What a year it’s been. Apple released a new iPhone, driverless cars are almost ready to hit our roads and we got a brand new Prime Minister without asking for one.
While you were busy digesting all that, amid repeated sightings of Donald Trump’s fabulous hair, you may have missed some great financial tech that has sprouted up right under your nose. Some for investors, others for borrowers and then innovations for people that just want to pay for stuff with their phones. The future is here!
Behold The Hip Pocket’s money tech picks for 2015.
Don’t let the name fool you, Happy Hour is actually an app that connects you with the best ‘financially responsible’ deals available.
So what are financially responsible deals? According to the Happy Hour team, they’re offers that will encourage you to save money on essential items, as opposed to competitors like Catch of the Day that will spruik cheap items that you almost definitely don’t need.
Launched on November 23, the app is still very much in its infancy so the deals are sparse at this stage, but we think it’s one worth keeping an eye on.
The media loves to spin a yarn about anything involving Apple, so you probably already know that Apple Pay has just landed in Australia.
The app is attempting to replace your wallet by allowing you to pay for goods and services with your phone, instead of the plastic fantastic.
The catch is only Amex card holders can use the service at this stage, but the pressure is mounting for the big banks to join the party.
And why wouldn’t they? Research suggests we could soon be spending over one billion dollars per month with the service. It’s only a matter of time folks, and we’re all for this cranking up of convenience.
MoneyPlace is one of Australia’s newest peer to peer (P2P) lending platforms.
P2P lending is to banks what Uber is to taxis. It provides a platform for people to borrow money directly from investors at an agreed rate and little to no fees.
According to the MoneyPlace website, “Everyone pays the same rate, regardless of how risky you are.” Cop that, Motor Finance Wizard.
The issue with P2P’s infancy is that it is not regulated by the same government guarantee that traditional loans are. What this means is that if old mate does a runner with your cash, you don’t have a lot to fall back on.
What MoneyPlace and other P2P platforms do to reduce this risk is to diversify the loan, meaning they spread your money over many investors. This way, old mate is really only stealing a portion of your bank roll.
Tech to Keep an Eye On
One called Acorns will automate your savings by pushing change from purchases into an Acorns account, which is invested on your behalf.
Let me paint you a picture. Every day you buy two coffees at $3.50 each. You tell your pal Acorns to round your purchases up to the nearest dollar amount and save the difference.
That one dollar per day will be transferred to your Acorns account, along with say, ten dollars a month that you’ve nominated for investment. And those investments should do more than your lazy old piggy bank has ever done for you.
Acorns looks set to hit Australia early next year.
Got any to add? Nominate your tech tip here.