Saving money requires constant vigilance, someone always on your shoulder, nagging you not to splash the cash. And the one thing most people have with them all the time is their smartphone.
New services, from banks to exercise studios, are tapping into technology to disrupt the way we pay and save. There’s Monzo, a new bank which sends you an alert every time you spend money and makes paying back friends easy. Then there’s Dibs, which pays you to exercise.
Dibs says that it “uses data to determine what customers should pay in real time. That means if you are booking a class at Core Collective and demand is low, you will pay less than at peak times.” Equally, if you haven’t used the site for a while, it incentivises you to return by crediting your account.
It uses similar logic and technology to that used when you book a flight. The app delivers different prices to those booking the same classes depending on multiple variables instead of the one-set-price with the occasional discount studios usually give. Users get the best rate available as prices are set according to real-time demands: scaling up and down based on booking patterns. Dibs is said to benefit studios too – if more people book overall, even at reduced prices, profits will go up.
Programmes like Dibs are taking mobile commerce into account, disrupting industry giants, and revolutionising the way people live their lives and manage their money.
As technology continues to advance and integrate more into our lives, a huge portion of that connection is to our smartphones, so why not ditch the high street and turn to digital banking?
You might think most banks are already digital, but the new services go further. Monzo is a digital-only enterprise with no physical branches. It supplies users with a pre-paid MasterCard debit card, and the whole service is accessible through an iOS or Android phone. A smart bank for the smartphone generation, Monzo markets itself as a challenger to shake up the often frustrating high street banks. Among other things, the app can track purchases, create budgets, and add notes and receipts.
You can pay your friends with Monzo accounts back without logging into your own internet bank account by simply clicking a link it sends you and scanning your own card. As it has contactless capability the card can be used abroad without foreign exchange fees. This is good in these times of volatile currencies.
Monzo isn’t alone in targeting foreign exchange rates. Revolut, a global money service, allows you to spend or send money anywhere in the world with minimal fuss and no transaction fees. Travellers can get the best possible exchange rate in more than 90 currencies, with transfers being made to other accounts using email, text or WhatsApp.
For all those double-dippers, Squirrel is an app which modernises how to save and manage your money. When money is tight it’s easy to dip into your savings to help get you over the rough spots. Squirrel manages your monthly salary by stashing your income in a Squirrel account. It draws up a monthly budget based on income, costs and savings goals. Weekly payouts are then made into your bank account of what it’s sensible for you to spend. You end up not even thinking about these withdrawals as the app sneakily squirrels away money into your savings. It’s smart to pay it forward.
FFB is a not-for-profit platform that engages different types of financial institutions of the country; assist them in their journey to reach next level