Can my kid balance her checking account?
That’s been a perennial question for parents, guiltily recalling that they’re not so good at the task either.
The new reality: she doesn’t have to. We have seen the future. New online capabilities are changing the way that people think about their financial affairs, lifting a veil of mystery by transforming the way that people interact with their money. New ways of organizing personal financial data go beyond merely making payments and getting balances to improving financial literacy.
Imagine that each time you, or your daughter, buy that Starbucks coffee your mobile shows not only that transaction but also your total coffee expenditures for the month, total spent on eating out and possibly a couple other data items. Envision buying a new car and having bank lending information and your projected cash availability at the same time you see pricing.
Mobile financial information is not simply a shortcut for young people coming of age. It offers a way to bring people who have previously been financially disenfranchised into the mainstream. The availability of new information, presented in more informative ways, frees people to move into new levels of understanding about their personal affairs. At a time when we’re all able to look forward to a longer lifespan while being increasingly responsible for our own financial needs, this is a step in the right direction.