Image source: money.usnews.comApps can definitely add value and one place where they are reported to be making particularly big waves is the finance industry. In fact, Michael Donohue (2014) writing for Coder Factory suggests that there are seven such apps that are really starting to have a disruptive effect in the financial industry. As Donohue explains:
“Innovative mobile and web applications are being created every day, with users flocking to those apps that change old ways of thinking and make their lives easier. The financial sector is no exception to this technological disruption.”
The first of the apps that is suggested to be disrupting the finance industry is Acorns. Acorns is big news because it provides its users with the opportunity to use their spare change left over from day to day purchases by investing it in a “diversified portfolio”. The way that it works is that the app takes credit and debit card purchases and rounds them up. It then looks at ways that this money can be moved into an investment account. All of this is particularly interesting because it takes investing out of the realms of the wealthy and makes it much easier to access by Joe Blogs. The app is currently only accessible in the USA but has plans to expand to other
countries very soon.
2.Simply Wall St
Simply Wall St is also a disruptive finance industry app that is creating transformational change. This particular app, that says that it brings you the new visual way to invest, claims to make it as easy to invest in the stock market as it is to purchase groceries from the local store. An Australian-created app, Simply Wall St is focused on a target market of beginner investors. It uses financial information from sources such as Yahoo Finance and Bloomberg. It then transforms this information into easy to understand infographics about companies. This helps its user base to be able to understand, research and check investments very easily. On the basis of investments that are made, the app will also suggest other options that are suited to the individual’s levels of risk, and it also offers portfolio management.
Skaffold is an application that was also originated in Australia and which also helps with online stock research. It was created by investors and it targets a market that is a little more experienced than Simply Wall St, and which knows what it is doing. The app takes the financial data of companies and forecasts related to companies and transforms these into visuals that are easy to understand. The app is updated very frequently (daily) based on data that is provided from major and renowned financial institutions. For those that are quite experienced investors it offers some screening tools for those that are looking for certain characteristics in companies that they want to invest in.
StockTwits is an app that is grounded in the financial industry but uses social networking principles. It is considered an important social network for traders and investors. The way that it works is that it gathers together all the tweets that are made about markets and organizations. This information can then be reviewed by day traders, and this provides a helpful source of information for them to be able to better understand investor sentiment. Up until the current time more than 300,000 companies and investors have started using StockTwits. This has replaced a lot of the former sources of information like chat rooms and forums, and it saves a lot of time for traders.
Nimble is an app that is taking on payday loan companies by providing the function of automated loan approval. The way that it achieves this is by using machine learning algorithms. In this way it is possible to rapidly review credit history along with behavioural data and data that is self-reported. This is used to assess the ability of the person applying for the loan to actually be able to pay it back. The turnaround time for getting the cash is pretty outstanding, as the money can be in the applicant’s account within an hour of submitting a request.
Yet another disruptive app is Xero, which is creating change in accounting. Xero is an app that provides online accounting software. It provides accounting software via the cloud, and it is considered to be easy to user for people that do not have a background in accountancy. This has garnered excellent results for Xero, which has managed to gain market share by attracting customers from major industry players like MYOB and Reckon.
Last but not least, iBillionaire helps people to track the investments made by some of the highest performing investors in the world. The app collates filings of these major investors, and these fillings are a record of the dealings that these investors have undertaken. This is beneficial for users because they can see what these investors are doing and get ideas of their own.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.