Handling finances can be a difficult task, and many people go for the simplest options. This may not be the most beneficial route though. Fortunately there is a lot of advice online, along with ingenious new solutions to help people who want to become more financially independent.
These days there is a lot of encouragement for people to hunt around for the best financial deals. This means people are told to have multiple bank accounts, credit cards, loan providers, and a whole range of other financial options in order to get the best out of their income – but this raises a question. How do people manage all of their personal finances when it is spread around? There are various solutions out there.
As part of our series on financial products and apps, in this article, we can look at one contender in the US market – the Emma budgeting app.
What is Emma budget app?
Emma is a budgeting app made by co-founders Edoardo Moreni and Antonio Marino. The pair made the Emma mobile app while studying together at Manchester University, but it has since become an app used all over the world. Moreni and Marino describe the Emma app as your ‘best financial friend’. The Emma app uses open banking and lets you view your savings accounts, current accounts, credit cards and more into one app so that you can keep an eye on your incoming and outgoings.
The main advantage of linking your bank accounts into a single money management app is that it becomes easy to see balance information from all your bank accounts in one place. This helps with money management and helps people track their spending money.
Emma supports most of the major banks in the US, including Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, and more. Linking all your accounts from different financial institutions into the application lets you see the status of all of them at the same time.
What else can Emma app do?
The creators of Emma suggest that it has several budgeting features that can be used to help you keep track of your money, including showing your net worth or adding manual accounts to track spending. Viewing all your transactions in one place helps you keep an eye on your spending habits and means you can find out where to save money. Emma app is billed as being particularly good for helping you spot and get rid of wasteful subscriptions and get your direct debits down to an affordable amount each month – and the more unnecessary payments you can cut out, the more money you can save. Emma offers one way for people to do this.
Of course, all of this gives an overview of what the app does, but does not approach the main issue – is Emma safe to use?
Is Emma Budgeting App Safe?
It almost goes without saying that safety is key when dealing with finances. The first thing to know is that Emma is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, is an organization that oversees financial companies and services. If something is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, it generally means that it can be checked to make sure they are working in a safe and trustworthy way.
Is my money protected in Emma app?
Your money will still be protected by the bank where you have an account. Emma works by looking at your bank accounts but not actually accessing them. This means that it does not change the protection you have with your bank or financial institution, so you can rest assured that your money is safe.
Does Emma app take money from accounts?
No, Emma app does not that any money from your accounts. The application uses read-only access to display your banking information on the money dashboard. This means it can only see the details of your bank accounts. Emma cannot access your bank account to make payments or remove money.
Is Emma safe against hacking?
Yes. Emma uses bank-grade encryption to make sure that your personal details cannot be stolen. The software developers have considered this, and have more information about how they protected Emma from hacking.
Human error and safety
Even though Emma has good safety and security, you still need to be careful with your personal details and your login details on Emma. Apps such as Emma have checks and security in place to make sure that only the authorized user has access to any personal details, but you need to make sure not to tell anyone your Emma login details. It is best to use a strong password and not tell anyone – even a friend or family member – your password for your Emma account. This will help make sure that your financial information stays more secure.
Emma as a safe financial management app
Ultimately all of this means that Emma has protection and encryption similar to most major banks. Just as people trust their online banking apps, Emma can be trusted to have the same levels of security for your personal information. Emma has no way to access or transfer money out of your account, meaning that your money is never at risk.
So how does Emma make money?
When checking security and safety, the phrase ‘follow the money’ is often brought up. Where does Emma make its money, and could this put users at risk? The good news is that Emma does not sell personal information or details to make money. Emma makes money through charging for Emma Pro and Emma Plus, both of which are premium versions of the App.
What is Emma Plus?
Emma Plus has several extra features which can be helpful for managing money. Some of the features of Emma Plus are:
- Fraud detection – to help keep your money safe
- True balance – to show how much you will have after current bills are paid
- Bill reminders – to help you stay on top of the regular payments you need to make
What is Emma Pro?
Emma Pro is the more expensive paid-for version of Emma. This premium version has additional features which some users can find very useful. As well as all the features of Emma Plus, Emma pro includes features like:
- Custom categories – to help you track your spending better
- Savings goals – to help you set budgets and work your way to start investing
- Split transactions – to help you keep track of different purchase types in one payment
- Rolling budgets – calculating what you can spend if you had money left over from the previous month
- More options – such as the ability to add manual accounts or spreadsheets
- Emma Rewards cashback – a range of cashback options inside the app
Emma Plus and Emma Pro are both premium features with a monthly or annual cost. The costs at the time of writing are:
- Emma Plus – $4.99 per month or $41.99 per year
- Emma Pro – $9.99 per month or $83.99 per year
But be aware that costs can change over time, and the paid version of Emma may increase in price.
Whether or not the paid version of Emma appeals, it is important to see where Emma budgeting app gets its income to know that there are no hidden costs or dangers.
Emma app review
Knowing that Emma app is safe is important, but many people will want to know whether or not Emma is the right budgeting service provider for your needs.
Positives of Emma app
Emma can be a useful tool for people who want to work on their budgeting. Emma can help people find and remove unwanted subscriptions. It can also explain fees that users may not have noticed or may not understand, such as fixed account fees for their bank products or foreign transaction costs.
One of the most useful features is where Emma tells users the amount of money they can spend in a given timeframe, helping people avoid overdrafts and overdraft charges. Other tools like Emma’s partnership with Pension Bee can be helpful for managing your financial future.
Negatives of Emma app
Unfortunately, a lot of the most useful features of the app are found in the Pro version, and users may be hesitant to get this if they are struggling to budget their finances – for example, being able to link offline accounts is important to make sure people can see all their financial information, not just the information that a banking app already shows.
Emma review conclusion
All in all, reviews are generally good. Many people speak highly of the savings advice and the easy interface on the money dashboard, though almost every app review agrees that the Pro features are important enough that they should be standard. For example, the ability to make custom categories is a basic feature that people may find for free in other budgeting apps.
Should people use budgeting apps?
While some people are concerned about the safety aspects of budgeting apps, these apps generally have to uphold the same security standards as banks. This means that users can rest assured that their finances are not at additional risk from using these apps.
Many people find that having a simple app to help manage their banking and financial interests can help them keep on top of it. This is especially important for people who are in debt, or people who want to save enough for a house deposit, car, or other large expense.
All in all, having this safe and secure service helps people become more financially responsible.
Emma follows all the appropriate safety protocols to make sure that the personal data of their users is entirely safe. To add to this reassurance, the app does not actually access the funds in someone’s bank accounts, meaning that their finances are not at increased risk.
Reviews of the app are generally positive, and lots of people say the app has helped them organize their own finances better, without the need to hire a financial advisor – which can be one of the pricier ways to get your finances into check.
The Emma mobile app seems safe and secure, and has a range of features, from a money dashboard that is easy to navigate, to more advanced features.
Need more help?
To find out more about other apps that can help you manage your finances, check out our other help articles to make sure that you get your funds working for you. We check a wide range of financial services to help make sure that everyone can make an informed decision.