Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, please contact us.  We would love to help you.

Is it safe to link my bank accounts and credit cards to Otto?

Your financial security is our highest priority.

  • Our app was developed right here in the USA​.
  • We maintain the highest bank-level encryption standards.
  • ​All information obtained is in a read-only format.
  • ​No one can use the app to move or access your money.
Otto uses Finicity, an affiliate of Mastercard and one of the top API services in the nation, to safely link to your financial institutions. For more information about Finicity and their security policies, please visit

Can I use my current bank accounts?

Yes. Often people have automatic bills already coming out of their current checking account and don't want to go through the hassle of switching these to a new account. As a result, many people use their current checking account as their Bills Account. You may also use a current savings account as any one of your new savings accounts. As a general rule, you can use any current accounts you have. Just make sure you keep the required minimum balances in each account so you don't incur a fee.

Why do I need multiple accounts?

Separate accounts are what make organizing your money possible. Think of these accounts as containers for your money or as digital cash envelopes. Each account has an important purpose. Collecting your earnings in an Income Deposit Account gives you a chance to make deliberate decisions with your money before you start spending it. A Bills Account allows you to aside the money you need and relax knowing your bills are covered. A Spending Account helps you take control of your day-to-day spending. Dedicated Savings Accounts allow you to set aside money for the things that are important to you. A Credit Card Payoff Account holds the money you have spent using your credit card. This account keeps this money from getting mixed up with the money you still have available to spend. This account also makes sure your credit card payments are covered so you never slip into credit card debt.

How is organizing with Otto different than categorizing?

The biggest difference between organizing and categorizing is that categorizing deals with numbers on a spreadsheet or plan, while Otto deals with actual money in your bank or credit union. When you categorize, you guess how much you will earn, and then guess how much you will spend in all your different categories. Categorizing involves a lot of guessing. With Otto you take money you’ve already earned and then organize it in separate bank accounts based on how you plan to use it. Your money is physically organized. With Otto, you don’t need to guess anymore because you always know exactly how much money you have available to spend. Here is another way to look at it. When you use categories, you have two separate things, your money in the bank AND a spreadsheet or plan with a lot of categories and numbers on it. When you organize your money, you don't need a separate spreadsheet or plan. With Otto your money IS your plan, your plan IS your money.

How is organizing with Otto better than categorizing? (part 1)

Because Otto deals with actual, physical money, not just numbers, you can’t overspend or go “over-budget.” When your money is organized, if the money's gone, it is gone. But what really makes organizing better than categorizing is what happens if you go “under-budget.” When you categorize, if you are “under-budget” one month, the extra money could easily have been spent in a different category. It’s impossible to know where the actual money is. It’s in the ether somewhere. As a result, you need to spend every dollar you have categorized, because if you don’t, you will never see that money again. On the other hand, Otto incentivizes you to spend wisely. Each month, any money you don’t spend in an account, stays in that account and can be spent at a later time. When you organize your money, you can see your actual money building in your accounts month after month! It’s wonderful.

How is organizing with Otto better than categorizing? (part 2)

Categorizing focuses on the past, while organizing with Otto focuses on the present. When you categorize, you guess what you think you will earn and spend in the coming month. Once the month is over, you then look back to see how you did. You can spend hours looking back, categorizing and comparing. But looking back, doesn’t change how you spent your money. When you organize your money with Otto, you simply have to look at what you have available in each of your accounts TODAY. When you know exactly how much you have, you make smarter spending decisions all month long. These small everyday decisions are what can turn you into someone who earns interest, rather than pays interest. And that, my friends, will change your financial FUTURE forever!