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Social media and the internet, as with most industries, are changing the landscape of financial services.
This is a good thing in all intents and purposes: the industry is archaic in its practice and complicated in its application.
As I recently wrote, social media makes understanding money and finances more accessible, and makes engaging with your personal finances easier, fun and more social.
Fintech (an amalgamation of the words financial and technology) is leading the changes in the industry, creating a 21st century version of finance. How this differs from the IBM-esque technology of yesteryear is that fintech builds a new world of finance that is IP-enabled. It sits hand-in-hand with the “digital bank”, as the new definition of finance and banking.
It is the new form of banking and is related but very different to the old form. Some of the established players will metamorphose into new digital fintech players and some will not, creating a hybrid new market of IP-enabled financial firms including digital banks and digital insurers, who see technology at the core of their work. It is truly a privilege to be part of this shift and be in the position to watch it evolve. In my opinion it puts the consumer (end-user) at the forefront of these processes rather than the business.
A great example of fintech creations are personal finance apps. Here are six popular personal finance apps to get you started:
Free; iPhone and Android
This a free online personal financial management service which provides users with the ability to view all of their online financial accounts in one place. It is powered by Yodlee, an account aggregation service used by many of the world’s leading banks and financial institutions.
Money Dashboard provides users with the opportunity to analyse past transactions and budget for the future. The service is regarded by many as the UK’s first significant personal finance service powered by fintech and an equivalent to Mint.com in the US.
£0.69; iPhone and iPad
Debt Manager helps you to organise, track and pay off all your debts. You can choose how you pay off your debts and develop repayment strategies with it.
Free, Android, iPhone
This app has it all: you can pay all your bills on the go and the automatic organiser and money tracker also provide real-time alerts, while also allowing you to keep tabs on your investment portfolio, if you have one.
£0.69; iPhone and iPad
If you are saving for a house deposit, a holiday or just looking to put some money aside, this app can help. Users enter a target amount and an optional target date and the app suggests a schedule and tracks your progress.
Free and paid versions available; iPhone, iPad and Android
Toshl is an expense and budget tracker. It is particularly good for travellers as it works with any currency and lets you separate your travel budget from everyday spending. There are bill reminders and you can set up repeat expenses, among other tools, and it syncs across multiple devices.
So now you have an idea about how these apps work, why not take it one step further and consider the investment opportunities these apps and their parent companies could provide.
Now, my focus is not to advise you where to put your money but rather to inspire, empower, motivate and guide readers on their relationships with money, as well as offer practical information to apply to their wealth, so my list above is not a recommendation to invest.
Furthermore, individuals invest for different reasons be it for cash-flow, equity and/or simply because they believe in a venture and want to financially support it. The point is, however, that everything that is created has a company behind it and this may provide opportunities to invest depending on your interest, risk factor and overall financial plans.
There is a lot of money in the technology industry, so that of course includes the fintech industry, even though it is still a relatively one. As such, for the savvy and social female investor this could be an interesting area to look at in regards to both engaging with your finances – as well as growing your income.
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