I Turned on Mobile Banking Notifications. Here’s Why I Love It.

by Jason Unger

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A few weeks back, I wrote about a report that showed that nearly 90 percent of people who use mobile banking apps use notifications from those apps.

It’s something I was certainly surprised about, as it seemed like an awfully high amount. As I mentioned, I tend not to have notifications turned on for apps, since they can be pretty annoying, but since so many people use notifications, I decided to give it a try.

And I’m glad I did.

I have a few different banking apps on my phone, so I turned on notifications for the bank where I have my checking account. It’s the one I tend to be interested in the most, since we pay most of our bills through it and use it day-to-day for deposits and withdrawals.

I decided on a couple of notifications: a daily balance notification, and an alert is the balance fell below a specific amount (pushing into our financial cushion).

So each day, for the past month or so, I’ve gotten a notification letting me know where we stand with our balance. It’s just a simple, once-a-day notification that says, “Hey, you’ve got $X in your account.” And that’s it. Nothing fancy, no pushy message to log in or feed it more money.

Let Technology Work for You

While it may not seem like a big deal, the notifications have gotten me thinking more and more about how we’re doing financially day-to-day.

Are we spending a lot? Are there any weird transactions taking a bigger bite of the account than they should be? And, most importantly, are we generally where we should be this month?

Part of why I wrote Automatic Finances was to promote ideas like this: letting your bank and technology do the work for you. You can’t ignore the responsibility of your everyday spending habits, but with a daily notification of how you’re doing, you don’t have to constantly be logging in online to see where you stand.

Last year, after we moved into a new house, our finances were all over the place (as they normally are after such a big purchase). One day, I woke up to an email from my bank saying that we had overdrawn our checking account.

It was a horrible day, and I felt like an idiot. I don’t want that to happen again.

Thanks to the low balance notification and the daily check in, it’s not going to. I know how much money we have in our account, and can adjust our habits accordingly.

The notifications are great. I love them. If you’re not using them, give it a shot — you just might, too.

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