Review of: Penny App
Reviewed by: Kevin Mercadante
Last modified: October 16, 2017
The app is a free-to-use messaging-like service that enables you to aggregate, summarize, analyze and track all of your expenses on one platform. The downside is unless you are a rank beginner when it comes to budgeting, it might not suit your needs. The benefit of the app seems to be a bit basic and more of an interactive mobile version of more advanced budgeting software platforms.
Penny is a mobile app that is provided by Friendly Finances, Inc. It offers personal finance management, financial security and monitoring for potentially unwanted or unauthorized charges to your credit cards, bank accounts and any other financial accounts you specify in the app.
What Is Penny?
Penny is an app that helps you track both your income and your spending. Information is input into the app, where you can “chat” with the platform. Penny will then provide you with information about your finances that is both important and fun.
It will alert you of financial activity, such as recently incurred charges, bills paid or income received. It will also notify you when you have an upcoming bill due, when a service fee may be increasing or when an outsized charge has appeared on a credit card or bank statement. It can provide you with comparative spending charts to show you how well you are doing from one month to the next.
You can also ask Penny questions about specific areas of your finances you would like to discuss. The app will make suggestions that will help you to make improvements in those areas.
What Penny does best is enable you to get more involved with your financial activity in a non-threatening way. It’s easy to use, and it doesn’t bog you down with complicated charts, graphs and financial jargon. The simplicity — in addition to the interactive capacity — can make finances fun to manage.
How Does Penny Work?
You can download Penny from the App Store or Google Play. Once you have the app, you will enter information for any bank accounts or credit card accounts you would like to track, summarize and analyze. In order to do this, you will have to provide login information for each account to enable Penny to connect to that account.
Penny automatically organizes your financial life. In doing so, it also tells you what you need to know and when you need to know it.
Penny does this by accessing your statement history on accounts you have granted permission to be accessed by the app. When you’re on the app, you will be told how you are doing with your finances for the month, as well as provided with forecasts for the coming month. It will also alert you about upcoming bills and even help you to cancel services you no longer use or need.
The app supports integration with more than 15,000 banks across the country, which is virtually all the banks in the U.S. It can even connect with PayPal. However, at the moment, the service is not available for connection with non-U.S. banks.
The app automatically connects to any bank accounts or credit card accounts you include, where it can retrieve and organize all of your activity.
You can terminate your participation in the plan at any time, either by email, written notice or other notification. Your account will be terminated within 10 days of that notification.
Penny App Features
|Access||iOS App, Android App|
|Credit Score Monitoring|
|Import QFX, QIF Files|
- Customer Support — You can contact Penny via email at email@example.com.
- Site Security — Penny uses bank-grade security in the app. But it’s also important to remember Penny functions only in an advisory capacity — you are the one who is always in control of your money. In addition, Penny does not store your bank login information, so it can never be compromised. Also, Penny does not sell personal data to third parties.
Penny is free to use. But in case you’re wondering how they make money, they’re currently making the service free in order to build up the number of users. At some point, they may begin charging fees, but they promise to give plenty of advance notice. In the meantime, you can decide if the service is worth the fee they may eventually charge.
Pros and Cons
- Free to Use — Since there are no fees associated with using the platform, any benefit you receive from it will be to your advantage.
- Aggregating All of Your Accounts in One App — This is probably the strongest feature of the service. If you use multiple accounts for spending purposes, tracking your comprehensive spending patterns can be difficult. Penny tracks and summarizes all of your activity in a single place.
- “Chatting” With Your Own Financial Profile — If you like talking to an app about your spending and savings, Penny offers an opportunity to do just that. You can talk to the app about any topic related to your finances and get responses and suggestions.
- Automatic Tracking — If you don't use any type of a budget system, Penny can be your solution. It's simple to implement, and it does the job automatically. It could be the perfect app for the “budgeting challenged.”
- Budgeting Only — If you like tracking, analyzing and discussing your investment activity, Penny is not the app for you. It works with day-to-day spending activity.
- Light on Substance — It seems to be a single function app that won't be of much help if you're the kind of person who is already on top of your finances. It may be best for the user who generally has little time or motivation to track their finances.
- Might Add Fees in the Future — One of the major attractions of this app is it is free to use. But should that change in the future — and it will have to in order for the service to continue — you'll have to evaluate if it is worth what will be charged in order to continue using it.
Depending on what you are looking for in personal finance software, Penny’s simplicity is either a blessing or a curse. If you’re just starting out with budgeting and just need very basic services to help you keep track of your money, without all the bells and whistles, Penny would be a good, free choice.
On the other hand, if you would like personal finance software that can take care of more than just track your day-to-day spending — by providing bill payment tools or investment monitoring services, Penny is not for you. You’d do much better with a full-service app such as Personal Capital or Mint.