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    • BillyBills
    • By BillyBills 6th Jul 18, 10:08 AM
    • 25Posts
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    BillyBills
    Do banking apps help?
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 18, 10:08 AM
    Do banking apps help? 6th Jul 18 at 10:08 AM
    Hi guys,

    I've recently opened a starling bank account and started to use the app to see my expenses. I was always a classic bank statements by post kind of guy, so it's quite odd to have all my outgoings in real time on my phone. It groups everything too, so I can see where I spend on "shopping" etc. Does this kind of stuff help people or just make them more stressed and on edge about what and where they're spending!
Page 1
    • EarthBoy
    • By EarthBoy 6th Jul 18, 12:33 PM
    • 1,897 Posts
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    EarthBoy
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 18, 12:33 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 18, 12:33 PM
    If it makes people stressed about what and where they're spending, then the problem is their spending, not the app.
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 6th Jul 18, 2:57 PM
    • 437 Posts
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    Fingerbobs
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 18, 2:57 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 18, 2:57 PM
    A feature that I would really love, and to my knowledge no current app offers, is an immediate notification for *every* transaction.
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 6th Jul 18, 3:37 PM
    • 2,153 Posts
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    Sapphire
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 18, 3:37 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 18, 3:37 PM
    I won't use it. Do not want my life taken over by technology even more, plus don't trust security of Internet, or the 'tracking' habits of websites.
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 6th Jul 18, 6:39 PM
    • 3,587 Posts
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    eDicky
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 18, 6:39 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 18, 6:39 PM
    A feature that I would really love, and to my knowledge no current app offers, is an immediate notification for *every* transaction.
    Originally posted by Fingerbobs
    What do you mean by *every*..?

    I've never had anything outgoing or incoming to my Starling account for which I was not notified immediately by the app.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 6th Jul 18, 8:07 PM
    • 2,187 Posts
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    ValiantSon
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 18, 8:07 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Jul 18, 8:07 PM
    Hi guys,

    I've recently opened a starling bank account and started to use the app to see my expenses. I was always a classic bank statements by post kind of guy, so it's quite odd to have all my outgoings in real time on my phone. It groups everything too, so I can see where I spend on "shopping" etc. Does this kind of stuff help people or just make them more stressed and on edge about what and where they're spending!
    Originally posted by BillyBills
    "Shopping" is a pretty large and diverse category. How useful is it to know that you spent XXX on "shopping", which could easily have included, food, toiletries, alcohol, books, furniture, clothes..... It may be more useful if they could break it down into all of these categories, and then you may be able to identify that you are spending way too much on alcohol, or clothes, but as it is, it is just a gimmick, and of no real value in burrowing down into your spending. There are various pieces of software that will do this for you, if you enter the data, including a simple spreadsheet.
    • Armorica
    • By Armorica 6th Jul 18, 8:17 PM
    • 731 Posts
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    Armorica
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 18, 8:17 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 18, 8:17 PM
    A feature that I would really love, and to my knowledge no current app offers, is an immediate notification for *every* transaction.
    Originally posted by Fingerbobs
    Starling does this.

    ValiantSun - yes, providers are increasingly breaking this down. It's quite easy for card transactions as its based on the merchant code.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 6th Jul 18, 8:28 PM
    • 2,187 Posts
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    ValiantSon
    • #8
    • 6th Jul 18, 8:28 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Jul 18, 8:28 PM
    ValiantSun - yes, providers are increasingly breaking this down. It's quite easy for card transactions as its based on the merchant code.
    Originally posted by Armorica
    Sorry, but they aren't. I could buy all of the items that I listed in a supermarket. The bank would have absolutely no way of knowing how my bill was divided between these many different categories. Furthermore, if you use a credit card (and there are so many good reasons to do so) then all your app will show is that you had a credit card bill for XXX, not that you spent X in a supermarket (on a diverse range of goods); X in a bookshop; X in a pharmacy.....

    The apps just aren't sophisticated enough!

    Oh, and it's ValiantSon.
    Last edited by ValiantSon; 06-07-2018 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Fixing MSE's continuing formatting issue
    • Zanderman
    • By Zanderman 6th Jul 18, 11:29 PM
    • 1,710 Posts
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    Zanderman
    • #9
    • 6th Jul 18, 11:29 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Jul 18, 11:29 PM
    Starling does this.
    ValiantSun - yes, providers are increasingly breaking this down. It's quite easy for card transactions as its based on the merchant code.
    Originally posted by Armorica
    Sorry, but they aren't. I could buy all of the items that I listed in a supermarket. The bank would have absolutely no way of knowing how my bill was divided between these many different categories. Furthermore, if you use a credit card (and there are so many good reasons to do so) then all your app will show is that you had a credit card bill for XXX, not that you spent X in a supermarket (on a diverse range of goods); X in a bookshop; X in a pharmacy......
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    Agree with ValiantSon, the apps merely state where you bought something, not what it was. So they do not do what they claim to do in differentiating types of spend, except at a very superficial level. If I buy my bread, butter and crumpets at the local petrol station the app will think I bought petrol. That's not very helpful.

    Re credit cards though, the Tandem app, with the Tandem Credit Card, does tell you which shop it was. So better than VS suggests. But no better than the basic problem, which is the card doesn't know whether you bought jeans, beer, rice krispies, a DVD, a toaster, condoms, a new telly, or a trolley-full of bananas (or all of the above) from Tesco.
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 7th Jul 18, 12:33 AM
    • 2,153 Posts
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    Sapphire
    Sorry, but they aren't. I could buy all of the items that I listed in a supermarket. The bank would have absolutely no way of knowing how my bill was divided between these many different categories. Furthermore, if you use a credit card (and there are so many good reasons to do so) then all your app will show is that you had a credit card bill for XXX, not that you spent X in a supermarket (on a diverse range of goods); X in a bookshop; X in a pharmacy.....

    The apps just aren't sophisticated enough!

    Oh, and it's ValiantSon.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    That doesn't seem to be the case. On logging into my Nationwide account last week, for example, I noticed to my alarm that the bank had included, under something called 'MoneyWatch', messages to the effect that 'you have spent more on your food shopping last month than in the previous month' (can't remember the exact wording), and a couple of other messages with regard to my spending. Clicking onto these messages brought up graphs of the breakdowns. I never asked the bank to do this (and never was asked to approve such monitoring), and do not want a bank to pry into my spending habits at all. I can see that some people, who find it difficult to control their spending and regularly get overdrawn, might feel they want to agree to a bank controlling their spending in such a way, but I never get overdrawn and have always been in control of my financial matters.

    I asked for the 'facility' to be removed, but of course have no way of knowing whether the bank continues to 'analyse' my spending and whether it is using the information for its own purposes. I find this an alarming invasion of privacy into something that is part of a customer's private life and no business of other parties.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 7th Jul 18, 9:09 AM
    • 2,187 Posts
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    ValiantSon
    Agree with ValiantSon, the apps merely state where you bought something, not what it was. So they do not do what they claim to do in differentiating types of spend, except at a very superficial level. If I buy my bread, butter and crumpets at the local petrol station the app will think I bought petrol. That's not very helpful.

    Re credit cards though, the Tandem app, with the Tandem Credit Card, does tell you which shop it was. So better than VS suggests. But no better than the basic problem, which is the card doesn't know whether you bought jeans, beer, rice krispies, a DVD, a toaster, condoms, a new telly, or a trolley-full of bananas (or all of the above) from Tesco.
    Originally posted by Zanderman
    I was unaware of Tandem, but as you say, it only delivers the same lack of differentiation that the app-based current accounts provide.

    It isn't their fault that they can't differentiate the spending more accurately, but it is their fault that they misrepresent what the apps can actually do.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 7th Jul 18, 9:44 AM
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    ValiantSon
    That doesn't seem to be the case.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    It is, and everything you say below is consistent with what I have described.

    On logging into my Nationwide account last week, for example, I noticed to my alarm that the bank had included, under something called 'MoneyWatch', messages to the effect that 'you have spent more on your food shopping last month than in the previous month' (can't remember the exact wording), and a couple of other messages with regard to my spending. Clicking onto these messages brought up graphs of the breakdowns.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    Yes, this is based on the shops that you spent money at, as I said, but not the actual items you bought. They are assuming that all spending in the supermarket is food shopping. They are unable to differentiate between the diferent kinds of items that you may have bought in the supermarket.

    I never asked the bank to do this (and never was asked to approve such monitoring), and do not want a bank to pry into my spending habits at all.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    Well you'd best stop using anything other than cash to pay for things then. The banks have always known where you shopped because the merchants submit your transactions to them for payment. All that is different, is that the banks are presenting this information to you in a different way. They are not tracking you or prying into your spending.

    I can see that some people, who find it difficult to control their spending and regularly get overdrawn, might feel they want to agree to a bank controlling their spending in such a way, but I never get overdrawn and have always been in control of my financial matters.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    They aren't controlling your spending. They haven't said that you are only allowed to spend a certain amount in any one type of shop, have they? All they have done is made some broad assumptions about the kind of goods you are likely to have bought from different kinds of shops, using the data they have always had, and then presented this to you in a new way. They are not controlling your spending and you are completely free to ignore their graphs and messages.

    I asked for the 'facility' to be removed, but of course have no way of knowing whether the bank continues to 'analyse' my spending and whether it is using the information for its own purposes. I find this an alarming invasion of privacy into something that is part of a customer's private life and no business of other parties.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    Really? They have always had this information, otherwise they would not have been able to pay the merchants with whom you have made transactions. It is absolutely their business, as you want them to settle your debts that result from spending. The only way they can do this is if they know who to pay! They are not actually interested in whether you have bought 100 worth of smoked salmon, or 100 worth of meat paste. They are simply presenting the data to you in a different way.

    If you are really that worried about the bank knowing that you did some shopping at Tesco, or Boots, or wherever, then you need to stick to only transacting in cash.

    This is not an invasion of your privacy!
    Last edited by ValiantSon; 07-07-2018 at 9:50 AM. Reason: Typo
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 7th Jul 18, 10:33 AM
    • 3,587 Posts
    • 1,757 Thanks
    eDicky
    Starling does this.
    Originally posted by Armorica
    Not only Starling, but all the fintech apps, Monzo, Revolut, Loot, N26 etc, give instant notification of any transaction, usually with the location, globally. (Tandem is also giving such notifications, but not reliably in my experience.) I find this helpful, to be able to check that everything is correct before leaving the location, and to be confident that if there's ever any fraud on my account I will know immediately.

    Personally, I'm not interested in any of the spending category or budgeting features, but they are no doubt useful for some.

    Another advantage, for me at least, that these fintech accounts have is that you can instantly freeze and unfreeze your card with the app, and in some cases (Starling, Revolut) selectively disable various types of transaction when you will not be using them.

    There may be some, but I have not encountered any of the 'mainstream' bank apps which have these security features or provide instant notifications, not even the supposedly innovative 'B' app by Yorkshire Bank. .
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 7th Jul 18, 10:36 AM
    • 4,451 Posts
    • 4,970 Thanks
    robatwork
    But no better than the basic problem, which is the card doesn't know whether you bought jeans, beer, rice krispies, a DVD, a toaster, condoms, a new telly, or a trolley-full of bananas (or all of the above) from Tesco.
    Originally posted by Zanderman
    Weirdly that is an accurate chronological description of my last Saturday night.
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 7th Jul 18, 11:38 AM
    • 2,153 Posts
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    Sapphire
    It is absolutely their business, as you want them to settle your debts that result from spending. The only way they can do this is if they know who to pay! They are not actually interested in whether you have bought 100 worth of smoked salmon, or 100 worth of meat paste. They are simply presenting the data to you in a different way.

    If you are really that worried about the bank knowing that you did some shopping at Tesco, or Boots, or wherever, then you need to stick to only transacting in cash.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    Oh, you are very defensive in your protection of the banks, aren't you! I wonder why?

    For information, when I contacted the bank about this invasion of my privacy, the person who responded said they knew exactly what I meant.

    Note that I don't have any debts, and 'transacting in cash' only has been made impossible, as you well know. It amazes me that some people apparently cannot take charge of their own finances and monitor them, and that they feel they have to be led by the hand by a financial institution. Still, carry on, if that is what you wish,.

    Presumably the banks will soon start charging for the use of this wonder, if they don't already.
    Last edited by Sapphire; 07-07-2018 at 11:50 AM.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 7th Jul 18, 11:46 AM
    • 2,187 Posts
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    ValiantSon
    Oh, you are very defensive in your protection of the banks, aren't you! I wonder why?
    Originally posted by Sapphire


    Funnily enough, the banks don't have much use for historians.

    I am able to follow a logical argument. This upsets some people on here who like to rant and rave, and results in me being labelled as some kind of stooge or shill for the banking industry; it doesn't mean that I actually am.

    Furthermore, I haven't defended Nationwide (who are a building society, not a bank), I have simply explained how you are wrong.

    For information, when I contacted the bank about this invasion of my privacy, the person who responded said they knew exactly what I meant.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    So some man or woman in a call centre, who also doesn't understand what is going on, makes an off the cuff comment, that is not representative of the corporate position of the bank, nor of the realities of how banking works. So what?

    Note that I don't have any debts, and 'transacting in cash' only has been made impossible, as you well know.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    Whether or not you have debts is irrelevant. I referred to debts in terms of the money you owe for each transaction. This is a different thing.

    How on earth has transacting exclusively in cash been made impossible? Every shop I have ever been into will allow me to pay for goods in cash.

    When you are shown to be wrong, accept it with good grace, and don't chuck around ludicrous conspiracy theories about who my employer is (definitely not a bank, or any other financial institution), or make things up.

    Nothing you have written counters anything that I wrote.
    • EarthBoy
    • By EarthBoy 7th Jul 18, 11:54 AM
    • 1,897 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    EarthBoy
    On logging into my Nationwide account last week, for example, I noticed to my alarm that the bank had included, under something called 'MoneyWatch', messages to the effect that 'you have spent more on your food shopping last month than in the previous month' (can't remember the exact wording), and a couple of other messages with regard to my spending. Clicking onto these messages brought up graphs of the breakdowns. I never asked the bank to do this (and never was asked to approve such monitoring), and do not want a bank to pry into my spending habits at all.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    MoneyWatch is optional, so if you don't like it, don't use it. I don't even have it on my Nationwide account, probably because MoneyWatch only tracks your current account spending, and I use my credit card for nearly all my spending, so there's no money to "watch".

    As ValiantSon points out, the only way to stop any bank knowing where you're spending your money is to pay for everything in cash.
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 7th Jul 18, 12:28 PM
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    Sapphire
    don't chuck around ludicrous conspiracy theories about who my employer is (definitely not a bank, or any other financial institution), or make things up.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    There's no need to be so defensive. You are quite free to use this facility, and to promote it, obviously.

    One of my main issues was that a financial institution suddenly provided this analysis of my spending without asking permission to do so. I consider my spending to be a private affair, not one that I wish a bank to analyse. Why would a bank provide such a facility to customers? How is it in its interests?
    Last edited by Sapphire; 07-07-2018 at 12:33 PM.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 7th Jul 18, 12:35 PM
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    ValiantSon
    There's no need to be so defensive. You are quite free to use this facility, and to promote it, obviously.
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    You made unsubstantiated insinuations about me.

    I haven't promoted the facility, and if you'd care to actually read my posts, then you'd see that I have said that the service is largely pointless.

    I have corrected flaws in your thinking. You still haven't addressed the points I made, including your rather bizarre claim that it had been made impossible to transact exclusively in cash. That is because you are unable to because what I have said is correct, and what you have said isn't, but neither have you had the good grace to accept that you are wrong.

    Don't let the facts get in the way of your opinions, will you.

    One of my main issues was that a financial institution suddenly provided this analysis of my spending without asking permission to do so. I consider my spending to be a private affair, not one that I wish a bank to analyse. Why would a bank provide such a facility to customers? How is it in its interests?
    Originally posted by Sapphire
    They provided you with a different way of presenting your spending using the data that they have always had. They provided it to you, and to nobody else. This is not an invasion of your privacy: nothing private has been made public, and the building society have no more knowledge about you than they always did.

    It is in the building society's interest (Nationwide is still not a bank) to provide customers with innovative features on their accounts to encourage retention of business. You don't like it because you - wrongly - believe it to be an invasion of your privacy, but many customers will think it is a nice feature, and many others (as I would) will think it pointless, but not a problem.
    Last edited by ValiantSon; 07-07-2018 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Replying to edit
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 7th Jul 18, 5:39 PM
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    Sapphire
    You made unsubstantiated insinuations about me.

    Granted: I apologise for the thoughtless, off-the-cuff remark.

    I haven't promoted the facility, and if you'd care to actually read my posts, then you'd see that I have said that the service is largely pointless.

    Yes, you have said so.

    I have corrected flaws in your thinking.

    Please don't try to correct 'flaws' in anyone's 'thinking' (sounds like mind control).

    Don't let the facts get in the way of your opinions, will you.

    A tad agressive, what? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about 'facts', however much others may disagree with it.
    Last edited by Sapphire; 08-07-2018 at 12:09 AM.
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