Are mobile bank apps like Revolut and N26 safe and what are the benefits? A financial services expert weighs in
We're all a bit wary of moving our money, especially to an online bank with no bricks and mortar building. But money is almost entirely digital now and there's no reason our banking (and our bank) shouldn't be too, says Lorraine Donegan.
In recent years I really feel that the traditional bank system no longer works for me. I simply don’t have the time to download statements and sift through transactions, never mind visit the bank within their stipulated banking hours.
There are a host of banking apps out there that help you save, budget and help you get your financial act together, have a nose around and see what one might work for you, Revolut proving a very popular option. I started using the N26 app in 2020 and it really gave me a better sense of my spending and budgets.
As well as great for transferring money quickly and easily to your contacts, these kinds of apps will let you set daily allowances, notify you when you spend and where. This is great for a clean oversight over your spending habits and you round up to the nearest euro and either save or donate the change. They’re also great for expenses and keeping tabs on receipts.
You can easily set money aside for future bills, savings or just a bit of frivolity. On the N26 app, you can split your financial goals into specific “spaces”. For example, you could have a “Holiday Space”, or a “Guilt Free Space”, a “Christmas 2021 Space” or a “Rent Space” up to a maximum of 11 Spaces. It’s easy to drag and drop money, or you can set target amounts and deadlines.
It’s a great way to give you clarity over your finances and help you spend your hard-earned money without any of the guilt that usually accompanies treating yourself. Your money is as safe as it would be in any of the Irish traditional banks and the only downside that I’ve found after months of use, is that you don’t earn interest on your savings. However, with the traditional banks hiking up their administration fees in recent months, no doubt it more than balances out.