You have power when you know what your money is doing. Most banks and credit unions offer apps or ways to use your phone to track expenses, pay bills, transfer money, and set alerts to fight fraud.


  • Check the money management app’s description to determine its features. Many include budgeting tools and bill pay options. Some apps require access to sensitive bank account information.  To protect your account and your privacy, research the app developer and check reviews from several trusted sources before downloading.
  • Does your bank or credit union’s app
    • set up alerts when bills are due or when you reach a spending limit you set? 
    • allow you to link your account with a partner or family member to give them access to pay bills or make deposits to your account?
    • let you transfer money between accounts and to other people?
    • analyze your spending and keep tabs on your budget categories?
  • Do not set any of your devices to remember your password. Enter it each time, or use thumbprint recognition. Use your bank’s or credit union’s security options, like two-factor authentication.
  • “Peer-to-peer” payment services can be a convenient way to pay friends. But be aware that these payments may not come with the protections of credit cards or debit cards.
    • Consider creating a pin to send a payment. Two-factor authentication requires you to enter a password plus something else — like a code sent to your phone —  to prove it’s really you.
    • Know what permissions you’ve granted to the payment service. If it’s linked to social media, it could broadcast your payment history to your social network. 
    • Setting up your payment account with a credit card could offer extra protections.
    • If your phone is lost or stolen, treat it like you would a lost credit or debit card. Learn how to remotely cut off access to your account so someone else can’t use it.
  • There might be data costs for using the app, depending on your data plan.  


Tools for Personal Financial Managers