If you've ever used online banking, you know how convenient and user-friendly it can be. But what you may not know is that there are a lot of different features that online banking apps offer. From account alerts to savings pots, every online banking service has a different set of features to help you manage your money. In this blog post, we'll go over some of the most popular and useful features of online banking apps.
Wait, why should you care about these features?
Easy - they’re designed to help keep you on top of your money, which could improve credit scores and chances of being accepted for credit.
Online banking services make it much easier to monitor your banking transactions and stay on top of your finances. When you’re in control of your account balances, you will have a better idea of what you can afford.
For example, when you’re looking at taking out a loan with Fair for You, we sometimes ask you to complete our open banking process. Open banking is a way of sharing insight into your financial health by looking at your spending patterns to understand your loan affordability. By keeping on top of your outgoings, you’re more likely to know when you’re spending unnecessarily on things like subscriptions that you don’t need anymore.
Budgeting features to help you manage your money
Low balance alerts
One way to manage your bills and subscriptions is to set up online banking alerts for a low account balance. This way, you can be sure to always have enough money in your account to cover your expenses. There are different mechanisms for setting these notifications up, but you can typically navigate to an “Alerts” section, and from there you can select the “Low Balance” option, entering the amount you want to be notified about. Once you have done this, you will be notified via email or text message whenever your online banking balance falls below the specified amount. This can be a helpful way to avoid overdraft fees and keep on top of your bank account balances.
When it comes to managing your internet banking account, it's important to be aware of any fees that your bank may charge. ATM fees, account maintenance fees and overdraft fees are all common charges that can add up over time. By keeping track of these fees, you can make sure that you're not spending more than you need to on online banking services. If you're not sure what fees you're being charged, simply ask your financial institution for a breakdown of their charges.
Sub-accounts for savings
If you have multiple savings goals, it can be helpful to set up sub-accounts within your main savings account. This way, you can easily track your progress in one savings account while still monitoring individual goals. For example, you may have one sub-account for Christmas presents and another for holiday fun. To set up a sub-account, simply contact your bank or credit union and let them know what you're looking to do. They'll be able to walk you through the process and help you get started. Once you have your sub-accounts set up, you can transfer money to each of them through bank to bank transfer.
Your electronic statement is one of the most important documents you have. It contains a record of your checking account activity and can be used to track your spending, see where your money is going, and monitor your financial health.
When you get your statement, take a close look at it. Ensure all the charges are correct and there are no unauthorised transactions. If you see anything suspicious, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.
Your electronic statement is also a great way to keep track of your progress toward financial goals. Each month, take a look at how much you’ve spent and saved. This can help you stay on track and make the necessary adjustments to your budget. You might be surprised at how much you’re spending on those little treats throughout the month, like a takeaway coffee or meal deal at lunch.
The most popular online banking apps - and their budgeting features
Monzo: Make the most of pots
If you're looking to save money, Monzo's pot feature is a great way to do it. You can create pots for different savings goals and transfer money into them whenever you have some spare cash. This means that your money is always working towards your savings goals, and you're less likely to dip into it for other purposes. Plus, you can see exactly how much you've saved up for each goal, which can help keep you motivated. So if you're looking for a simple and effective way to save money, Monzo's pot feature is definitely worth checking out.
Starling: Use the Bills Manager
Are you looking for a way to save money? Starling Bank's Bills Manager feature can help you do just that. This handy tool allows you to pay utility bills from one place so you can get a better idea of how much money is already committed this month - and how much is available to spend.
Not only does this make it easy to manage bill payments, but it can also help you save money in the long run. By keeping an eye on your utility bills, you can make sure that you're not paying for any unnecessary services. And if you do find that you're overpaying for something, you can use the Bills Manager to negotiate a better rate with your service provider.
Revolut: Check out the Pockets feature
Revolut has some excellent online banking features - particularly the Pockets feature. You can create different "pockets" for different savings goals. For example, you could create a pocket for your travel fund or for a new car.
Pockets makes it easy to see how much you're saving and also allows you to set up automatic transfers so that you're never tempted to spend your savings. Plus, if you ever need to access your savings, you can do so easily from the Revolut app.
Snoop: Compare bills with cheaper deals
With Snoop's features like Balance Boost and Save the Change, you can quickly and easily start saving money without even thinking about it. The online banking feature, Save the Change, will automatically round up your payments and save the difference in a separate pot. It’s like a digital piggy bank!
HSBC: Balance After Bills calculator
If you're looking for a way to save money, consider using the Balance After Bills feature from HSBC. This feature allows you to see how much money you have left after all of your bills are paid, so you can see how much there is available to spend. Additionally, it can help you avoid overdraft fees and other charges by giving you a clear picture of your finances.
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