Why it should exist.
After getting my Apple Watch, I started to notice the data piling up. The device tracks my heartbeat, my movement, and a number of other trends, logging it inside of the Apple Health app. I then started to use an app to track my caloric intake and set my macro nutrients (protein/carbs/fat). I then realized that there were compatible scales that also measured body fat, lean muscle, etc. Apple Health also pulled my digital healthcare records over the years from multiple sources, and data from Sleep Cycle (an app where you can track your sleep).
All of this data is giving me new insight on my own health. For someone who loves big data, this became a compelling platform for me – I wrote it off as junk before, but I was so wrong.
My suggestion to Apple is that they should make another platform that focuses on personal finance. An app, similar to Apple Health, could handle data from:
- Credit cards
- Insurance (Coverage and Rates)
- Investments (Retirement, Trading)
- Bank Accounts (Checking, Savings)
- Income/Pay Stubs (ADP, Sales Platforms)
- Bills (Energy Usage)
- Subscriptions and Memberships (Inside the Apple Store and Outside, Wallet Items)
- FSA/HSA accounts
- “Emailed” Receipts (Including all line items)
- Credit Report
Don’t get me wrong — Mint works alright for some of this. However, its iPhone app is lacking, and could use more refinement still. It has been my own primary means of tracking all of my financial information for years, but it has not been great at crunching the numbers and presenting it in a readable format.
With Apple’s focus on security and privacy, this would be a natural progression for them. The data from all of these apps would still be maintained within them, but they would be able to write to a “financekit” API as well.
In iOS 13, Apple is already creating a summary for people’s health from within the Health app. Why not have a way to show a summary of someone’s financial health, too? It doesn’t need to sell you credit cards or give you advice – it just needs to display all of this complex data in such a way where you can start to see trends and make decisions about your own financial situation.
If Apple lingers on doing this, a 3rd party competitor to Mint should come up to fill in the gap here. This can be done in such a better manner than it is right now, but it would require the development of a universal API first. It could be done on the account level like Mint (Mint still scrapes some sites as far as I am aware), but it is easier to toggle a setting within an app that will just simply interact with “Apple Finance” than trying to log into a dozen platforms again. This is especially true if they pop up as possible data sources from within the app itself.
There is really not one leader in this right now, but Apple could be a trailblazer if it wanted to. Everyone should be able to see where they are at financially at a glance, without having to maintain spreadsheets or jump between different apps.