Money

The next time I’ll meet evangelism folks from Nokia or Microsoft, I’ll give them a tight hug. Forget the market share discussions and fanboy arguments, the Windows Phone ecosystem is thriving in India. It’s a great time to follow the ecosystem, and makes my job easier (I hope Daniel is not reading this!).

Yet another key example of how Windows Phone continues to do well in India is the release of Airtel Money for Windows Phone 8.

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If you need to keep track of your finances from your Windows Phone, there are plenty of options to consider. myMoney hopes to be on your short list when shopping for a Windows Phone 8 financial app.

myMoney has plenty of features to set your budget, track your expenses, be reminded on bills, and keep everything backed up to the cloud. The user interface does take a little time to get used to but myMoney comes across as a capable financial option for Windows Phone 8.

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Swish (www.getswish.se) is a popular Swedish payment system that allows the transfer of money via mobile numbers. Funds are automatically withdrawn and deposited into respective accounts, regardless of the connected bank (as long as they're participating). The service has now launched an official app for Windows Phone, enabling those enrolled with Swish to get cracking on Microsoft's mobile platform.

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While we have a decent number of banking apps available for our Windows Phone.  You have Chase Mobile, Bank of America, the National Australian Bank, Rabobank and the more the merrier. I would appear that ING Bank is about to join the crowd with their own Windows Phone app this Spring.

In an email correspondence shared by one of our readers, ING has confirmed that a Windows Phone mobile banking app is in development. While details weren't shared on the features of such app, it is expected to be available mid-April.

Good news for ING customers and hopefully more financial institutions will follow suit (hint, hint Regions!). There's a Windows Phone Central Forums discussion going on here if you care to talk it up about the pending ING banking app.

Thanks, Prophecy, for the tip!

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The other day the Chase Mobile app vanished from the Windows Phone Store. While we haven't received official word from Chase as to the why, we do know there was a problem with the QuickDeposit feature.

QuickDeposit allows you to deposit checks into your account by snapping a photo of the check and sending it to Chase. For whatever reason the photos were going to your Windows Phone Pictures Hub instead of to your bank account.

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The need to manage your finances is common and your Windows Phone can help you keep track of your expenses, earnings, and other financial tasks. This weeks roundup focuses on financial apps that are available in the Windows Phone Store.

To help save a little, we chose the top five free financial apps for the roundup and they include banking apps, a stock management app, and a personal budget manager. As always with our roundups, these apps only scratch the surface on what is available at the Windows Phone Store. If you have a favorite financial oriented app that isn't in this week's roundup, feel free to recommend it in the comments below.

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Introducing the Windows Phone 8 Wallet

One of the new features with Windows Phone 8 is the Wallet app. Microsoft has added a digital wallet that you can use to keep your debit, credit, loyalty and membership card information handy on your Windows Phone.

The Wallet app also has the ability to find other apps to link with that can provide additional information on that card or account such as balance and transaction history. Wallet can also be used to find and share local shopping deals.

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RIP Parcel Tracker: 2010-2012

We have to paint yet another bleak picture for one of our favorite apps on Windows Phone: Parcel Tracker. The package tracker app was featured numerous times on this site and we always gave it a thumbs up, but evidently that wasn’t enough as the app has been removed from the Store.

The developers have evidently sent a news-update thru the app to current customers letting them know that development has stopped and the app has been withdrawn. While current users can still use the app when it comes to Windows Phone 8, you’ll be out of luck.

The developers cite that most users never bought the app and therefore it wasn’t financially lucrative enough to support it anymore. As we’ve heard from some devs before you have to be in Windows Phone dev as a hobby right now.

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Account Tracker from Graham Haley and Response Ltd. is a personal finance app that has experienced a respectable amount of success over on the iPhone and iOS.  Account Tracker was recently submitted for certification in the Windows Phone Store. The developers are hoping that Account Tracker will have similar success in the Windows Phone Store.

We were given a sneak peak at the app and based on our first impressions, we don't see why Account Tracker won't be a popular choice for tracking your personal finances from your Windows Phone.

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If you bank in Australia and have a Windows Phone, the National Australian Bank (NAB) has released their Windows Phone app to help you keep track of your banking needs. The NAB App allows you to access services on the go such as:

  • Balance Inquiry
  • Transaction History
  • Transfer funds to linked accounts
  • Pay bills
  • View your NAB online trading portfolio

Your access to the National Australian Bank is secured by a four digit passcode and data is protected with 128 bit encryption.

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It was only last week we covered the news of Rabobank releasing a Windows Phone app for customers who use the platform. Now we've caught wind of SNS Bank also launching a Windows Phone app. Much like the app from Rabobank, this app enables users to check their account balances, manage funds between accounts, and contact the bank via phone and email.

Some highlighted features of SNS Bank:

  • Login with your SNS Bank digital code, providing extra security.
  • Balance your check payment, savings and investment accounts.
  • All credits and debits are displayed.
  • Transfer between your owned accounts with the digital code.
  • Transfer to external accounts with your digipass.
  • Use a provided Address Book.
  • Convenient access to contact SNS Bank by phone or email.

To be able to login on the app, you'll need your SNS Bank digital code. Expect to see more updates released later this year from the bank, including mobile PIN. They are listening to customers for future feature requests, so be sure to let your voice be heard on anything you'd like to see implemented. You can download SNS Bank from the Marketplace for free.

via: wp7.nl; Thanks, Mark, for the tip!

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Ask WPCentral: Any PayPal apps out there?

Are there any PayPal apps for your Windows Phone? One reader sent us this question and we took a look over at the Windows Phone Marketplace for the answer. There are two apps currently available that have PayPal connections, HelpPayMe and PayPhone Lite.

HelpPayMe allows you to send money, request money, view transactions and view your current PayPal balance.

PayPhone Lite is similar with the ability to view your balance and transactions history but also throws in a Live Tile to show the balance and a PIN to secure the app.

Here's our reservations. Neither of these apps are official PayPal apps and you are basically allowing a third party access to your PayPal Account. With PayPHone Lite you log into your account and grant the app permission to access your account. With HelpPayMe, you have to set up API access with PayPal. While we haven't heard of anything nefarious occurring with either app, we'd prefer an app that provides a more secure, direct access to PayPal.

Hopefully, we will see an official PayPal app hit the Marketplace and eliminate the need for a third party conduit. Until then we suggest proceeding with caution. You can find PayPhone Lite ($.99) here and HelpPayMe ($1.99) here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

If you've had any experience with either of these apps, feel free to sound off in the comments.

Thanks, Billy, for the tip!

          

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Metrowe - keeping track of moochers

We like ingenious apps around here and Metrowe fits the bill nicely. It's an app to keep track of how much money you owe or are owed. But it's not a bill manager for credit cards or businesses, but rather a tool for keeping track of personal expenses with friends and colleagues. For instance, say you lend someone $20 or pick up dinner one night, you can enter that info in Metrowe for easy record keeping. Vice versa, you can add in money you owe others, including noting what it was for.

The app has contact-integration, meaning you can really personalize entries with no effort. It also has a Live Tile that keeps track of your net value (owed vs owes) and flips over to show you your latest entries. On top of each entry, it records a history of transactions for individuals and allows you to 1-touch email them as a reminder--once again, very slick.

The app is very well designed (lots of Metro), slick and pretty darn useful. We love the Live Tile and contact-integration as it really makes it feel native. But if we're going this far, perhaps the dev can add camera integration too--so you can photograph that dinner or drinks that you bought everyone, why not? Shoot, even location info would be a good addition too. Regardless, as is the app is quite good and we highly recommend.

It fetches for $1.29 in the Marketplace and has a free trial.

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Skandia Bank releases Windows Phone app

Skandia, a Swedish bank, has released a Windows Phone app which blows the recently highlighted Barclays secure pass generator out the water. Skandia's offering allows customers to perform common account operations and manipulate account settings, including the following:

  • Account overview and bank statements
  • Transfers
  • Brief overview of all connected cards
  • Region lock to set up a card when travelling broad
  • Spending limit 

An interesting feature is the ability to set the spending limit. The user can change the overall spending limit, set a spending limit for internet purchases, or completely block the card for purchases on the Internet altogether.

You can download Skandia bank & försäkring from the Marketplace for free.

Source: Wingadget.se

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In an interesting "case study" presented by Microsoft Advertising, developer Richard Foster is reported to have made a nice $28,882 in four months using Microsoft's Advertising SDK across his 14 apps for Windows Phone:

Richard Foster, once a DOS programmer and now working for the family dry cleaning business and developing mobile applications part-time for his company Edgeway Software, is ecstatic about the results he is seeing developing for Windows Phone 7. Since the introduction of his first app, Unit Converter, in November, Richard has now developed more than 14 apps - all with the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 for mobile.

Richard had developed paid apps for the Windows Mobile 6x platform, but since there are a huge number of free apps in the new marketplace for Windows Phone 7, he made the switch to ad-supported apps. For him, this model proved the most lucrative.

Now, in fairness, most developers are not making nearly as much money as Mr. Foster and there's a certain dishonesty in making him a poster-child--plus 14 apps is nothing to sneeze at even if they are things like a "unit converter". However, Windows Phone is still a young platform and it goes to show how just advertising alone, can lead to some serious sustainable income for developers--if ya got the skillz.

And lets not forget that last part: having an app that is coded well, has a nice UI and does something unique is still needed for success. We like to think of '4th & Mayor', 'AlphaJax' and a few others as examples of this talent and good app development.

Source: Microsoft Advertising, via @mechaghost

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Acculynk, creators of PaySecure, announced in a press release today that they will be developing a mobile version of their Internet PIN debit platform for Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry systems. 

Here's how it works: when a customer makes a debit card purchase at a website that uses PaySecure, they enter their debit card number at checkout.  Then, a encrypted graphical keypad, which is embedded into the vendors website, is used to enter the consumer's PIN.  It eliminates the need to sign up for accounts on vendor websites or get directed to third-party sites, like PayPal.

Acculynk's CEO, Ashish Bahl, said in the statement,

"In 2011, our goal is to expand the channels where PIN debit can be accepted, like a mobile phone and even kiosks." 

They also hope to move beyond eCommerce, by developing methods for online banking and P2P fund transfers.  You can check out a demo of how it works here.

Source: EarthTimes

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Currencies - Review

Curious what the current exchange rate is for the Croatian Kuna? How about the Turkish Lira?

Well there's a Windows Phone 7 application available for $.99 at the Marketplace that will help you with all your currency conversions. Currencies (link opens your Zune browser) is a currency converter that makes use of the Windows Phone 7 hub layout with pages for your favorites currencies, exchange rates, a currency converter and settings.

You can set any of the currencies as your home currencies and the exchange rates are based off that currency. Exchange rates are updated daily to keep things current. Currency settings on the converter can be changed by tapping each square to pull up a listing of currencies you can convert to and from.

Currencies is a straightforward, simple to use, stable application for your Windows Phone. There is a trial version available if you want to try before you buy. If you have a need for currency conversion, Currencies is worth a look.

Hit the jump to see a short video demo for Currencies.

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