What is a financial app?
A financial app is a downloadable program that allows you to manage your finances from your smartphone. There is a wide range of digital downloads available to Canadians in the personal finance category. In fact, financial apps are one of the most popular app categories on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, the two largest app repositories.
Your bank has an app
All major banks in Canada have official apps; indeed, BMO’s financial app along with those of TD, RBC, CIBC and Scotiabank are often ranked among the top 20 free financial apps in the country. Banking apps make it easy to check your account balances, send e-transfers, and deposit paper checks through your phone’s camera. I use the Scotiabank app daily and particularly like the Quick Balance feature, which allows me to instantly see how much money I have in my account. The mobile check deposit feature is also a real time-saving game-changer. Of course, it’s not just the big Canadian banks that are in the app game – for example, PC Financial has an app, as do most other smaller financial institutions, neo-banks and fintechs in Canada.
- See the cards designed for you by over 12 banks and card issuers
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Are financial apps secure?
Like many technology tools and products in our lives, safety and security are all written in fine print. It is therefore important to think about the app permissions that could compromise you financially and then go to the app settings to disable these permissions. Also, be sure to implement any privacy and security features the app has in place to protect your personal information.
For example, if you have the option to enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication, always do so. This means that a PIN code will be sent to your phone to verify your identity before you can perform certain functions. Make sure to use a strong password (a phrase is better than a word) that would be hard for others to guess. And beware of phishing scams, where a text or email asks you to click a link and sign in to change your password. Instead, open the app on your mobile device and connect to the source.
Be aware of where you are browsing. For example, there’s evidence to suggest that it’s not worth accessing your banking app (or any sensitive information, really) on a public WIFI network. So if you need to do banking while you are in a cafe, hotel, restaurant, etc., use your phone’s data network instead.
The best financial apps for Canadians
When it comes to financial apps for Canadians, the list of options keeps growing. So, check your favorite app store regularly for the latest picks. Also make a habit of reading online app reviews and browsing featured media to ensure you are making the right choice for your financial information to avoid any long-term problems. Here are some of the best financial apps for Canadians that you’ll find on a regular basis.
Best Overall Financial App: Mint
This personal finance app tops the download charts week after week, and there’s a good reason for its popularity. Mint (iOS/Android) includes a number of useful (and free) features, such as a budget planner, net worth calculator, and the ability to track your expenses. Plus, you can use it with your other financial tools. After connecting all your bank, credit and investment accounts, you will be able to see your complete financial situation. There are many built-in security features to protect you, so you will never wonder if Mint financial app is safe? Intuit, the parent company of Mint, also offers a few other good choices, including QuickBooks for small business accounting.