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5 Tips To Managing Your Finances In The Digital Age

by Joshua D. Scroggin
March 08, 2017
Mobile Wallet
Android users can use CoastHills Credit Union's new mobile wallet app to tap and pay with either their Platinum Rewards or Encore Signature Visa cards or to set up email, SMS or push alerts for any type of transaction. For iOS users, CoastHills credit cards are compatible with Apple Pay, and the CoastHills mobile wallet app is coming soon.

CONSIDER THIS: Technology is drastically impacting how we all manage our finances and our time, and credit unions are adapting right along with consumer preferences.

In a 2016 study conducted by the Federal Reserve, 53 percent of smartphone users with an account at a financial institution have used mobile banking within previous year. The consumers who’ve made the switch to online or mobile banking say it’s flat out more convenient.  

Here are some tips to help you manage your finances using the latest technological tools:

Download your institution’s smartphone app: More financial institutions have or are developing smartphone apps that enable their customers to bank on-the-go. As this trend continues, smartphone applications will broaden to include more services. With the CoastHills mobile banking app, you can make check deposits, pay bills, transfer money, apply for loans and much more.

Online and mobile interaction also empowers consumers to engage with their financial institutions more frequently, and credit unions are great options. Did you know that in MagnifyMoney’s third annual Mobile Banking App Study — which compiles iOS and Android banking app ratings from more than 100 of the biggest credit unions and banks — credit unions dominated the rankings? It’s true. They took 9 of the top 10 spots in the 2016 study. In 2015, credit unions took eight out of the top 10 spots.

Try using a mobile wallet: This relatively new trend allows you to carry credit or debit card information in a digital form on a mobile device. Instead of using a physical plastic card, you pay with your smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. The tokenization process of payment makes your transactions secure as well as convenient. Many financial institutions are getting on board, using such mobile wallets as Android Pay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay.

At CoastHills, both the Platinum Rewards and Encore Signature Visa credit cards are integrated with Apply Pay for iOS users, and for Android, members can download the Credit Union’s own mobile wallet app and use it to tap and pay anywhere Android Pay is accepted. The CoastHills Android mobile wallet app, which is currently in development for iOS, can also set up email, SMS or push alerts for all types of transactions. That way, you can keep perfect track of when and where your card is being used.

Using a mobile wallet allows you to check your account balances regularly. In addition, some mobile wallets enable you to store your loyalty cards and track your points on each card while others allow you to store gift cards, which can help you keep track of your balance.

Take advantage of Web BillPay: Instead of dealing with checkbooks, stamps and folders full of invoices and canceled checks, consider going online to pay your monthly bills. Most of the time, this service is offered at no charge.

With Web BillPay through CoastHills, you can make payments through online or mobile banking, and there’s no restriction on the type of bill being paid. The system connects electronically to many public utility providers, and for those not in the eBilling system, you can schedule checks to be delivered by mail. That means, you can pay everyone from the cable company to the babysitter and automate the activity to ensure your payments always arrive on time. It is free to use, saving you time and money.

Sign up for text alerts: Some financial institutions, including credit unions, offer to send text alerts when an account’s balance dips below a certain level to help you stay on top of your available funds.

Investigate online financial planning tools: Calculators, budget templates, and finance tips are often available from financial institutions. Account-linked tracking and analyzation tools can help clarify spending trends and assist with tax filing or budget forecasting. Some mobile apps also include a financial planning section.

While using these technological tools may make managing your finances easier, don’t forget an old-fashioned tool — going into a branch. Sit down with a representative and find out if there are any products or services you don’t know about that you can take advantage of to meet your financial goals.

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