Sixty-four percent of American adults have a smart phone, according to Pew Research Center, and that number is growing. Savvy smart phone users are doing a lot more with their devices than selfies. At the forefront of a smart phone’s benefits is on-the-go money management, which personal finance experts say can be a key tool to helping you achieve your New Year resolutions.
“Technology advances are giving banks an opportunity to further enhance their customers’ ability to manage their money,” says Brett Pitts, Head of Digital for Wells Fargo Virtual Channels.
Want to get a better handle on your money in 2016? Pitts offers some tips for making your smart phone your own personal banker:
Go mobile: You may have used your phone to log into your account via your bank’s website. Check your bank’s mobile application offerings and download its mobile app instead. Using an app designed for device readability will make transactions easier and more efficient. When downloading an app to your smart phone, make sure you’re using a trusted source. Make sure you download directly from your phone’s app store or your bank’s website.
Review functionality: Mobile applications are always evolving and improving. Review your bank’s app functionality periodically to ensure you’re up-to-date. For example, Wells Fargo just added several new features to its already robust mobile banking suite. Once enabled, customers can view balance information with its FastLook swipe feature, as well as be notified of transactions via opt-in push notifications (without having to log in with a username and password).
Manage your money on-the-go: Use your bank’s free money management services like online bill pay, mobile check deposit and mobile funds transfer. Get peace of mind before heading out for holiday shopping. Before purchases, use your phone to check account balances and make transfers as needed in order to avoid overdraft fees.
Add automatic account alerts: Preset limits for transactions and purchases, so you can be immediately notified when those limits have been exceeded. This will help you track your spending and prevent you from breaking your budget. You may also wish to sign up for other notifications, such as when your card is declined, your balance drops below a certain threshold or a direct deposit posts to your account.
Get reminded: Make late fees a thing of the past. Set up calendar reminders for credit card payments, mortgages and other bill due dates. Your bank’s app may also have a built-in reminder feature to help you streamline payments.
Keep contact details up-to-date: Make sure your bank knows how to reach you. For example, some banks notify customers of possible suspicious card transactions through text messages — which allow customers to reply quickly to confirm whether the transaction is legitimate or not.
More banking tech tips and resources can be found at wellsfargo.com/mobile.