When discussing mobile phones you’ll often hear people say things like “I’d be lost without mine” and “what did we do before mobile phones”. In many cases this will have been prompted by something as simple as them being able to perform a Google search to find out a bit of trivia or by them having the ability to contact someone quickly about the latest bit of gossip. What is rarely talked about is how mobile phones and in particular smartphones have changed our financial landscape.
The ability to check things like your bank account balance, to transfer money from one account to another and to make payments from wherever we are using our smartphones, has been a real revelation. Not only has it made banking much easier and faster, it has gone a long way towards ending the need to have files upon files with paper based records and statements – they’re all stored digitally.
Bringing Home the Bacon
Another fantastic application for our smartphones is that they can not only help us manage the money we already have, but also make money. There has been a sharp rise in the number of people who are choosing to invest some of their capital using online trading platforms. Such platforms allow you to open an account and trade in many different ways and on many different markets. One of the more popular ways to invest is through exchange traded funds or ETFs, these are flexible, have low management costs and any profits you make are not subject to tax. Other ways of investing include trading Forex (the foreign exchange) or binary options. Whichever way you decide to trade on the stock market, you can now do it from just about anywhere using your smartphone.
Picking Up the Bill
One of the latest ways in which smartphones are changing our financial landscapes is via near-field communication or NFC. NFC works in the same way as a contactless credit or debit card, you simply point your phone at the payment terminal in a shop, bar or restaurant and the payment is made without the need for a password. There are a growing number of smartphones on the market that have NFC capabilities, but you can be sure that it won’t be long before it is standard and we will no longer have the excuse of forgetting our purses and wallets to getting out of picking up the bill.
Author: Ben Barlow