Finance and Mobile apps Do Not Mix Well

The idea of making a mobile app for everything has had mixed feelings among consumers. Most younger mobile users are a lot more open to downloading applications and using them, while slightly older customers prefer to either use their desktop or use the in-built browser on their smartphones.

This has been additionally relevant for financial applications. Considering that not too many young people use these apps on a daily basis, most customers tend to opt for desktop-based software.

This would technically send the message to companies that investing in a mobile app right now would be a bad idea, right? Well, no. Almost every major financial company has released or is in the process of developing a mobile application.

However, referring to finances as just finances would be way too generic. I’d like to divide this huge industry into some of its segments and try to argue why mobile apps are simply useless in these regards.

This article is not something that laughs at or criticizes companies that have already created the apps, but rather a point of notice for those willing to do so in the future. So with that out of the way, let’s find out why a financial app is a bad idea.

Banking

Banking is arguably one of the most relevant sectors of the financial industry that could potentially use a mobile application.

For example, the recent trend of attaching one’s credit or debit card to the smartphone (digitally) helps with card maintenance in the wallet.

For most people nowadays, one less card to jam into their wallets the better. But that’s about it. The ability to let free up space in your wallet due to easy terminal payments is probably the only thing that mobile banking is good for. The only other average value is added by direct transactions of course, but that’s just a small advantage.

But here’s the issue. Banks don’t really know when to stop when developing their applications. Most of them have the idea of providing better payment and transaction opportunities for their users, but in the end, they deliver an app that calculates your monthly expenses, where you spent them, how you spent them, what’s your credit and all of the additional features that they could potentially jam into one software.

This then takes the emphasis away from digital payments and becomes an annoyance. Daily updates on new deals, unsolicited calculation of your monthly expenses and pretty much the blatant invasion of your privacy tend to get to you sooner or later.

The reason why banking and mobile apps don’t mix well is due to the cluttered content. Keep it simple. Just digital payments and transactions. If the monthly expenses are required, people can easily do it themselves without having to be notified about it every week.

Trading

Next, we get to a segment that would involve a bit more involvement from the user’s side. With banking, it’s something that one may check once a day or maybe once a week. But with trading software, people tend to use multiple times in a day.

Considering that it’s based on simplifying the speculative markets, it should be one of the most useful apps in the financial industry, right? Well, not necessarily.

According to this eToro review, mobile trading applications are usually designed for beginners who can keep an eye on only 1 asset at a time. Smartphones simply don’t have the capacity for serious multi-tasking. And if something requires multi-tasking, it’s trading.

Have you seen just how many screens professional traders are using? Sometimes dozens. Fitting dozens of charts on one small smartphone screen is possible, but would take away the whole idea of convenient market participation.

It’s unfortunate that due to this physical limitation, financial companies are still developing mobile applications. And even worse is that some beginners believe it’s an extremely important tool.

Although new apps mean jobs for app developers, it’s not recommended to flood the market with useless products.

Accounting

Accounting is also an extremely important financial sector regardless of whether its a corporate or private venture. However, the essence of any accounting software is that it’s very detailed, easy to make and versatile.

Most accounting applications tend to use spreadsheets, and we all know that the best product available has already been made by Microsoft and Google.

Most people that use spreadsheet software, tend to create, edit, track and use it from their desktop applications. Why? Because that’s the easiest route in terms of inserting formulas, laying out the spreadsheet and using it in general.

The only time people use spreadsheets on their smartphones is to check some data, rather than tamper with it or edit it. The technology for mobile spreadsheets is simply not up to par with desktop versions.

Furthermore, even the mobile apps are not as useful for spreadsheets as they can easily be viewed from an in-built browser, thus removing the need for the app.

Overall, I believe that accounting apps fail to deliver the value that their desktop contemporaries have managed over the years. However, this would not be an issue if new apps were not coming out nearly every month.

Some things are best to be kept on desktops exclusively and not make the mobile app market way too oversaturated.

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