To app or not to app?

In today’s society it is hard to escape the world of applications! They have made their way into almost every aspect of our life. One of the more recent areas is finance and banking – with apps that range from digital banking to sending friends and family money. What do you need to know about these new developments and should be worried about the security of our information?

To answer all our questions, we spoke to Jonathan Booty, IT Systems Manager at Bulley Davey:

Are finance/banking apps worth our time?

“As a society we are using apps more and more every day to help us do things more quickly and conveniently. In fact, there are so few things left that we can’t do with an app that we have to consider whether or not we should be using an app or not.  Apps have the potential to suck away our time (think Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter etc.) and that can be a downside.  When used effectively though, apps can be used to complete tasks more efficiently and save time.”

“This is especially the case for finance and banking apps that allow you to pay bills, view and organise your accounts and shift money around at the click of a button; saving you a journey and wait in line at the bank. There are even apps that can scan receipts and invoices via your camera and then record the receipt for your expenses or pay the invoice via your banking app.”

A lot of people (particularly elderly people) might be apprehensive about using a banking app. What would you say to those people? Should they be worried?

“The security of your smart phone is more important than ever. Smart phone security has improved dramatically since 4 digit PIN codes and can now include complex passwords, fingerprints, or even facial recognition.”

“Apps are the direction that many banks are heading in and a certain amount of apprehension is healthy in order to make sure that you use these apps securely. Many banks offer cyber security advice and assistance to make sure that their customers are secure. Our advice is to make sure that the device that you use a banking app on has strong security features.  If you are unsure then take advice from someone that you know and trust such as a family member, or talk to the bank directly.”

Bulley Davey has its own app that it recently updated – what are the benefits of using an app with you accountants?

“The Bulley Davey app is designed to include features to save our clients time and help them keep track of information relating to their finances. The benefits of using accountancy apps, certainly in our case, is the ability to record mileage and receipts electronically, or do currency conversions.  Our clients can contact us via the app by telephone or email and can book a meeting with their accountant.  The app also links to the secure document portal we use to share documents safely with our clients.”

Is it important for people to try and understand banking digitally? Should it be taught in schools for example?

 “The days of visiting your local bank on the high street seem to be numbered, with banking apps quickly reducing the need to ever visit a branch. Cyber security awareness is becoming an essential skill for us all, especially with criminals attempting to defraud people by pretending to be their bank etc. Many schools already teach Internet security to their children to help them to use social media safely and it would be good to see schools teaching our young ones how to take care of their finances safely online as well.”

“You may not think that your bank or your accountant would provide you with assistance regarding how to use apps but it is in their interest for your financial affairs to be secure and efficient.  Bulley Davey are more than happy to help our clients to get the best use from their finance and banking apps.  After all using these apps effectively can save us and our clients both time and money.”

Search ‘The Bulley Davey Hub’ on your app store to download Bulley Davey’s new app now.