Guest Post: Five mobile finance trends on the rise in 2013

by Trevor Young, director fro product management with OANDA

From travel budgeting; to currency trading; to the concept of a cashless society; -a number of mobile trends are gathering steam in the finance space. The world’s Internet denizens are increasingly embracing mobile computing. It’s not just  hype. A growing body of evidence (see Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB) report here) supports the notion that the mobile web will free us from the constraints of the desktop.

As more of our everyday online experiences – email, banking, shopping, networking – happen on mobile devices, it’s becoming second nature to take care of our financial business while we’re on the go.

With that in mind, here are five mobile finance trends that I believe will continue to grow this year: -

Cashless payments

Though paper cash and coinage will not disappear anytime soon, the idea of living in a cashless society is gaining momentum.

Smartphones are handier than searching for a bank machine. It’ll be a slow creep but people are creatures of habit and they like convenience and security.

Consider the 2012 Summer Olympics in the UK. It was a beta test and a springboard for VISA’s contactless payment technology.

The push to encourage attendees to make routine payments with their mobile phones went over swimmingly.

Social media for investors

Mobile technologies and social media are birds of a feather, which is driving flocks of developers to create apps for investors.

StockTwits, for example, is a Twitter-inspired financial communications platform where investors can follow traders and markets that interest them while getting a personalized stream of news, charts, and ideas.

The platform continues to attract users and content partners such as CNN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and, of course, OANDA.

Currency Trading

Foreign exchange (forex) trading, as a complementary asset class to equities and fixed-income instruments, has been on a desktop growth spurt since the early 2000s thanks to the emergence of electronic market makers like my own company,  OANDA.

Now such innovative firms are bringing the desktop trading experience to smartphones and tablets, with mobile forex trading apps like ours.

These give users the ability to track real-time exchange rate data, set price alerts and notifications, monitor news, and analyze technical charts while on the fly.

Personal Finance

Smartphones and tablets put money management at your fingertips anytime, anywhere.

Mobile apps from Mint, Pageonce, PocketMoney and others provide a dashboard view of all your financial stats in one place.

They use charts, graphs, and message alerts to make it easy to track your spending, bill payments and budget issues, as well as monitor your investment goals.

Travel budgeting

When travelling for business or pleasure, it is much easier to keep expenditures in check with a mobile device in your pocket or purse.

Tools like our popular mobile currency converter app help you quickly calculate foreign exchange rate conversions using the same daily filtered rates relied on by multinational corporations, auditing firms, and global banks.

Author biog

Trevor Young is a senior director for product management with OANDA. Senior Director, Product Management, OANDA. Trevor oversees the development of OANDA’s retail trading platforms, including web, desktop, mobile, API, and third party applications. He holds a B.Math degree from the University of Waterloo and a M.Sc degree in computer science from the University of British Columbia. Trevor is based in Toronto.

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