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There’s been a lot of innovation in the banking space lately, an area that is typically resistant to change. Just recently, the big banks got on board and started offering Apple Pay. Now, innovators have introduced the UGO Mobile Wallet.

Today, smartphones are so much more than just a phone. Users can download apps for everything from their favourite TV show to calorie trackers, or GPS to weather. In an effort to make our lives simpler, UGO is following the latest trend in banking by introducing some helpful new features to its mobile wallet – something that’s another step in the push toward a cashless society.

A convenient way to track your receipts

Mobile payment apps like Apple Pay make small purchases convenient and simple, but one common criticism is that it can cause the buyer to overspend.

While having a budget is a good first step, it’s equally important to track exactly what you’re buying. That’s where digital wallets come in handy. There are plenty of mobile banking apps out there like Mint that help you with budgeting, but tracking your spending required a lot of work – until now.

In an effort to slim our wallets, the UGO wallet allows users to scan, store and organize receipts on your mobile device. It’s similar to the move by some banks to allow customers to deposit a cheque by scanning it on a mobile device. If you’re familiar with that, you should have no problem catching on to UGO, which is now available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones.

Just like mobile banking

UGO users simply take a photo of their receipts and the information will be automatically extracted and digitally stored in the mobile wallet. This includes the date, time, cost, name of the retailer and currency in which the item or items were purchased. This system makes it impossible to ever lose another receipt, provided users get into the habit of scanning their receipts immediately after making purchases or receiving invoices.

With a lot of Canadians – especially millennials – doing freelance and contract work, keeping track of receipts for both personal and business purposes is a must. UGO covers that as well, with a feature that allows receipts to be classified as business or personal. Those receipts can be further organized by creating custom folders and expense types like bills and utilities, work expenses or special events.

Another helpful feature is that UGO tracks a user’s spending on a weekly basis, enabling them to see if they’re going over budget. It then helps them to adjust their spending accordingly for the rest of the month. For example, a user who budgets $350 per month for groceries but has already spent $200 two weeks in can fine tune their purchases to ensure they don’t overspend going forward.

Searching for receipts

While tracking expenses is great, a user may need to refer to an old receipt, especially for tax purposes or for claiming a business expense. This is a simple task – the UGO Wallet gives users the ability to add hashtags and notes. There are also tools to perform custom searches, as well as export purchase history both individually or as a group.

The first of its kind

The UGO Wallet is likely the first of many digital wallet apps so it will be interesting to see how the big banks respond. Those institutions have already started to partner with Fintech firms. The question is, will they form similar partnerships with digital wallets like UGO? Only time will tell.

Sean Cooper

Sean Cooper is the author of the new book, Burn Your Mortgage. He bought his first house when he was only 27 in Toronto and paid off his mortgage in just 3 years by age 30. An in-demand Personal Financial Journalist, Speaker and Money Coach, his articles and blogs have been featured in publications such as The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Tangerine: Forward Thinking blog and TheDot. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanCooperWrite.

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