The world has changed a lot over the past decade or so. There are many things we would have once have done manually that we can now do online or on our phones, such as food shopping, airport check-ins and an activity which some may find tedious but is absolutely necessary: banking.
Of course, it’s a strange alteration from going in and speaking to someone at the bank, to simply tapping a few times on your phone. But it’s an adaption which makes sense. The ease of online banking, in terms of time saving and its practicality advantages mean it was an almost inevitable switch from manual to technological.
We’ll outline exactly how banking has changed now we use our mobiles, and tell you about a few banking apps we think are worth downloading.
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As with many developments in technology, a huge emphasis on trust is required. We send stuff out on our phones, laptops and tablets with little knowledge about where it actually goes or what happens to the information whilst it is in the mystical ether which connects the world today.
This is especially true for something as important as banking, which is keeping our money safe, and whether you like it or not, we need money. So how can we be certain our money is safe? Well, of course passwords and codes are in place which hopefully only you know in order to access your online accounts. But it is more so the evolution of phones themselves that has allowed for complete personalised security.
This is largely due to a progression in phone specs and qualities. Many manufacturers are incorporating sensor and scanning technology which will only respond to the unique fingerprint or iris of the user before entering important apps like banking ones. The iPhone 7 is the best example for such technology with its Taptic engine, which sends haptic feedback to the phone user through vibrations. Its TouchID system is partnered with Taptic and is placed beneath the screen so it can’t be tampered with.
Away from security, there’s also the ease in which transactions can be made and received, anywhere at any time. So no need to wait for someone to drag themselves to the bank to pay you back. Our money is constantly within reach (which may be dangerous for some) but it’s good to have that peace of mind as we are able to manage our accounts online, and then put more focus onto other things whilst knowing whether we can afford something no matter where we are, instead of panicking through old-fashioned financial ignorance.
A free app for iOS and Android created by Moneysupermarket.com, OnTrees aims to offer the best customer satisfaction features. It shows all your accounts in one place, so you can keep an exact eye on what money is going in and out of.
All spending is split into categories, such as food shopping, work related spending or just going for a night out. This helps determine where most of your money is being spent so you know what to cut down on if you’re looking to save money.
If you want to check your credit rating for free and with little hassle, Clearscore is a very useful app. Your bank details aren’t required, which differentiates this app somewhat. It will send you updates if your score changes and provide a monthly report. Available on Android and iOS, it is a great option for those looking to build a financial plan.
Only for iOS users, this free app helps get your head around the mind-bendingly tricky task of working out how much you actually earn once various taxes have been paid. It also accounts for loan repayments and pensions, allowing you to get excited about your disposable income instead of worrying about calculating how much you need to pay.
It does precisely what it says on the tin: Payfriendz is for the times when you owe your mates some money (or vice versa) and it fortunately costs nothing for Android and iOS customers. As opposed to the usual fracas of needing their sort code and account number, this app cuts that out so you have a simple ‘friends’ list and select who you want to pay and it’s done in a moment. There’s also a messaging device so can chat about the payment.
We’re finishing on a slightly left-field note, and one that is only available on iOS for £2.29. However, if you are a budding stock market enthusiasts, this app will be right up your street: you can keep up-to-date with the changing markets and even invest.
It will create a folder for all your investments so you can track them with comfort. StockWatch is a worldwide tool, supporting 50 exchange markets and 150 currencies. We might be hearing a lot more about this app in the future…