|[December 05, 2013]
CO-OP Financial Services: Selecting the Best Smartphone (App) for Personal Finance This Holiday Season
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
The holiday season is just around the corner, and it's time to start
thinking about presents for family, friends and maybe even yourself.
Smartphones - mobile phones with advanced computing capability and
connectivity - continue to be hot sellers this season, as indeed they
have been all year long. In fact, about 90 percent of global handset
sales are now due to Android-powered and Apple (News - Alert) iPhone smartphones.
The array of smartphones is diverse and making the best selection may
depend largely on the recipient - kids, soul mate or business partner.
Some phones have bigger screens, others have faster processors, and a
few are great for watching movies.
Many smartphone users, however, are discovering that these mobile
devices can be used for banking and payments - for convenient personal
financial management (PFM). The numbers are impressive - nearly 50
percent of smartphone owners have engaged in mobile banking during 2013.
ost smartphones - certainly the market leaders - can be used for PFM,
since most financial apps are programmed to work on the most popular
One example is from CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org)
of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., a provider for PFM smartphone applications
specifically for members of credit unions. The company just introduced
the latest version of Sprig by CO-OP. This smartphone app - known as a
"digital wallet" - enables users to make instantaneous transfers between
their credit union accounts, as well as immediately transfer money into
destination accounts - payments on loans, for instance.
Credit and debit cards can also be registered on smartphones, becoming
"mobile cards." Securing their use, then, becomes even more of a
priority than with the physical card. Again, CO-OP Financial Services by
early next year will offer CO-OP Card Controls and Alerts, a PFM app
that allows credit union members to set card controls based on their
preferences, such as transaction type, merchant, location and payment
Using smartphones for PFM - both the hardware and software apps -
inevitably boils down to addressing security concerns. When searching
for an app, make sure it comes from a trustworthy source - and go one
step further by checking out the website of the developer. Both should
be able to produce assurances that the app adheres to federally
regulated audit standards for both physical and electronic security and
With the right mobile PFM apps, the smartphone user will be truly good
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