TMCnet Feature
April 23, 2020

6 Fintech Tools Making Banking Easier

Money Management Is Easy With These 6 Apps

If you’re not managing your money online, why not?

Chances are, you’re doing practically everything else online: connecting with friends, shopping, listening to music, working, taking a class — so why not banking? It’s good to have a relationship with your financial institution, but there’s no need to make a trip to the bank for every transaction.

Our banks are here to stay, but the way we handle our money has changed enormously. We can save it, spend it, send it, or invest it right from our palms. We can put together a budget, check our expenses, and cancel online subscriptions with a few taps. 

Still, some finance apps make it easier than others. These six are popular for a reason:

1. Prism

If you’ve never been late on a bill and had to pay a fee, you might just be a superhuman. For those of us who haven’t had the luck to be bitten by a radioactive spider, Prism is perfect. Prism pulls billing data from over 11,000 billers, including apps, credit cards, utilities, and insurance providers.

Not every bill is due at the first of the month. Sometimes it’s the sixth, sometimes the twenty-seventh, and sometimes it seems random. Prism plots them out on a calendar and provides notifications before they’re due.

When you download the app, Prism has you choose your billers and connect your accounts. From there, prism can track your account balances, send you reminders, and let you pay bills in the app. Importantly, Prism has promised never to sell your financial data.

2. Clarity Money

It’s not enough to just have Netflix. All of the good shows are spread across Hulu (News - Alert), Netflix, Disney+, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, and what seems like a thousand others. Add video streaming services to all the other subscription services you use on a daily basis, and the total can be pretty pricey.

In a color-coded list, Clarity (News - Alert) Money tracks all the subscription payments you’re making. It gives you the ability to adjust the payments or cancel the subscriptions right in the app. That can keep you from throwing money away on subscriptions you don’t use. And if you’re considering a new one, you can check whether one of your existing subscriptions might already cover that base.

3. Chime

Chime is everything a modern banking experience should be. In addition to a spending and savings account, it offers a fee-free debit card. Every swipe rounds up to the nearest dollar, which is automatically transferred to the savings account.

Several other features make Chime a unique banking experience. Chime members get their paycheck up to two days early, which can come in handy at the end of a long week. Because everyone comes up short sometimes, Chime does not charge overdraft or maintenance banking fees.

Chime also has a built-in mobile payments tool that works with Android (News - Alert) and iOS devices. Chipping in for pizza is as easy as pulling up the app.

4. Wally

Have you ever checked your account after paying bills and been convinced you were robbed, cheated, or somehow compromised? Only after going back through every expense, charge, and swipe did you see the truth: You simply overspent.

You’re not alone. As bad as it is, we all sometimes fail to make a plan for our money or keep track of our expenses.

Wally makes it easy to set and stick to your financial goals. Its intuitive interface shows how much of your daily and monthly budgets you have remaining, with a readout of recent expenses right beneath. It records where, when, what, and how much you’ve spent.

Wally is good for international travelers. It has an easy-to-use currency converter, and it can track everything from Euros to Yen.

Another business-friendly feature is Wally’s photo upload. The app stores images of receipts for travel reimbursement and, especially for the self-employed, tax purposes.

5. Acorns

While some financial apps listed above offer investing features, there are few dedicated entirely to it. Acorns is a micro-investing app that’s been on the market for years.

Acorns’ pre-built portfolios let you choose how to invest according to your risk tolerance. It handles rebalancing automatically, so your portfolio is always on track with the market. Acorns uses 256-bit encryption, which is the same level of security that banks use.

Using Acorns, you can make daily, weekly, or monthly investments. Every purchase you make with the Acorns card is rounded up and invested. Acorns has no ATM fees, no overdraft fees, and does not require you to keep a minimum balance in the account.

One downside of Acorns? Unlike many of the apps on this list, it is not free. Acorns charges $1, $2, or $3 per month based on which subscription tier you choose: basic, plus, or premium.

With that said, Acorns is still a good deal. Investment returns should more than make up for the monthly fee.

6. Venmo

A lot of the transactions we make involve other people. We buy groceries for the group. We split gas with the other people on our road trip. If we have roommates, we share the burden of rent. And these days, most of us do not carry a lot of cash.

Backed by PayPal (News - Alert), Venmo makes it easy to transfer money, split payments with others, and pay people back. But the real advantage of Venmo is its social media-like feed.

Venmo users can see what their friends are spending on and who they’re paying. They can make comments and “like” transactions. Those who want to keep transactions private can hide them or restrict comments in the setting menu.

Venmo’s only real drawback is that both the payer and recipient must live in the United States. Both must have a Venmo account and the app. The app is free, so that may not be a big deal.

Whether you have a lot or a little, money is money. It’s something we all have to stay on top of, so why not make it easy? These fintech apps are all you need.


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