Technological advancements and online banking platforms enable consumers to incorporate money-saving strategies in their life and take charge of their finances.

According to a survey published by the American Bankers Association, 44% of bank customers use mobile banking apps to manage their banking accounts—making it the most-used method to interact with financial institutions, up from 39% a year ago.

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Becoming familiar with digital banking tools helps individuals with daily money management, heightens awareness of spending habits, and provides necessary financial outlook for both the present and the future.

One of the best ways to consolidate is simply utilizing your bank’s official app. This important banking tool allows you to stay current with your finances, build awareness for the impact of day-to-day purchases, as well as providing monitoring to detect fraudulent transactions. Many of these apps offer real-time transaction history and let users track their money all in one place.  Apps offer easy access to review transactions, check balances, transfer money between accounts, seamlessly pay bills online, deposit checks with the snap of a picture, and create budgeting plans to meet personalized goals.

Melissa Swift is treasury relationship manager for WaFd Bank.

Banks incorporate enhanced features to their platforms to make online banking easier and more accessible. For instance, WaFd Bank’s online financial tools track spending, display insights, and create budgets using a gadget called Bubble Budgets. This provides consumers with a more complete portrait of their finances and pinpoints how users can improve and get closer to their goals more quickly.

Additionally, digital wallets and contactless cards have made waves throughout the world, mainly due to convenience. Another added digital wallet benefit is no longer worrying about forgetting your card on the table at the restaurant! Paying with a mobile device is becoming more common and offers a more secure way to check-out with a simple tap and go. At WaFd Bank, debit and credit cards can be used digitally through Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, and you can also pay contactless with your Fitbit or other Smartwatch.

Instant fund transfers between accounts allow users to separate and organize money for specific goals or purposes. For instance, moving money from your checking account to your savings account for a planned future purchase or expense with automatic transfers encourages greater discipline and goal attainment. This will also enable you to ensure you are being as efficient as possible with your spending habits.

Zelle is a noteworthy and handy network that many banks utilize for sending money to others online. If a user has a phone number or email address, they can send them funds without having to visit a bank branch or ATM—everything is at their fingertips, making it a preferred method for many users.

Overall, money-management tools added to online banking platforms make digital banking more useful and relevant for day-to-day and long-term financial health of consumers. Additionally, the increasing ease of use and mobile app availability allows banking to be more accessible for everyone. Applying these resources and tools to a financial routine will improve budgeting, increase the likelihood of reaching savings goals, enhance overall banking security, and prepare you for future opportunities.

Author: Melissa Swift is treasury relationship manager for WaFd Bank. Founded in 1917, WaFd Bank has over 200 branches in eight western states and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. WaFd Bank offers a full spectrum of banking services including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mobile and online banking, real estate financing, retirement plans and loans. To learn more about WaFd Bank, please visit