Practical fintech: are you ready to go digital? 📱💆💥

Personal finance apps are all the rage, and for good reason: according to statistics, people waste up to 30% of their incomes simply because they do not control them. We’re living in an age of technology, so why not use your iPhone as a personal piggy bank come financial advisor and planner? Here’s a round-up of the most in-demand apps that will help ease your life.

Meet the new breed of digital challenger banks:

  • Atom - Durham-based Atom was the UK’s first app-only bank and has been popular with savers thanks to its market-leading deals - it offers the best rates on fixed-rate bonds. Atom hopes to launch a full range of banking products this year, including current accounts, debit cards and instant access savings, all of which will be managed through the app.
  • Monzo - a mobile-only bank that allows you to track your purchases in real time, create budgets, and freeze your card temporarily if you misplace it. It has a restricted licence, which means that it can test out products while it seeks to prove to regulators that it can operate as a fully functioning bank.
  • Tandem - set to launch its app in June, Tandem will allow customers to link their existing accounts to the app, which will then check your finances for better products across the market including credit cards, savings and energy.
  • Starling - similar to Monzo, the app also gives customers real-time notifications on where their money is going, which helps people manage their money better. It also offers other handy functions including - if you temporarily misplace your card but think you know where it is, you can turn it off until you find it again.

We keep talking about robo-advisors (we’ve written about them on Vestpod previously), but what are the best platforms to try? Here are some popular robo-advisors for you to check out:

  • Nutmeg - one of the most recognisable names in the UK due to its early dominance in the market, Nutmeg offers pensions and ISA’s catered to your investment goals.  
  • Scalable Capital - centres their model on diversifying assets among all the major categories including equities, bonds, commodities, real estate, and cash.
  • Moneyfarm - uses low-cost ETFs to invest your funds. It manages your stock market/ bond investments for you while cutting out the transaction fees associated with investing.
  • Wealthify - popular among younger users, Wealthify encourages clients to invest with very small amounts of money.
  • True Potential - relatively new to the market, True Potential offers clients an array of services to choose from including financial and investment advice as well as the opportunity to manage self-directed investments.
  • PensionBee - combines all your old pensions into one new online plan.

A handy tool for automated savings:

  • Moneybox - encourages millennials to invest by putting their ‘spare change’ into a stocks and shares ISA, allowing users to invest as little as £1.

And one to help you set budgets - and stick to them:

  • Pariti - this app reads your bank account data and calculates your weekly spending, which allows it to forecast when you’re likely to go in the red.

Have you used any apps for personal finance management? What do you look for in a money management app? Do you feel like there’s a gap in the market? How important do you think personal interaction is when it comes to personal finance?