The digital age is provoking new and improved technological advancements that are influencing the financial industry. The way people are managing their financial health is vastly changing to meet the needs of users who crave instantaneous and convenient tools and technology. These features can include a more secure way of making transactions, easy access to a debit or credit card, the integration of apps to help upkeep a budget or using a platform to manage your bank account. Without the vital role of technology in financial developments, these user accommodations and the financial industry wouldn’t be where they are today.
Here are the key features that are highlighting the flourishing relationship between financial management and technology:
Fee Free Overdraft
The average U.S. household pays over $300 in bank fees every year. These can be service fees, foreign transaction fees, and overdraft fees. Overdraft fees occur when your bank account goes below zero after a transaction. These fees have the ability to add up over time and can create a lot of stress, especially if you know you have an overdue bill and insufficient funds to pay it for it.
With traditional banks, overdraft fees are viewed as a short-term loan that you have to pay back within a certain period of time. Digital banking apps offer overdraft protection that spots your balance—boosting it above zero after your next direct deposit. This digital approach to managing fees can limit your tendency to go into debt and reduce an inability to pay bills or loans in a timely manner.
Electronic billing apps allow you to sync your bank account into a third-party tracking system to better handle your account information and manage cash flow.
When you receive payments, you can opt to be notified within the platform or through the alert system within the settings on your smartphone. Both provide a timely message describing the payment that went through, the amount owed or a price point for a bill that was automatically taken out of your checking account. At first, the app can require you to compile your bills and account numbers and select a time when you want each one to complete recurring payments.
When bills are automated through an app, you no longer need to worry about writing a check or sending and receiving your payments through the mail. Billing electronically is a more efficient and accurate way to handle your financial management digitally, without the hassle.
Spare Change Investment
Micro-investment spare change apps offer low fees or low-cost ways to start investing in the stock market.
This user-friendly smartphone convenience allows a low minimum deposit for smaller accounts, which essentially aids the investment process during the beginning stages of building your savings. If you plan to make monthly contributions from your paycheck to build your savings, some investment apps can give you a current and future overview during the time you’ve used their service. This can highlight where you may need to place more or less or your money.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you have a larger bank account, these apps may not be as beneficial for you. The more money you make and the larger the account, the higher the fees. At a certain point, you may need professional financial management. As for college students, or individuals who are just entering the working world, a spare change investment app could be a valuable asset to your budget.
Services like BillFixers negotiate on your behalf to save you money on your monthly expenses—costs like internet, tv, or phone service. While you can sign up for them directly, it's becoming more common to see features like bill negotiation being offered directly by banks and credit unions. Bill Negotiation also shows up in personal finance apps like Qoins.
If you're interested in bill negotiation, you can always sign up directly, but also make sure to contact your bank and ask them if they offer bill negotiation.
With technology playing an even bigger role in the way individuals approach their personal financial management, it’s imperative to do some research prior to downloading an app or linking your bank account to a third-party financial platform. You’ll want to ensure the technology you’re implementing into your daily routine is reliable and helps make managing your finances a more enjoyable and stress-free experience.