It’s about time that, in an era of apps and numerous digital tools, we are independent in handling our own money and investments. Keeping a budget and managing personal finances can be a time-consuming task and often a struggle for many people. But thanks to personal finance apps, tasks like paying bills and balancing accounts can be as simple as texting someone. PFM (personal finance management) apps act as effective tools to track your data across multiple sources like banks accounts, payment cards, etc. Then there are wealth management apps which capture data beyond your cards and accounts and help establish your entire investment portfolio.
Here are some notable companies working towards developing such amazing digital tools:
Robinhood, a Silicon Valley upstart, is courting young investors with as little as a few dollars to invest. The year-old company based in Palo Alto, Calif., promises to let investors trade without a fee or commission. A dead-simple interface lets you buy and sell stocks with a minimum of taps, and no fees. Elegant charts show you a stock’s performance over time; in a nice touch, the color notifications show when the markets are open. The app’s home screen shows you the performance of your entire portfolio. The company charges for the ability to buy stocks on "margin," or credit, and also makes money by collecting interest on users’ cash balances. It also plans to offer premium advisory services.
The company is looking to bring top-flight wealth management services to the middle class. Unlike the other services, which are targeting a different price-point and typically tech-savvy, wealthier user, the classic client for FutureAdvisor has roughly $100,000 to invest and multiple accounts with different institutions. In some ways, the FutureAdvisor service is similar to other offerings on the market, in that it uses algorithms to optimize the portfolio for a potential customer. It offers free services around portfolio optimization and the aggregation of investment data into a single source. Should a customer want FutureAdvisor to actually execute an investment strategy the company can do that — and indeed expects that service to provide a good chunk of its services.
Contovista is a Swiss B2B Personal Finance Management (PFM) start-up offering white label solutions for PFM. Contovista allows customers a holistic view of their finances and assists in monitoring and achieving their financial goals. Information is provided by aggregating financial transactions from various sources (accounts, credit cards, loyalty programs, phone bill, etc.) There is analysis to supplement this data in real time. Based on the compiled information, customers' transactions are monitored and suspicious transactions are reported. Contovista provides the user with a clear overview of payments and revenues. The transactions can be categorized and analyzed based on users’ preferences. Contovista’s white label solution can be installed on site or used in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model.
Tink is a Swedish start-up that has taken inspiration from the likes of Mint. Tink is targeting the mass market by offering an app to consolidate and manage all of a consumer’s finances. Once a consumer enters her banking, credit card and other financial information, Tink automatically retrieves new data as soon as a change occurs, thus ensuring that the analysis is always completely up-to-date, no matter how many banks the consumer uses. Available on iOS and Android, the mobile app is designed to give users insights about their personal finances. It collects, sorts and analyses data so people can detail their outgoing cash flow and set savings targets.
Bsavi is a new personal finance startup that offers a money management tool that helps people save money as they plan to spend on a daily basis. It shows users exactly how much they can spend on a daily basis after all their planned and fixed expenses have been accounted for. It has a feature called "Daily Available Cash", which acts as the catalyst for many forthcoming features such as credit monitoring, mobile payments, crowd savings and more. The Cape Town-based startup set out to disrupt and reinvent the global financial ecosystem with its social, financial data transaction exchange, which is designed for use by banks, credit providers and retail & commerce companies to securely connect to users' financial graphs on their own terms.
Qapital, a new financial management app developer based in Europe, is poised to launch in the U.S. and Sweden as it looks to challenge Mint.com‘s dominance in personal financial management. The company’s app differs from most account management software in its ability to actually save money. Users can set goals to save towards — like money for a vacation, or a new car or television, or a limited edition replica of the “one ring.” As they hit their savings or spending targets, money is transferred from their bank accounts into a savings account managed by Qapital’s banking partner. Qapital is an actionable savings app. The money that folks save, or designate for saving, is transferred from an existing bank account into what the company calls a Qapital Savings Account, held by the company’s FDIC-insured banking partner.
The app supports more than 3500 banks including major ones like HSBC, UBS and Sparkasse. Numbrs’s app helps customers to aggregate all of their accounts numbers into one app. They can access their accounts from any location, pay their bills and conduct money transfers eliminating the inconvenience of entering complex bank account numbers and sort codes. It also allows them to receive notifications about salary, credit card bills, and direct debits made by their mobile providers directly on their smartphones. It helps customers to analyze their past spending behaviors and transactions to calculate their future income and expenses. This app incorporates an innovative algorithm which can categorize customers’ transactions for easy analysis of their finances.