In today’s mobile-crazy world, there appears to be a never-ending march of new innovative ways of doing mundane tasks electronically. With the advent of smartphones and the proliferation of wireless networks, it seems that there’s nothing that can’t be done online these days, be it getting directions, making hotel reservations, checking your medical records, or performing a vast array of money-related tasks.
And money is certainly important these days, so having new tech to expedite money matters is a welcome thing. Since Cabaret told us in a song that money makes the world go round, there naturally has to be a lot of ways to handle money online. It’s not enough that your traditional bank has a mobile app. No, we need, nay, want countless iterations of financial flexibility from which to choose.
In The Bad Ol’ Days
Hey, a show of hands: who remembers how cash was quickly sent half a century ago? Well, back in the days of rotary phones, telephone booths, five-and-dime stores, and “the check is in the mail”, if someone needed money urgently, you wired it to them.
All you had to do (all??) was go down to your local Western Union telegram office, pay the amount to be transferred as well as the fee, indicate the destination and recipient, and the latter goes to their local Western Union office and collects it.
Of course, there’s also those wire transfers that were (and still are) done between banks, where you essentially “wire” money from your bank account to the recipient.
On a related note, who remembers money orders, obtainable from the drug store or post office?
I have this urge to start yelling at kids to get off my lawn …
It’s The Future Now! Options Galore!
We may not have lunar vacations and flying cars powered by mini fusion reactors, but we do have the Internet! That means a plethora of ways to handle and manage our money while we’re walking down the street, sitting in a restaurant, or behind the wheel of our car (and hopefully, the car is NOT in motion, right?).
With your smartphone and the right app, you can manage your funds, transfer money from savings to checking (in order to cover your evening’s shenanigans without incurring over limit fees!), and pay bills, and you don’t have to be stuck at home in front of your desktop PC in order to do it.
Countless banks, credit unions, and credit cards out there have mobile apps now. It’s become an expectation, not an option. Also, there’s PayPal, which provides yet another dimension of payment flexibility.
But the choices don’t stop there. There are also accounts provided by digital banking sites such as ChimpChange.me that let you send instantaneous, real-time cash transfers to other people (as well as businesses), provided both parties are signed up for the service. In these cases, the service acts as a bank account, allowing ATM withdrawals, direct deposit, and other online services, all tied to a kind of credit card distributed by the site. For instance, in ChimpChange’s case, you get a card that is used like a bank’s ATM card or use the card at any institution or business where MasterCard is accepted. It’s not an actual credit card with a credit limit.
As the years roll on, there’s sure to be even more creative and convenient means of managing your money. But for now, there are a lot of solid choices out there from which you can choose. It sure beats balancing a checkbook with pen and paper!
If you want to experience more mobile phone coolness, check out “Accessories and Technologies That Get The Most Out Of Your Android Device.”