Finances in The Digital Age
In what seems like light years ago, people wrote paper checks, completed paper applications for loans, snail-mailed payments, and waited for monthly bank statements to reconcile accounts. Over the last decade, however, the face of finances has drastically changed in the digital age. From applications, approvals, and accounting, finances are now available 24/7 at the tip of your finger. In fact, in 2016 62% of Americans used digital banking as their main source of banking. Banking is no longer a brick and mortar business. Instead, via phone apps and websites, banking has taken on an all-new look in the digital age.
Applying for a Mortgage
You may have heard stories of people getting dressed up, walking into the bank to get a mortgage loan, and sealing it with a handshake. However, in 2019, thousands of Americans are skipping the tie and bank meeting and opting for digital applications that give near-instant results. In fact, almost half of all Americans—and 64% of millennials—say they prefer to apply for a mortgage online rather than in person.
As the demand for digital technology increases, banks—both local & national—are striving to meet it. Many banks now offer an online mortgage calculator, loan application, and chat feature to make the process easier and quicker. While all the standard qualifications still exist, the digital age has transitioned to a more direct, electronic process of collecting information and generating application results.
Automatic Mortgage Drafts
It’s not just the mortgage application process that has gone digital. Homeowners can now set up monthly or even bi-weekly bank drafts to have their mortgage payment automatically drafted. With automatic drafts, homeowners don’t have to worry about late payments. And while mortgage drafts offer convenience, they do not offer flexibility with payment dates. As many Americans are paid bi-monthly, flexible draft dates can be essential which is why online mortgage draft companies like Bi-saver offer homeowners bi-weekly online draft options.
Pre-digital age, most Americans received their bank statements once a month via snail mail. The delay was not beneficial as people had to either call the bank to get an up-to-date balance or hope their check register was free of error. Instead, people can now access their banking 24/7 anywhere in the world via bank apps and websites. This remote access allows Americans to stay on top of their banking, budgeting, and bills. In fact, two-thirds of Americans use online banking channels on a regular basis. A mere 18% of Americans still use bank branches for day-to-day banking. The convenience offered via online banking caters to busy Americans that can’t always visit bank branches during regular business hours.
Insurance: There’s an App for That
It’s not just banking that has digitalized. The world of car and home insurance claims has also gone digital. Previously, on-site visits and adjuster meetings were a necessary hurdle in filing an insurance claim. Now, consumers can request a tow, roadside assistance, or even file a claim all from their fingertips on their smartphone. Most national insurance companies have their own apps that allow you to review your account, billing, claims, and status. And the small little proof-of-insurance cards you used to always lose? They’ve gone digital too. In case of an accident or speeding ticket, the proof-of-insurance is now located via the app which can be shown to the officer. However, only 9% of Americans tend to begin a claims process via the app. While some may be unaware of the option, others may be unfamiliar with the app. You should begin by searching for your insurer’s app and familiarize yourself with the settings & interface so that you are comfortable using it in times of stress or emergencies.
If saving money and sticking to a budget was part of your new year’s resolution, you aren’t alone. Actually, financial resolutions are pretty common: 48% say they want to save more money in the new year, 29% want to pay down debt, & 15% want to spend less. Having an up-to-date, easy-to-manage system is the key to keeping those financial resolutions, and you’re probably not shocked to find out there are numerous apps available to keep you on track. With free budget apps like Every Dollar and Mint, budgeting has never been more convenient.
Beyond just apps and websites, many online communities have arisen regarding budgeting. From Facebook groups to online forums, there are several resources available to keep a budget on track and headed for success.
While the world of finances may have a different face than it did a few years ago, it’s now providing more options and convenience to consumers. From banking to mortgages to budgets, it’s all at the tip of your fingers!