How is technology changing the way we manage our finances?

Like many businesses, banks are increasingly investing heavily in their digital services. While a decade ago, this was largely focused around ‘efficiency’ – which often was just better for the banks, rather than the customers – the primary goal now is very much on enhancing the banking experience for customers.

Advancements in technology are rapidly becoming better at making our lives simpler and more convenient, efficient and secure. Large technology companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are upping the ante in terms of the user experiences they offer; giving customers a taste of what is possible in this changing digital world. Most financial institutions realise they need to keep up with what their customers now expect and demand; that is, their digital offering should add value to their lives – it needs to do more. Luckily, advancements in data analytics are helping financial institutions to evaluate what their customers want from their digital offering, so they can work towards providing it.

The number one device in Australian households is a smartphone. As mobile phones feature more heavily in our lives, it stands to reason that mobile banking will become more important in how we manage our money.

Roy Morgan research released in January revealed that mobile banking is the most rapidly growing way for consumers to manage their finances, and it also has the highest levels of customer satisfaction (89.3%). This compares to satisfaction with internet banking (87.7%), banking at a branch (85.2%) and phone banking (77.2%). Almost half (44.7%) of Australians would use mobile banking in a four-week period compared to just 22.9% using a branch.

Most banking apps include the basics, such as viewing your account balance, making payments and transferring money between accounts. But there are many more new features available today that are differentiating lenders in a bid to lure customers.

Here is a snapshot of what’s available on mobile apps through some of our lenders:


  • Make payments via Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Pay your bills just by taking a picture using apps like Photo-a-bill.
  • Make instant transfers to other bank accounts with PayID.
  • Notify people whom you’ve paid via SMS or email.
  • A ‘quick view’ option to see your balance without logging in.
  • View up to three years’ worth of transactions.
  • Apply for new banking products in-app.
  • Store all your loyalty cards in-app so you won’t have a wallet bulging with cards and you don’t have to worry about rummaging through your wallet at checkout.
  • Set up profiles so that multiple people can access their accounts from the one device.
  • Check your account balances without having to log in. Just ask Siri.


  • Be able to log on securely using biometric (fingerprint and Face ID) login on compatible devices.
  • Receive notifications each time a transaction is made on your account, helping you keep on top of your spending and make sure there haven’t been any unauthorised transactions.
  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately through the app.
  • Alert your lender to any upcoming trips so they can monitor your card and refrain from blocking it unnecessarily.
  • Be able to lock your card, block transactions, change access codes and change your PIN in-app (no more waiting two weeks for a new PIN).

Saving and budgeting assistance

  • Set up a savings goal with prompts to help you remain on track throughout the week.
  • Keep track of where your spending is going with a comprehensive spend tracker, organised into categories (such as transport, groceries, etc). This helps you assess and review your spending habits.
  • Manage your credit card via the app, including making repayments, changing your limit and setting spending caps.
  • Avoid credit card fees and interest charges with an optional Everyday round up feature, which rounds up purchases you make on your credit card and deposits the difference into your savings account.

Emergency funds

  • Draw out cash (up to a designated amount) without your card. You can enter a code and PIN on your app, then use the same code and PIN at an ATM to withdraw the cash. This feature enables money to be picked up by someone else (such as family members or friends) if they run out of money or lose their card.