There are mobile apps in every conceivable sector that make our lives easier and more enjoyable every day. Fitness, retail, social networking, on-demand car service…you can find several innovative apps for almost any need you might have. Personal finance and banking are areas that always have pain points, and there are constantly evolving apps with ever-improving solutions. From highly personalized mobile banking apps to “smart” personal budgeting apps that offer advice, there are hundreds of innovations that help the user be more prudent and careful with their hard-earned money. Let’s review the best tools in the mobile FinTech app world today, and why they work so well.
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Occasionally, in this world of incredible technological advances, it ends up that a simple human philosophy is the truly disruptive factor in the app world. You Need A Budget (YNAB) approached the FinTech app world in just this way by emphasizing and teaching a sound financial lifestyle that is supported with a simple yet intuitive UX platform. Using the primary tenet to “give every dollar a job”, also known as zero-sum budgeting, this wildly popular app helps users change their habits and track their progress with graphs and charts. It also offers integrated connections with every account and device, personal and technical support and advice, and top-notch security throughout.
By combining technical savvy with strong financial philosophy, YNAB has created what most app creators would kill for: a vibrant and devoted fan base, with forums and groups that proudly advocate their success from using it. All the slick new technical bells and whistles couldn’t possibly inspire such devotion, so app developers would do well to remember the impact of a personal touch.
Sticking with the importance of personalized interactions, Albert raises the bar for individual budget management. It’s a fairly pared down app when compared to others, with the basic features you would expect from a budgeting app: a budget spreadsheet based on income and bills, automatic savings account withdrawals, and real-time alerts for unusual expenditures or hikes on billing rates.
Where Albert stands out is the inclusion of the Genius feature. For a monthly fee (the amount of which the user chooses), the user gains access to Albert’s team of Geniuses, who are a group of financial experts that specialize in various aspects of personal finance. The user can text questions about budgeting, investing, or any other subject, and receive personal advice from the Genius advisors. This feature truly sets Albert apart; almost everyone, especially millennials, value personalized attention and guidance above most other features. Human expertise, combined with powerful algorithms, give Albert a leg up in customized financial advice.
Personal budgets can be quietly sabotaged by various fees, old subscriptions, and other forgotten money-draining obligations. Enter Trim, a nifty little app that links up with your bank and credit card statements to identify all your various subscriptions and automated payments so you can better keep track of them. It will organize them and present you with a list, and will do all the legwork to cancel the ones you know longer need. Additionally, Trim will perform other tasks, like negotiate better monthly rates with your cable provider, lower APR on your credit cards…even pen a certified letter to your fitness center explaining why you won’t be going anymore.
Trim is an excellent example of how a FinTech app can serve a very specific yet bothersome niche, and provide solutions at minimum effort to the user.
App users tend to compile several apps in certain sectors, then uninstall in bursts when they become irrelevant or use too much memory. If there’s a single all-in-one app that covers almost all of your personal financial needs, Cinch is a good choice. In contrast to other apps that pride themselves on leaving your personal information out of their equations, Cinch wants access to everything: bank and credit card accounts, your social security number, income, bills…anything that’s relevant to your entire financial health. With this data, Cinch uses AI and proprietary algorithms to help you pay down debt, manage your budget, check on investments, and help increase your credit score.
Cinch can function as your own personal Chief Financial Officer. Their whole philosophy addresses the gap between what the average user knows about the financial world and how the actual financial world operates, arming you with the knowledge and advice that the professionals have.
Investment is tricky business, especially for the novice. There are dozens of apps out there that can give advice and monitor the market, but it’s likely that said advice is coming from underqualified personnel. The people behind Personal Capital are all certified experts, and you get two dedicated advisors right away to start examining and building your investment needs and strategies. All these advisors are also fiduciaries, meaning they are legally bound to look out for your best interests, including advising towards safer divestments and against risky high margin investments. You can also seek guidance on 401K’s and retirement plans, college funds, and other long-term planning, and your advisors are available via email, web conference, or phone. It’s a free app, but a small monthly payment gets you more personalized individual attention.
This comprehensive app looks at your big picture and offers a safer and more secure investment plan, even analyzing various broker fees to see if they’re worth it. A personal and customizable financial planning app, with the technology and support to give you your best chance at success.