Review of: PowerWallet
Reviewed by: Kevin Mercadante
Last modified: September 15, 2017
PowerWallet is a personal finance planning tool is excellent for budgeting, managing all your accounts and reaching future goals -- all at a glance.
If you’re on the market for a very simple but safe money-management and budgeting service, PowerWallet may be worth a look.
The service, which was founded in 2012, describes itself as an “invaluable, personal financial planning tool. It’s a program to help everyday people rebuild and secure their finances not just during a time of economic crisis, but for years to come.”
The idea for PowerWallet was hatched when its founder, Howard Dvorkin, saw the way people (especially families) were struggling with their finances during the Great Recession. Along with fintech expert Bob Sullivan, he created an easy-to-use money management application that would benefit ordinary people.
Discounts You’ll Actually Use — Based on your interests and spending patterns, PowerWallet will also alert you to discounts that are available based on your specific financial needs. Some are offered directly through the site and others are via printable coupons. Since your spending patterns are evident, PowerWallet will be able to offer discounts that you can use, rather than a bunch of bogus offers for products and services you don’t need.
PowerBlog — If you’re interested in a steady stream of financially relevant articles, PowerWallet has its own blog, called PowerBlog.
Though the articles typically don’t deal specifically with issues related to PowerWallet itself, they can provide topics that can help engage you in personal finance. That can be important if you’re new to the concept of budgeting and need both additional incentives and information.
How Does PowerWallet Work?
PowerWallet has established a single platform from which you can manage your bank accounts, investment accounts, expenses, cash flow and budgeting.
It’s easy to sign up — all you need is to provide your email address, create a password, enter your ZIP code, and you’re in. You can start adding accounts immediately, and no fees are required.
It works with a four-step process:
- Add all your accounts in one central place.
- Create budgets amd track your spending.
- Set up bill alerts and never pay late fees again.
- Gain personal financial insight and meet your goals.
The system analyzes your expenses and shows how you’re spending your money, which enables you to create a workable budget. Once your budget is established, the platform will alert you in the event you go over it. It will also make recommendations that will keep you on track with your overall financial plan.
The service also provides a calendar that will show your daily activities, as well as providing you with reminders of upcoming bills that need to be paid.
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Security is a major concern today, and naturally there would be a strong desire to be certain that a platform that contains all of your financial information is completely safe and secure. Security is therefore built into the system.
PowerWallet is a read-only product and doesn’t store any of your data, while it uses 256-bit SSL encryption. In addition, no one can transfer or remove funds. The system is monitored by security powerhouses such as McAfee, Verisign and TRUSTe and offers maximum protection against a variety of threats including identity theft, viruses and spyware.
Also, PowerWallet vows it will not sell or distribute your personal and confidential information “at any time, for any reason.”
Pros and Cons
- Easy to Use — PowerWallet was designed to be easily used by anyone... and it's successful on that count.
- No Fees — PowerWallet is free to use.
- Discounts — PowerWallet offers you discounts and coupons on products that its algorithms predict you will actually use.
- Money Management From a Single Platform — PowerWallet has established a single platform from which you can manage your bank accounts, investment accounts, expenses, cash flow and budgeting.
- Too Simplistic for Some Users — PowerWallet's simplicity might be both a blessing and a curse, as the program may prove too simplistic for some users.
- No Mobile App — As of yet, PowerWallet is still lacking a mobile app.
Overall, the platform is easy to use and easy to navigate. It seems to live up to its promises of being a one-stop site for all of your financial management needs. Still, there are couple of issues you might be concerned about.
The site is simple, as in really simple. From a user standpoint, that is a major advantage. However, it doesn’t seem it’s possible to get all the information you might need.
For example, I found nothing on the site that indicated any kind of fee structure. And when I entered my question in the search bar, it took me to a series of about a half-dozen articles that have nothing to do with PowerWallet fees.
My final conclusion is that there are no fees, based on the fact that the site does not specifically mention any, and on the fact that I have not been charged as a result of signing up. Still, it’s a bit of a tough way to learn something so basic.
But overall, PowerWallet looks like it’s a good fit for someone looking for a free money management system.
Have you used PowerWallet? What was you experience?