Mercury was recently in retrograde – for those of you not familiar with astrology, that means now is a time where things just seem to be going wrong. Astrologers have explained that every aspect of life can be impacted, from work initiatives to personal plans. Overall, there’s even more chaotic and scattered energy than usual (if that’s even possible given what we experienced collectively in 2020). However, Mercury in Retrograde is also known to also bring new insight and ways to put information to use.

At a time when everything felt more difficult, we thought about ways to help make at least one aspect of life a bit easier – managing finances.

Managing finances can be emotionally draining – in fact, 73% of Americans rank their finances as the most significant source of stress in their life. However, anyone can leverage automation, such as chatbots, roboadvisers, autopayments, and even services that leverage automation to approve loans and credit cards, to improve their financial wellbeing and make money management easier.

Here are some automated tools that every consumer should be leveraging, and what they should be looking for in banks that offer these services:

  1. Chatbots: Banks are increasingly leveraging AI to launch chatbots, which can greatly improve the customer experience through providing quick help and personalized advice – 74% of users prefer chatbots while looking for answers to simple questions. Despite the demand for chatbots, under 30% of banks have adopted them – in order to make financial management easier, look for those banks that are implementing conversational AI, and utilize them when possible.
  2. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors provide automated financial advice – although they’re still gaining traction,young investors are increasingly more likely than older generations to seek out financial help from a computer than a human, a trend that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Major financial industry players, from Vanguard to Bank of America, are now responding to this with new offerings – however, everyone may be comfortable with fully digital advice yet, and can instead begin by coupling digital help with a human advisor for optimized financial help.
  3. Autopayments: Forgetting to pay bills is a frequent reason for missing payments – and one way to leverage automation to make life easier is through setting up automatic bank payments. It is worth noting that although automatic payments can be helpful, they should only be considered by individuals who are organized and monitor their finances.
  4. Automatic Approvals: Many banks are expediting the approval process for things that usually take a while, from credit cards to mortgage loans, through artificial intelligence and emerging technology.This newly digital-first way of doing thingsenhances customer satisfaction and can save applicants significant time and hassle.  

Ultimately, in order to make financial management easier, there are a number of tools offered by banks at the forefront of digital transformation that consumers can leverage – and even now that Mercury in Retrograde has passed, these tips should help to alleviate stress around financial management in the long run.

Andy Tran