You’ve got the whole store (and your bank!) in the palm of your hand.
You know the feeling: you see a couture puppy sweater on Pinterest and you know it will look great on Murphy (your pooch.) You just have to have it!
Banking and shopping apps make put personal finance at out fingertips. In this era of near-instant gratification, you can see that puppy sweater, quickly check on the status of your cash flow, then click “buy” and get it at your front door within days. Pretty soon, we’ll have access to drone-dropped packages. In the more-distant future, we might even be able to 3D print what we want in our own homes! Seriously, all we’d need to recreate that awesome sweater is the raw materials and the right program to make it … oh, wait, that’s basically knitting. (Shout out to all you makers and craftspeople out there!)
For those of us who are less skilled with the knitting needles, we can use our ninja-like shopping algorithms to find the perfect sweater at the perfect price and have it delivered.
Consumers can use their smartphones to compare prices, check reviews on the quality of the product, and find digital coupons and promotions. The Harvard Business Review says, “46% of shoppers exclusively use their mobile device to conduct pre-purchase research for local products and services.” Shoppers are more empowered now than they’ve ever been, thanks to smartphones!
Here at Cellular Sales, we rely on our smartphones for smart shopping. We’d love to pass along our favorite tips and apps for your shopping pleasure!
Pay with your Smartphone!
Most brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions (and credit card companies) have apps for managing your accounts, transferring money, tracking your spending habits and applying for loans. Having your bank or credit card’s app at your fingertips allows you to transfer funds between accounts quickly, and to know what’s happening with your money instantly. Go to the Google Play store or the App store on your iPhone and search for your bank or credit card company to get started.
Some bank apps allow for the fast transfer of money in and out of your account. If yours doesn’t, or if you’re looking for even more convenient ways to split the lunch bill or get paid by clients, there are many safe options! Here are a few of our favorites:
Apple Pay Cash
If you’re an iPhone user, Apple Pay enables you to make secure purchases both in-person and online, by linking your credit or debit cards. They’ve added a cool, new feature: sending and receiving money right from Messages. Just open Messages, and start a conversation with the friend you want to exchange money with. At the bottom of the screen, tap the Applications icon, then tap Apple Pay logo. Pay or request to be paid from here.
For Android users: you can pay or get paid through text messages with this app. You can also pay on websites or through other apps, or shop in-store with Google Pay. Link your credit or debit card and get shopping.
Move money to and from your bank account. Send money and receive money from friends, family or clients. Shop online! Venmo syncs with PayPal, so it interacts with your bank account the same way. This app adds just a little bit of social interaction to secure interactions—so you can send your half of the dinner bill to Jenny with a message!
Owned and operated by Square, this no-nonsense money app lets you send and receive money to anybody, as long as you have their $Cashtag identification. (It’s a codename you set up in order to receive money.) There’s no social interaction, bells or whistles: just secure money transactions. You can decided to keep the money in the Cash digital “drawer,” deposit it to your bank account, or even change it into Bitcoin.
Online Store & Shopping Apps
There are tons of store and shopping apps out there! Grocery stores, consignment stores, retailers of all shapes and sizes … if you’re looking for something in particular, all you have to do is search for it. Here are a few good apps to get you started:
Editors test and review products, provide cost comparisons and show deals on thousands of products. Shop with confidence, knowing exactly what you’re getting (and knowing it’s the best price!)
If you’re a fan of Amazon, this is the app for you! You can manage shopping and wish lists through the app, and receive notifications for deals on your lists. Voice and image search options kick up the shopping game a notch – just say the name of, or take a photo of a product and the Amazon app will find that product in its catalog!
Etsy is one of the most popular shopping sites/apps for handmade and vintage treasures. Manage your favorite shops, chat with store owners and (of course!) buy through the app.
While not technically an app, this is the best site to visit if you’re looking to find the latest smartphone deals, get a new pair of earphones, a waterproof case or other phone accessories, and find out about Total Mobile Protection for your smartphone.
Grocery Lists and Coupons
If you’ve ever gotten all the way to the store, only to realize your list is still sitting on the kitchen counter, it’s time to get a grocery list app. Check these out:
This list app works with Apple, Google Play, Amazon Alexa and more! It’s a simplified, shareable grocery list. Need to get office party snacks? Sync the list with your coworkers and get shopping. Need ingredients for dinner? Send the list to your spouse. You’ll never forget your grocery list at home again!
This app searches for coupons and sales in your area based on categories or specific products. Search for “toothpaste” or “canned foods,” and you’ll get a list of the best deals at your local stores.
This app is set up to give you cash back for your purchases. Scan the available rebates before you start shopping, then redeem them after you shop. Ibotta works with lots of major retailers: Wal-Mart, Target, Publix and more.
Don’t forget Amazon Echo’s built-in shopping list function. Sync up your Any.do or Todoist apps, and then just ask Alexa to add things to your list.
We hope our safety tips and app suggestions make your smartphone shopping and banking experiences pretty great! Now, get shopping. Those new Sunstaches Rasta Sunglasses with the plastic dangling beard aren’t going to buy themselves.