Back in May, I talked about Dobin, a free finance app that can make managing your finances much easier. It has since been released and available to download on Apple’s App Store for iPhone and Google Play Store for Android devices!
The app supports many major banks, with more to be added over time:
• Standard Chartered
• American Express
• Bank of China
Pro-tip: it takes a little bit of time to connect to each account, but you can connect multiple accounts at the same time to cut down on waiting time. The app will notify you of follow-up actions to take for the connection.
After that, users of the app can refresh their accounts to stay updated on the latest happenings of their finances.
One of the first features you’d see on the Home Tab is the balances of your bank accounts and credit cards. It is particularly nifty because I split my money across bank accounts like OCBC 360 and UOB One to maximise the interest I receive on my savings. The app also helpfully displays the balance from the previous month so I can have a sense of how my savings have grown.
This is also true for credit cards, and even more relevant given that I have over 30 credit cards across multiple banks. The total balances are added up so I know instantly how much outstanding debt I have to pay. Those watching their card expenditure would also find it useful that the balance also shows you what the amount was the month before so you can see if you are reducing your card spend.
A feature request I’d hope to see is the different repayment dates listed together, and Dobin tells me the app would be constantly updated with new features coming soon. But already, this app cuts down on quite a bit of manual tracking that I have been doing with Excel spreadsheets.
Recent Transactions – perhaps the best feature ever
Also on the Home tab, the app prominently displays the latest transactions and again this sounds like an obvious, simple feature, but I have found it incredibly useful. Within a single screen, every single transaction from your linked account shows up here in chronological fashion, be it a bank transfer, salary, or credit card payment.
Transactions are arranged by date, so I have a timeline of how my money is moving in a single view, and I am really, really happy that such a feature exists. Not only can the transactions be sorted by date, I can also sort it by amount so I can conveniently see what my biggest transactions are.
Searching the list is also possible, and results are instantaneous. Type “annual fee”, and you can see which credit card you have to call your bank up for a waiver. An absolute timesaver for those with multiple cards to manage, and I’m hoping Dobin adds a feature to notify you of such fees in future. The team tells me they are indeed working on this!
Already, this is the one feature that makes Dobin totally a killer app for me. At one look, I know where my money is going and coming, and I no longer have to drill down into individual credit cards to look for potential fraudulent transactions. In fact, while using this app to write this review, I spotted a transaction that came in days ago that I hadn’t noticed. Thankfully, it was nothing nefarious; just a cashback reward from a recent credit card sign-up but imagine if it were indeed a transaction I did not make! I might have overlooked it and just paid my credit card bill.
After the Home tab, we can head over to the Accounts tab where we can see analytics of our various accounts. This tab gives us a visual view of our cash inflows and outflows, which is again great for those watching their budgeting.
Your various transactions are tagged into appropriate categories. For instance, the app is able to differentiate actual salary from transfers made from your friend, and expenses are broken down into card spend and bank transfers. You could also tap on expenses for the spending to be further categorised into more granular categories like food, transportation etc which is great to see where your money is going.
Wallet apps and bank apps do have such analytics, but the problem is that they are tied to their own respective cards. I’ve used a wallet app that shows the areas I am spending on which is really useful, but it’s only on transactions made through their prepaid card which has virtually no card rewards. Bank apps naturally also show analytics on spends you make on their credit cards, so you don’t get the full picture of how your money is moving. Dobin app makes useful analytics finally possible regardless of what cards you use, as long as it’s one of the banks Dobin supports, and the list is growing.
Discounts tab is the last tab on the app and features various coupons and discount vouchers you can take advantage of. I did a cursory look through the various deals, and they look like what one might find at coupon sites.
I raised this with the team, and they are indeed working to improve the quality over time. In future, the quality and relevancy of discounts will be improved by showing card offers that are relevant to banks connected to the app, and one would receive personalised discounts for brands where they frequently purchase at.
When connecting one’s data to an app, security is naturally a high priority for many. To that end, Dobin promises that bank credentials are never sent to their servers. Instead, they are directly sent from your phone to your bank via their ISO 27001 certified service providers.
Since 2FA is always required by Singapore banks, the app can never connect to your bank accounts without your permission, and the access given can only retrieve transaction details from your online banking accounts, but will not be able to perform other types of operations.
Dobin has made a very clean looking app that is responsive and simple to use. Impressively, for a launch version, the app already offers enough compelling use cases that it’s well worth the download and initial setup of adding your banking accounts to the app. It’s even more exciting to see how the app will evolve along with user feedback.
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