The financial apps smart Australians use every day
What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? Is my bus going to be on time? Is it cheaper to fly to Rome in June or July? What do I want for dinner? Whether it’s a question you need answering, or a task you need doing, chances are there’s a mobile app out there to solve your problem and help make your life easier.
But what about your financial life? From making payments, transferring money, budgeting, investing and managing your general finances, thanks to the ever-developing world of fintech and neobanks there are a bunch of super handy mobile apps to help you manage your finances on the go, wherever you are in the world.
Ready to find out what you’re missing out on? Check out some of the apps smart Aussies are using every day.
1. Banking apps
On the off chance that you haven’t done it already, downloading your bank’s mobile app could make a whole range of day-to-day banking tasks far simpler - from transferring money, paying bills and even just being able to check your bank account balance on the go.
Plus, bank apps are getting more and more feature rich - they’re no longer just the mobile equivalent of a bank’s online platform. As more and more users navigate towards a mobile banking experience, banks have added more savings features, greater spending insights, budgeting tools and and even in-app chat platforms.
Not sounding a whole heap like your existing bank app? If you love the idea of going all in on a feature-rich bank app it may be worth comparing some of other options out there.
One place to start is with neobanks - the newest, tech-focused digital banking players to hit the Australian scene. And guess what? These digital banks are all app-based.
Neobanks like Up Bank, 86 400, Volt Bank and Xinja Bank have developed apps with some seriously novel and handy features to make it as easy as possible for users to do their banking and manage their finances from their phones.
Award-winning bank apps
Alternatively, you’ll certainly want to check out some of the best award-winning Australian banking apps on the market. Our Mozo experts handed out 2019 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Excellent Banking App to nine different banks including Bendigo Bank, Commonwealth Bank and ING to name a few.
These awards were judged on a number of features including the availability of payment options (such as PayID, Apple and Google Pay), login security, ability scheduling of payments and overseas travel settings to name a few.
2. Mobile payment apps
If you love the idea of cutting down on wallet weight by turning to your phone and ditching your cards, then downloading a mobile payment app, otherwise known as a digital wallet, could be the minimalist solution you’ve been looking for.
Mobile payment apps, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, allow Australians to pay with their phones on the go without the need for a physical debit or credit card. To set up the respective digital wallet for your own smartphone, you will need to be with a bank that’s compatible though. If they are compatible, it’s a simple matter of downloading the Apple/Google/Samsung Pay app on your phone and then setting up your card or account.
Not sure if your own bank has actually hooked up with one of these digital wallets? Check out the Mozo bank accounts hub for a list of accounts and the type of payment options they have available for your smartphone and smartwatch.
3. International money transfer & travel apps
Paying and transferring money in Australia is one thing, but trying to do the same overseas can be a more difficult and, as anyone who’s travelled before will tell you, expensive experience.
That’s not to say that you won’t be able to use your bank’s app on your next vacation abroad, and if you’ve already got a card or account with travel-friendly features such as zero international transaction fees and $0 foreign ATM withdrawals, you’ll probably want to make use of it. But it may also be worth comparing the latest, boutique travel money apps specifically made for Aussies.
The Melbourne-based fintech has designed a free, travel-friendly money app specifically for young Aussies and millennials travelling abroad. The Pelikin app includes handy features such as the ability to hold up to five currencies at once and to split bills in different currencies with other users, plus a dedicated prepaid debit card to spend with.
Sydney-based fintech (and aspiring neobank) Hay has only just launched, but it already has some pretty unique travel-friendly tools on offer. Aside from a 0% foreign transaction fee and free overseas ATM withdrawals up to $500 a month (1.5% of the withdrawal amount afterwards), Hay doesn't charge any additional currency conversion fees.
Hay also has a unique smart travel mode which automatically detects when a user has landed overseas, meaning that you won't need to contact Hay to let them know about your international travel plans.
UK-based fintech Revolut has a pretty neat proposition for Aussie travellers, with two app-based accounts designed with travellers in mind. Some of the standout features for users include being able to spend in over 100 different currencies at the interbank rate and not having to pay foreign ATM fees (up $350 AUD per month for Standard users).
Apps to help you spend while you’re away is one thing, but there are also a host of convenient financial apps available for Aussies needing to make one-off or regular international money transfers - either for themselves, or their businesses. Again, Revolut has jumped into this space by offering Aussie app users the option of being able to transfer money abroad in 15 different currencies at the interbank rate.
Aside from Revolut, one of the most cost-effective ways of transferring money abroad is through a specialist IMT provider. And, you guessed it, specialists including TorFX, WorldFirst and OFX all offer mobile apps that provide a simple solution to making overseas transfers on the go, as well as other handy features like live rates and currency converters.
Before you hit download on any of these apps though, make sure you do your due diligence by comparing a range of international money transfer rates and offers using our dedicated tables.
4. Budgeting and savings apps
Gone are the days where you need a pen, paper and a calculator, or even a spreadsheet, to manage your budget. That’s thanks to the range of free (and paid) budgeting and savings apps available to Aussies which make keeping track of your finances possible, and easy, just from your phone!
These start from super simple, free spending trackers like ASIC’s TrackMySPEND app which allows users to set a budget and then input individual expenses as they go. It also features the ability to allocate different expenses into spending categories and even to set payment reminders via text message.
There are also more sophisticated budgeting and savings apps available, although some of these can come with a price attached. These more comprehensive apps provide the benefit of doing everything for you, including automatically uploading and categorising your transactions so you don’t have to do it manually.
The other difference between simpler apps and the likes of Pocketbook, MoneyBrilliant and Frollo is that these apps allow users to sync their financial accounts (like bank accounts, savings account and even credit cards) from different institutions. This is so you can get a complete picture of your finances, across all of your accounts.
5. Investing apps
From beginners at the start of their journey to more serious investors, there are more and more options available for Aussies wanting to use their smartphones to manage and track their investments.
For casual investors, a number of app-based micro-investing platforms including Raiz (formerly Acorns) and FirstStep have sprung up in recent years to allow Aussies to invest with amounts much smaller than they would have needed in the past - all from their phones!
These platforms work by linking an existing bank account or card to the app, which then automatically invests tiny amounts on a regular basis into a portfolio of your choice. For example, Raiz automatically ‘rounds up’ each transaction you make to the nearest dollar and invests the difference.
CommSec have even just released their very own app for casual investors - the CommSec Pocket app. The app allows users to invest small amounts ($50+) that would be too small for typical trades, into a range of ETFs (exchange traded funds).
Award-winning share trading apps
For more serious traders looking for an app-based investment option, there are also plenty of options to choose from. In fact, Mozo’s expert judges actually awarded two 2019 Online Share Trading Mozo Experts Choice Awards for Exceptional Share Trading App to the CommSec App and the Westpac Online Investing App.
These apps could be perfect for serious traders looking to manage their investments on the go, with handy features including the ability to set up watchlists and create alerts, view live market indices and make use of in-built charting and research tools.
Ready to check out even more useful financial apps for your phone? Take a look at these seven budget and savings apps every Aussie needs, or head over to the Mozo fintech hub for even more guides and news on the latest in banking innovations.