Technology has changed the landscape in the financial services industry to one that is inclusive and transparent to the client. So unlike the old guard that views technology as a threat, we view it as an opportunity. After all, clients are the ones that bring their money to the industry. Without them there would be no stock market, banks, or financial advisors for that matter.
When it comes to personal finance, technology has leveled the playing field for clients and made them better money managers and decision makers. There is a multitude of information that the client has access to now, including fee information and fund performance with real-time information. This has allowed the American public to take control back of an industry that was grotesquely opaque.
Mobile apps are commonly referred to ‘personal finance services’ because of the benefit they provide to personal spending, debt, and savings initiatives. Most are free or low cost and available in App Store and Android Market. Some of our favorites include:
- Mint: Provides personal spending analysis and credit reporting/scoring to promote debt reduction
- YNAB: (You Need a Budget) Helps you build a budget and stick to it by notifying you when you’re at risk
- Acorns: Allows you to round up purchases and invest the spare change for $1 per month (aside from investment fees).
This puts the consumer in control of their money and financial well-being. Tracking spending, debt management, and educating consumers how to manage their money is literally at your fingertips these days. We find this encouraging because the first step to financial prosperity is knowing where you stand in your situation. Personal finance apps work on the premise that if all of your information is in one place, you’re more likely to take notice and change from poor financial habits to good habits. Utilizing apps makes it easy and convenient for you to change habits because if you’re like most people you have your mobile device with you 24/7.
The new ability to manage our money through apps combines data with cutting-edge technology to give the financial industry a much-needed overhaul. And the ancillary benefit to all of this? The addition of behavioral science can make you better at managing your money. It’s easier to save, invest, or comparison-shop than ever before.
The technology available today can permanently change the consumer for the better. Smart money management is in, while being unaware of money management is out. Mobile apps are at the forefront of this trend.