Updated: May 3, 2013 12:14PM
The next generation of financial organizations has arrived. It's called Geezeo. And it means you can get to your personal money information anywhere, at any time.
If you're away from home, you can easily find your current checking account and credit-card balances -- even if you don't have access to a computer. Now with a discreet glance at your cell phone, you can have all your financial information literally at your fingertips.
Social finance Text messaging of your account balances is the latest development at www.Geezeo.com -- a personal finance Web site that declares itself to be a "social finance" destination.
The "finance" aspect is the fact that it securely aggregates your financial data from major banks and credit-card companies, and soon will include mutual fund and brokerage firms. The "social" portion is a series of online discussion groups, where peers discuss a variety of financial issues.
It's the next stage in real time access. Geezeo puts you in control of your money by giving real time access to your accounts at thousands of banks and credit-card companies through text messaging.
Having that information could save you from huge overdraft and over-limit fees. It could even save you the embarrassment of having your credit card rejected when you reach to pay for dinner.
But the truly breakthrough technology is the fact that you can now access all this information in real time on your cell phone -- any text-enabled cell phone. In effect, your mobile phone becomes an extension of the Web site. It's a technology that is aimed directly at the 18- to 35-year-old age group that is actively using text messaging. But don't let the youthful aspect of this concept fool you. Two-way mobile banking is the wave of the future.
The two most important things you need to know about Geezeo.com can be said in one short sentence: Geezeo is free and secure. The security is at the same high level as online banking transmission. Geezeo does not store your personal account numbers, nor your passwords that access your bank and credit cards. It uses Amazon.com's secure hosting platform, and is a partner of CashEdge, the leading financial aggregator, which is used by the top banks and mutual fund companies such as Vanguard.
The service is free because Geezeo has a revenue plan that will be tied to "intelligent product matching." As the site gains momentum, Geezeo will be paid by financial services providers that are part of a "matching service" that will link users to products they need.
All you have to do to get started is go to www.Geezeo.com and set up an account, select the bank and credit-card accounts you want to track, and then submit your mobile phone number. The process takes just minutes, though your computer needs a browser such as Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox, which are easily downloaded.
Following the money In recent weeks, Geezeo.com has added "tagging" functionality to help users figure out where their money went. Since nobody writes checks anymore, the younger generation has been dubbed "Gen P" -- for plastic -- which makes money disappear!
Geezeo now "tags" every transaction that comes through your bank account or debit card or credit card, putting it into a category, making it simple to track spending. Users can even create their own tags. Then a click of your mouse creates a graphic -- a bar chart that shows clearly where all your money went.
In effect, Geezeo has taken personal finances to the next level - the "fingertip" level. No longer are you bound by software that resides on your home or office computer. You can securely access Geezeo.com from any computer, anywhere.
When you're not near a computer, information will arrive securely on your cell phone in the form of a text message.
Now, you can't hide from your money. And that's The Savage Truth.
Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser. Distributed by Creators Syndicate.