A Smart Tool for Managing Money – at Your Fingertips
How your smartphone can help you manage money
What can give you the latest news? Wake you up for the day? Guide you where you're going either as a flashlight or GPS? If you guessed a smartphone, you are correct.
At a time when sales of other consumer goods and electronics are lagging, smartphones are enjoying record growth. According to IDC.com, smartphone sales around the world are expected to grow 25 percent, from 472 million people in 2011 to 630 million people in 2012.
Why wouldn't they grow? Today's smartphones, including BlackBerrys, Androids and iPhones, are making our lives easier in so many ways. They allow us to do convenient shopping, connect with others around the world at the touch of a button and even blow off steam by shooting birds at pigs.
They can also help simplify one of our most important tasks - managing money. According to Consumerreports.org, 39 million Americans were banking by phone in 2011. It's proven to be a smart way for individuals and businesses to save time and manage money more conveniently.
With mobile banking and a smartphone, you can literally bring your money right to you. You can:
- Check savings and account balances
- See what checks have cleared
- Receive and set up text alerts to notify you when a specific account activity has occurred
- View loan balances and make payments
- Manage credit card accounts
- Transfer funds between internal and external accounts
- Scan check images for deposits
R U bkg by txt?
One banking feature that's becoming popular is text-based banking. With this feature, you can text simple commands to your bank, such as "Bal" to receive your balances or "Tra" to initiate account transfers.
A variety of apps to put you in control of your money
In addition to features available with mobile banking, smartphone providers also offer applications to help you get more out of your money. Some of the most popular applications can help you with:
- Budgeting. Wondering if you can afford that new outfit or trip? You can download applications that track your expenses and budgets for you. You can even take pictures of receipts with your smartphone. Think of how much easier that could make things at tax time.
- Shopping comparisons. Going grocery shopping? You can take advantage of apps that make it easy for you to compare prices of various brands to determine the best value.
- Income tax applications. Need assistance with your taxes? You can download apps designed to provide helpful tips and information to complete your taxes.
- Account tracking. See all your account balances, including your banking and individual credit card accounts, in one place. You can even consolidate your retirement accounts as well.