Is Wisely the Ultimate Tool for Personal Finance and Investing?
Managing personal finances and investments has never been easier than it is today, thanks to a plethora of budgeting and investment tools available in the market. On the other hand, the vast array of personal finance tools and finance apps out there makes for a difficult time figuring out which ones are right for you. One popular and emerging platform that has recently grabbed the attention of both beginners and experts alike is Wisely.
To find out, I put Wisely through an in-depth analysis highlighting Wisely’s features, benefits, and drawbacks to help you make an informed decision. One of the best features of Wisely is that Wisely is from ADP, the country’s largest payroll provider. One of the concerns about if Wisely is a scam is that it is from ADP, the country’s latest payroll provider. After all, doesn’t your employer and its payroll company already know enough about you?
What Wisely Reviews Say
Some of the short Wisely reviews say it is a personal finance and investing application that promises to streamline your entire financial life. The developer’s aim is to create a product that acts as a one-stop solution for everyone who is on the lookout for a robust, user-friendly, and capable tool for managing finances and investments. Wisely allows you to track income, expenses, budgets, and have a comprehensive view of your investments.
Whew! That is a lot of promise. Let’s dig in for a hands-on, real world experience review of Wisely.
Review Wisely First Impression
The first step in deciding if any money product is right for you is to understand what the company is trying to do in the first place. Wisely is trying to be your online bank. They offer direct deposit (it is ADP, after all, the country’s largest payroll processor). To access your money, they offer a debit card, either Mastercard or Visa. To manage your money, they offer the Wisely website and the MyWisely mobile app. You can get cash back on certain purchases. What it does not have is a high online interest rate for your money. In fact, the company goes out of its way to say “savings envelope” which is just another section of your spending account.
Pros of Wisely App and Dashboard
Features of Wisely:
- Comprehensive Dashboard and Data Integration:
Wisely offers an all-encompassing dashboard displaying your financial data by using its integration capabilities from multiple sources like bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and your company’s payroll information. The dashboard presents an easily digestible snapshot of your net worth, expenses, savings rate, and investment performance.
- Budgeting Tools and Expense Tracking:
The app simplifies budgeting and expense management through auto-categorization, helping you seamlessly create and stick to your budget. The auto-categorization feature divides your expenses into different categories, making it easier to review and make adjustments as per your financial goals.
- Early Payday:
Wisely loves the latest scam in personal finance, the “early payday.” As with other banks and credit unions offering an early payday, what they really mean is if your employer has already setup the money transfer into your account, with an execute date in the next one or two days, they will give you access to that upcoming payroll. Technically it is two days earlier than you would have access to that money, so I suppose we can’t really call Wisely a scam for cashing in on this trend. For Wisely Pay and Wisely Cash card users, early pay is not a standard feature. You must have direct deposit for the pay that you want access to two days early, or it doesn’t work.
- Cash Back
Wisely offers cash back on certain purchases made with the Wisely debit card. Unlike the cards you hear about on TV with cash back on every purchase, Wisely only has cash back with certain merchants. Where Wisely is a good finance tool is that it offers large cash back bonuses on certain gift certificates. Again, it is only with certain merchants but with some offering up to 10% cash back paid directly into your savings envelope there is a way to get ongoing discounts that save you money.
- Free ATM Access
The Wisely card will not charge you for access to a network of ATMs. ATMs that do not belong to that network may impose their on ATM fees. Read the ATM carefully to know how much you are being charged.
- Education and Learning Center:
Wisely provides a comprehensive educational content library, from articles on personal finance, FAQs, to video tutorials, and user guides. This effort at continuous learning empowers users to make better-informed financial decisions to achieve their goals.
- Data Security and Privacy:
Wisely upholds a high standard of security by using modern encryption technology and secure connections to ensure your financial and personal data are safeguarded against unauthorized access.
Drawbacks of Wisely:
- Less Useful Than a Bank
Most any bank or credit union will be more useful than the Wisely account. They pay interest, allow easy deposits, and offer just as much access to ATMs.
- Limited Access for Non-US Users:
One potential drawback of Wisely is its limited integration with non-US financial institutions. This may make it less attractive for users based outside the US, although it still supports manual data input as an alternative.
- No interest
Most online banks entice you with a high online interest rate for your accounts. Wisely doesn’t bother. It is betting on convivence being good enough for less financially savvy customers.
- No Credit
Wisely Card is just a prepaid debit card. It does not build credit or have any revolving loan account with it. This is actually probably an advantage for people who have had trouble with credit before, or for those that have difficulty controlling their spending.
With the exception of the direct deposit features of Wisely, this is account is little more than a glorified pre-paid debit account. Most people will do better with a credit union or bank account. Direct deposit can be set up there even if you won’t get a 2-day head start on your payday. My guess is ADP is targeting this product at the “unbanked” and for them, it may be useful, but for anyone who already understands basic savings and spending this is not the right product.