Santander's Kitti app aims to bring the good old cash kitty into the 21st century

The days of phoning round to chase up multiple contributions could well be a thing of the past

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Many of us have been through the painful process of trying to get a number of people to contribute their share of the money for a club event or outing, or even for a colleague's leaving or birthday present. But a new app launched last week promises to make the whole thing much easier and less time consuming.

The days of phoning round to chase up multiple contributions could well be a thing of the past, whether it's for a fun weekend or the more mundane things in life, such as chipping in for the utility bills in a shared house.

Kitti is an aptly titled money-management app from Santander that aims to bring the good old cash kitty into the 21st century.

The app allows up to 100 friends to contribute (up to a combined balance of £4,000) and keep tabs on their money at the tap of a button.

Customers of any UK bank can download the app and set up a Kitti in just a few minutes. Then they simply invite their friends and away they go.

The app is not restricted to Santander customers and is available to anyone over 18 with a UK debit card and access to a smartphone.

The way it works is that one person registers as an owner to set up a Kitti and subsequently receives a pre-paid contactless MasterCard.

The owner then invites friends to join the Kitti through the app, via text messages.

Contributors pay in by entering their debit card details, which they need to do only once. Only the owner can physically spend the money, although all members can see every transaction as it happens, so everyone knows exactly what's going on.

There is a fee of 35p per transaction, so it's a bit steep if you're just chipping in the odd tenner, but on the whole there are many benefits and I can see it being a godsend for those who regularly organise club events and outings or for students paying the bills in a shared house.

So it's hello Kitti and goodbye cash-filled jam jars.

Interesting times

There have been increasing rumblings that we may see interest rates rise before the year is out, the first upward move since July 2007.

Many people will have forgotten what sort of impact this can have on their finances, so here are a few pointers just to give you an idea of what may be around the corner for you.

Mortgage borrowers who are not on a fixed-rate deal will be the ones fearing a rate rise the most, with the extra cost dependent on both the amount borrowed and the term of the mortgage.

For example someone with a £250,000 home loan over 20 years would pay an extra £128 a month if rates were to increase by 1 per cent while a borrower with £350,000 outstanding would have to find an additional £179 a month from the household budget.

For those with credit card borrowing, a £1,500 balance with your rate being increased from 18.9 per cent to 19.9 per cent means you will pay £1.24 extra a month but if you have £7,000 on your plastic the same 1 per cent increase will cost you another £5.83 a month.

If you're a saver a 1 per cent hike will give you an extra £120 per annum (after 20 per cent tax) on a £15,000 savings pot – UK savers will be yearning for that sort of increase and more after enduring a savings drought for what must seem like an eternity.

Andrew Hagger is an independent personal finance analyst from www.moneycomms.co.uk

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