To Pay or Not To Pay?

Last week we looked at free apps powered by open banking, which help individuals track their spending, create budgets and make savings. Some of these apps also have paid options or levels. As mentioned, most of these apps are designed to help consumers get the most out of their earnings. But, at the very least, they also help individuals view their transactions in real-time which is hugely beneficial. The only hurdle to mass adoption is awareness of open banking and to a large extent education on data sharing. Consumers need to give consent for their data to be shared securely before using these apps. Fintechs must be clear on how this works and what options are available. Paid apps have the additional obstacle of getting customers to see enough value in them to spend money on financial management. However, as more people use them, word of mouth may help them gain popularity. Everyday finances are less of a taboo now than in the past and the next generation are more open to discussions with one another about the best ways to manage money. Here are a few paid apps and their features.

For a small monthly fee Moneyhub enables users to connect all their accounts and cards in one place, to set budgets and to get insights into their transactions. It sends consumers reminders about bills and helps them find better deals for regular payments such as mortgages and credit cards. Moneyhub also provides qualified financial advisors who a user can choose to go to for help. Squirrel goes one step further. Instead of offering budgeting advice, it keeps a user’s money in a separate account and releases amounts based on a customer’s monthly income, spending requirements, bill payment dates and savings goals. At the time of writing it costs £9.99 per month but can be cancelled at any time. Digital banks such as Revolut and Thinkmoney also offer budgeting services to their customers. The Thinkmoney apps gives users transaction data in real-time and helps them to keep track of direct debits and payments dates. Revolut helps customers to save money slowly and incrementally by rounding up purchases and putting the leftover amounts into a digital vault. Customers in various countries, including France, Germany and Italy, can also aggregate their accounts from different banks into their Revolut dashboard helping them get a clear financial overview. 2021 is likely to see more money management apps join the marketplace, as well as the launch of budgeting products by traditional banks. Let’s hope that the financial institutions and fintechs also provide lots of clear information on open banking, data sharing and digital safety for future customers. 

Pay iO’s articles do not constitute financial advice and are for information only.