money or if your looking for a FREE banking solution, KOHO is the way to go.
However, if you’re looking for a Robo-Advisor or an Investing account, KOHO is not right for you. You may want to consider Wealthsimple in that case.
(Use referral code: DOLLARBUILD for an extra 1% cashback)