Technology can make our lives easier and better in many ways. You can use your smartphone to summon just about anything you desire to your door, you can ask a smart speaker to control the devices, and you can even have an army of robots vacuum your floors.
But while many of us take advantage of these technological innovations, many are yet to take control of our finances in the same way. This is despite the fact that modern innovations have been making it possible for us to access many new financial products and services, monitor our accounts more closely, and use automation to alert us to matters of importance.
If you want to change this and take control of your finances with technology, here are some tools you can use.
Most bank accounts, credit cards, and loans issued today come with some form of online banking. This usually means you can access your accounts through a web browser or a mobile app, giving you the ability to keep track of your finances without having to wait for a paper statement or visit a branch in person.
However, things get tricky if you have accounts with two or more institutions, as this means you quickly and exponentially increase the amount of work required to monitor and manage your finances.
That’s where ‘open banking’ comes in. It is a set of nationally or regionally recognized digital protocols (typically APIs) that allow banks to securely provide information about your banking products to third parties.
In the UK and Europe, where open banking has been pioneered, this allows you to connect your bank accounts into a single app, giving you a single place to access everything. Other apps use your open banking data to automatically categorize and report on your spending, showing you where you can most effectively save money.
While lagging behind, open banking is available, in some form, in most major economies.
Online Trading Services
As we’ve discovered with other types of tech, online trading services have helped to revolutionize and democratize the trading of complex instruments that were once the exclusive domain of large financial institutions. Whereas, in the past, you needed a high net worth and a connection to someone in the know, today, you can begin buying and selling CFDs and other derivatives from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
This is thanks to online trading services like Equiti that have made it possible for everyday people to trade stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies with very low costs and, if they wish, large leverages.
Of course, technology isn’t enough, as it’s important for these new traders to get a better understanding of what they’re doing. That’s why many of these services also offer free demo accounts that allow new traders to practice buying and selling and experiment with using different strategies before they invest their own cash.
Price Comparison Tools
The internet has also made it much easier to find alternative, better-priced financial products. You no longer need to be stuck with high interest rates on credit, low interest rates on savings, and high premiums on insurance. Instead, you can find the best value products on the market in just a few clicks.
In the US, sites like Insurify, The Zebra, and Compare all offer you the ability to quickly find the best deals on car insurance simply by entering your details once and letting its technology go out to a suite of different providers to find you the best offers.
Similar services are available for loans. Whether it’s a credit card, a personal loan, or a mortgage, platforms like this let you compare the fees and interest rates on offer from different brands to find the ones that will cost you the least.