10 Most Innovative Money Apps

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10 Most Innovative Money Apps
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Thousands of mobile apps for Android devices and the iPhone can help you run your small business, manage your portfolio, keep your household on budget, and of course, spend money. But some apps offer the latest innovations that can actually improve productivity in your financial life and make managing your money simpler.

Square Wallet
Square

Square Wallet

The Square Wallet app allows consumers to register their credit card with their photo. Then, when they shop at participating businesses, they simply give their name, the cashier checks their identification against their Square Wallet profile, and voila, payment without signing on a line or even bringing your credit card with you. Over 200,000 U.S. businesses currently accept Square Wallet payments, including many Starbucks and Subways.

Related: Square Register

Chase Mobile and Bank of America
Photo courtesy Chase

Chase Mobile and Bank of America

Most major banks have cell phone apps to manage accounts, but not all of them allow consumers to deposit a check by snapping a picture of it with their phone's camera. Chase Mobile was an early adopter of mobile depositing with its QuickDeposit feature, and this year, Bank of America started offering the service. Bank of America’s mobile app also has a personalized SiteKey image verification feature that allows for a complex pass code that makes mobile banking that much more secure, said Domingo Guerra, president of Appthority, a mobile security company based in San Francisco.

Related: Chase Mobile QuickDeposit

StockTouch
Photo courtesy StockTouch

StockTouch

In the chaotic world of the stock market, StockTouch offers some visual clarity. On one screen, users can easily follow heat maps showing the changing market and the health of various business sectors with data that is updated every five minutes during the trading day. Users can also research companies and the latest trends for the top 1,800 companies in the United States and the around world and create customized heat maps for their favorite stocks.

Related: StockTouch by Visible Market

Manilla
Manilla

Manilla

Like the ubiquitous manilla folders that organize files, the Manilla app helps users manage their finances, bills, travel rewards and subscriptions for more than 3,000 companies, all on their mobile phones. Users can monitor each account, set up automatic reminders to pay bills and download, print and email documents.

Related: Manilla

RetailMeNot
RetaiMeNot

RetailMeNot

Finding the best deal on an item can sometimes be more work than the actual savings are worth, which is why RetailMeNot’s mobile app is so convenient. The company revolutionized online shopping as the first coupon website allowing customers to share, vote and comment on coupons in 2007, and now its mobile app lets users find and save coupons and codes while they are in a store.

Related: RetailMeNot by Whale Shark Media

Barcode Scanner
Photo courtesy Barcode Scanner

Barcode Scanner

Any product with a barcode or QR code is quickly and easily deciphered with the Barcode Scanner mobile app by ZXing. Simply use your smartphone’s camera to scan the barcode and the app will bring up details and reviews about the product and prices from a variety of retailers, so you can find the best deal on it. If it's a QR code, scanning will send you directly to that code's website, where you will likely find information about the product and where to buy it.

Related: Barcode Scanner

TurboTax SnapTax
Turbo Tax SnapTax by Intuit

TurboTax SnapTax

Filing income taxes is a dreaded springtime task, but with the TurboTax SnapTax App, certain taxpayers can file directly on their smartphones. If you have no dependents, do not own a home, make $100,000 or less, and only have income from a W-2, interest or unemployment payments, filing your return is (almost) as easy as taking a picture. Users photograph their W-2 forms and follow instructions to review their taxes, pay or calculate their refund and then e-file securely on their mobile phones.

Related: Turbo Tax SnapTax by Intuit

Mint
Mint by Intuit

Mint

With more than 10 million users, Mint is a popular app for budgeting, as well as tracking and managing banking, credit cards, loans, investments and retirement accounts. Users register their accounts with Mint, and the app automatically pulls and categorizes every transaction. Guerra, of Appthority, said he is impressed with Mint’s stability and its use of encryption ciphers for greater security.

Related: Mint

GasBuddy
GasBuddy

GasBuddy

With record-setting gas prices, GasBuddy lives up to its name by helping users map the cheapest gas prices in their area. Whenever users spot a good deal, they can earn points by reporting it to GasBuddy. Those looking for cheap gas can search by city and zip code.

Related: GasBuddy

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace
Photo courtesy Zillow

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace

Zillow is a pioneer in real estate mapping, and now the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace app helps potential homeowners and those looking to refinance their homes calculate the best available home loan with real-time rates, mortgage calculators and interactive graphs. Users can compare loan quotes and lender ratings side by side and contact lenders easily with the app.

Related: Zillow Mortgage Marketplace

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