Managing your finances and budgeting has always been a somewhat difficult task for people. Understanding the stock market, creating a solid financial plan, and even establishing significant savings can be overwhelming. Seeing this need, designers aimed to solve this problem by developing financial technology, also known as fintech.
Prior to fintech coming to the forefront, many people budgeted using envelopes and hired (sometimes pricey) financial advisors. Now, you can manage your investments, keep an eye on your savings, and have a budget created for you with your smartphone.
Trends in Financial Technology
Fintech initially only referred to the systems banks used on the backend to monitor transactions and better understand their customers. Now, it covers everything from business to consumer needs and refers to any company providing financial services through software or other technology.
Fintech has engaged the lives of just about everyone. While sending someone a few bucks via CashApp doesn’t seem like a big deal, in doing so, you’re assisting in the growth of financial technology. However, these apps have expanded beyond simple payments and transactions.
Developers have focused on making financial technology more accessible and attractive. You can use these types of technology for budgeting, crowdfunding, insurance, investing, among other everyday financial tasks.
The Advantage of Fintech
There are obvious advantages of using fintech, whether it be computer software like Quickbooks or an app on your phone, such as the banking apps many of us use daily. It makes your financial transactions and decisions automatic and reduces the likelihood of major mistakes being made.
Once you submit your preferences and the technology gets to know your habits, you won’t have to worry about a thing. For instance, an app that helps you invest, like Acorns, will ask you your risk tolerance as well as how much money you’re willing to put into the account each month. After you’ve provided that information, you don’t have to lift a finger until your preferences change or you want to cash out.
Fintech makes something that can be difficult to understand easier and more accessible. Most people may feel a bit intimidated by making decisions regarding investments or major financial decisions. Now, there are a number of applications you can download on your phone that make the decisions for you.
For those interested in investing, fintech can help you make decisions and mitigate risk in the stock market, based on your preferences. Some programs even allow you to invest your spare change. Other apps will take a look at your financial habits and help construct a budget that makes sense for your needs and goals.
The main advantage of using fintech programs is simply taking the thought and the possibility of making a mistake out of your everyday financial decisions. Thankfully, developers have found a way to make this technology available to just about anyone, no matter what their needs are.
How Fintech is Furthering Globalization
On top of helping individuals with their day-to-day finances and making financial decisions a little easier, fintech is bringing the world closer together. Think about it, it is easier than ever to transfer or send money. With the help of apps like CashApp and Venmo, all you need to send someone money is an email address or mobile phone number.
That means you can send money around the world without much of an issue. Migrant workers who have moved away from family for work are able to send money home without a lot of trouble. All they have to do is deposit their check, which can now be done with your camera phone, then use an app like the ones mentioned above to send money to their family.
Before, many migrant workers had to go through banks or transfer services that usually took a portion of the cash being sent. Now they’re able to send the full amount with little to no fees associated with the transfer. All of this encourages global commerce.
4 of the Best Fintech Apps
There is an app out there to help with just about any financial issue, desire, or goal in the world. If you’re looking for ways to effortlessly get ahead with your finances, consider employing the help of one of these fintech programs.
Acorns has opened up the world of investing to thousands of people by allowing them to literally invest their spare change. Similar to the way banks have “keep the change” accounts, Acorns rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the change.
When setting up your account, you can define your investing goals and risk tolerance. You can also decide whether or not you’d like to add a daily, weekly, or monthly deposit into your Acorns account to further your investing goals. After defining your terms, the program takes care of investing your money for you and you can check the status of your investments on the app or online.
Similar to Acorns, Betterment is another investing app. However, it is more focused on investing for retirement. The program helps you set up a plan to save, invest your money, and retire before a set age (which you determine).
When you get a Betterment account, you set up automatic deposits and your goal retirement age. Then, sit back and relax. You can log into your account and see the status of your investments and progress towards your retirement goal, but you won’t need to lift a finger unless your goals have changed.
Coinbase is one of the newest investment programs in the fintech world. It focuses on cryptocurrency trading. The program allows you to connect to crypto exchanges and gives you the opportunity to make an informed decision, based on the information given by Coinbase. Because bitcoin and cryptocurrency is still a relatively new concept in the finance world, having a program to help make important decisions can be key to your success.
Intuit developed Mint some years ago but it still remains one of the best fintech apps out there. After connecting your bank accounts, Mint will identify areas where you can save money and give you a report on where you’re spending the most and help formulate a budget. You can also input your financial goals on the website or within the app and Mint will give you tips on changes to make based on your current habits. It is truly an all-in-one kind of program.
These are just four of thousands of fintech apps out there. Developers are constantly coming up with new technology to cater to specific financial goals or needs. If the current apps available lack something you desire, don’t worry. There’s no doubt that new technology will be on the forefront soon and it may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Article submitted by Frankie Wallace
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