Get your finances organised using your smartphone

The new wave of powerful apps from the nation's banks and building societies means personal money management no longer means a walk to the bank. Your finance woes may be sorted instantly with these great apps.

Banking from an armchair

Using a mobile phone or tablet to access both current and savings accounts is becoming the norm for many.

While online banking has been available for many years, the technological surge in mobile phone technology and security is making it much easier to access on the go. What do banking apps offer today's customer?

 

Basic functions (all banking apps have these):

Checking balance and viewing statements

All apps provide a quick and easy way to check your balance. Be aware that much like visiting an ATM a detailed statement may not have taken the most recent transactions into account.

Moving money between accounts

Taking funds from a savings account to top up the current account. This should take no more than a few clicks.

Transferring money to another individual

Most apps require you to have previously paid a person from a bank, or on a web-based online system, before they will let you pay from your app. But that is changing as apps improve.

Many now allow you to add a new payee by sending a security check by text message.

 

Advanced functions (some banking apps have these):

Checking direct debits

Adding to the usefulness of the banking app, some now allow the checking and altering of direct debits set up on your account.
 

Checking standing orders

Like direct debits, checking and updating a standing order is becoming a feature available.
 

Emergency money

If you ever lose your debit card, some apps provide a way to obtain a code to withdraw money from a cash machine without the card.
 

Paym

By linking a mobile phone number to your account, you can send and receive payments to and from other paym users.
 

Find a cash machine

Utilising your phone's GPS facility, many banks have added a locator to find your nearest ATM.
 

Mobile phone top up

If you are on a pay-as-you-go mobile, it is possible to top up your phone through the app.
 

Apple Pay

Turns your Apple iPhone into a contactless payment card by linking it to your mobile app and bank account. This only works if you have the advanced technology of an iPhone 6 and up. 

 

Your phone can become your bank

Taking the time to download and familiarise yourself with a banking app will save many hours in the long term.

Banking apps are private and secure, but sensible precautions should be taken. Like debit cards, they have a passcode to use them and this should not be too easy to guess, nor should it be shared with anyone.

Always keep them your smartphone updates in order to ensure the latest security and features are available for your use and enjoy direct control over your finances from the convenience of your armchair.