4 Personal-Finance Technologies to Watch for


4 Personal-Finance Technologies to Watch for

On the high-tech menu: customized financial advice.

This fall's Finovate conference, a showcase of the latest in financial and banking technology, had something for everyone, whether you're a saver, spender or investor. Most products or services are brand-new or still in testing. Here are some we like.

1. It looks like any other credit card in size and shape. But the Citi Redemption card lets you choose whether you want to charge your purchase or pay with rewards points by pushing a tiny button on the front of the card. An indicator light tells you which method you're using.

2. The card is a version of Dynamics Inc.'s MultiAccount technology, which lets users carry one card for two accounts -- say, your bank's credit or debit card, or your business or personal account. Also in the works from Dynamics: a separate card that foils identity thieves by displaying only partial account numbers until you press a PIN into five small buttons.

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3. BillShrink.com unveiled StatementRewards, which will give online-banking customers personalized tips for saving money based on their spending patterns and current payments. When users view their bank statements online, discount gift cards will pop up for stores that users frequent. For example, a $50 Target cash card may sell for $35 on the site if the user spends enough at that store to qualify. A "like" and "dislike" button trains the system to customize offers. BillShrink hopes to name banks offering the service by year-end.


4. HiddenLevers.com uses infographics to show how macroeconomic events -- such as an oil-price spike, high inflation or a dollar crash -- might change the value of your investments. Choose among 20 different scenarios to see their impact on various economic trends (for example, housing prices or corporate IT spending), which in turn affect particular industries and, ultimately, your stocks. You can also track certain economic indicators or screen for stocks that benefit from macro trends. A one-month trial subscription to the beta site costs $1.