This article first appeared in Digital Edge, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on January 10, 2022 - January 16, 2022
Cashless payments have made spending money easier because we can purchase anything with just a few clicks. Fortunately, fintech has also made saving, managing your money and investing more convenient, so we have no excuse not to do it.
Here are a few types of fintech apps to consider.
Get a good app to track your expenditure. There are many options out there, such as Goodbudget, YNAB, Mint and Money Lover. These apps allow you to set up budgets for different categories of spending. Some also allow you to link the app to your bank account so you do not have to manually input your expenditure every time you swipe your card or use QR pay.
These digital investment managers, as the Securities Commission Malaysia calls them, have highly intuitive and easy-to-use apps. These platforms invest your money in a portfolio of exchange-traded funds or unit trusts based on your investing goals. The fees and minimum investment amounts are low, and you can do the entire verification process online. StashAway, MYTHEO, Wahed and Akru are popular ones. Raiz allows you to invest your spare change automatically every time you swipe your card.
One way to control your spending is by transferring a fixed amount of money into an e-wallet every month and using those funds only for your expenses. E-wallets are a good way to do that. Maybank’s MAE, for instance, comes with an automated expense tracker so you can see your spending pattern.
Of course, another benefit of using e-wallets is that they offer a lot of rebates, discounts and vouchers. You can also use them to pay for parking and utility bills. GrabPay, Boost and the Touch ‘n Go (TNG) eWallet are popular options.
Want to invest in stocks? Rakuten Trade is Malaysia’s first completely online equities broker. You can open an account and start trading via the app or website.
Want to invest in cryptocurrencies? There are four registered digital asset exchanges in Malaysia: Luno, SINEGY, Tokenize and MX Global.
Want to invest in low-risk money market funds? Versa, a digital cash management platform launched in partnership with Affin Hwang Asset Management, allows you to invest via the app easily at low cost. The TNG eWallet also has this option via GO+.
If you get to travel again, there are apps that can help you avoid keeping a huge wad of foreign cash in your wallet. These service providers claim to offer users more favourable exchange rates and charge lower fees than banks and credit card companies. Merchantrade Money, for instance, allows users to exchange currencies and keep it in their e-wallet. AirAsia’s BigPay converts money stored in the e-wallet on the spot when you swipe the card overseas.
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