App name: Qapital
Publisher: Qapital Inc.
Available on: iOS (Android version is in the works)
What’s it supposed to do? Help you reach savings targets — big and small — by using goals to help remind you what you’re saving for and to trigger deposits toward your goals.
Ease of use (3/5): There’s a lot going on in this app, so it takes some time to get everything set up. Once you sync Qapital with your bank account, you have to pick your savings goals and set the rules. However, once you have it set the way you want it, the app doesn’t require much effort on your part.
Note: Money transferred to your Qapital account is Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured through Lincoln Savings Bank in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and will earn 0.1 percent APY. There’s no minimum balance or monthly service fee.
Features (5/5): The first thing that catches your attention is the design. Qapital is easily the most aesthetically pleasing finance app I’ve used. From the easy navigation to the customizable photos, Qapital is sleek.
But the two most important features are the goals and rules. You can set a goal for practically anything — a vacation, rainy-day fund, vehicle, music festival, whatever. Select a goal and set how much money you’ll need for it. Money is transferred toward your goals when you trigger a rule.
Rules are spending and saving targets. For example, you can set a rule that every time you make a purchase at Starbucks, $10 is transferred to your vacation savings goal. Or, you could set it to round every debit or credit card transaction you make up to the nearest dollar and put it toward a goal.
Users can invite friends to share goals. This can help you stay motivated and on track with your savings. You’ll still have some privacy, though. Your friends will be able to see the money deposited toward shared goals, but they won’t be able to see where you shopped.
Effectiveness (4/5): The cool thing about Qapital is that, if you set your rules right, you’ll save money regardless of whether you spend or save. Going back to the Starbucks example from earlier: If you buy a Frappuccino, you’re still going to send $10 toward a designated goal. Though that seems to defeat the purpose, over time, it could help keep you from spending money on things you don’t need.
Value (4/5): The app doesn’t cost a thing, and the 0.1 percent interest is a nice touch. It may curb some poor spending habits, too.
Verdict (16/20): The numerous features make Qapital intriguing. This app is great for people looking to supplement their saving or wanting to manage goals on a mobile device. The biggest downside: 0.1 percent interest isn’t much. You could park the money in a high-yield savings account earning around 1 percent. But I’ll admit, it would be difficult to find a standard bank app more fun to use than Qapital.