Mobile innovation in personal financial tools


Most of the media about innovation in the mobile commerce arena has focused on payments, which has attracted a phenomenal amount of investment from a wide range of industries. But there is innovation in other areas as well.

Bank Technology News notes that several companies are pursuing mobile tools that would help with financial management and advice in interesting ways, noting that such tools "are quickly emerging," as they offer consumers "actionable insights into their finances before they buy something." 

ImpulseSave is working on tools that would do things like warn customers when they are in a spending danger zone, to help people avoid spending and actually save that money in a "playful fun" way. Banno offers an app that "ties location, upcoming bills, historical spending, and other data points together to help show the end-user how buying a sofa impacts his overall financial picture before he purchases the item. Grip includes a number of other actionable functionalities, such as a wish list feature that lets consumers set goals to achieve their desired purchases in the future. The company also wants consumers to use Grip as a resource for choosing which card to pay with."

Banks have been tinkering with personal financial management tools for years now. It's fair to say that a killer app has yet to emerge, but customers increasingly are looking for such tools. It's only logical to assume that they'll be looking for mobile apps in this arena at some point. It will be hard for banks to really differentiate themselves. At some point, such apps will be like mobile banking apps, you have to offer them to stay up with the crowd.

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