Monday, October 03, 2011

The PNC Virtual Wallet Android app has finally arrived.

And it mostly lives up to the hype.
 
It's been about a year since I switched my main bank accounts from the one that everyone and their mother uses (Bank of America) to PNC.  Part of the reason for this is PNC's Virtual Wallet product.  It basically involves giving you 3 accounts: one for everyday spending (Spend), one for short-term saving (Reserve), and one for long-term saving with a "high" interest rate (Growth).  And they have a novel UI (centered around a calendar view and a "Money Bar") for presenting your account status.  That's about as much selling of it as I'm going to do here - see https://www.pncvirtualwallet.com if you would like to find out more.  I will note that their system can be a bit buggy at times, especially when new features are released, and they seem to be down for maintenance a bit more than I would like.  But overall I'm quite pleased with their services.

Anyway, Virtual Wallet has had an iPhone app for a while now, and it's been making my Nexus S jealous.  There has been a PNC app in the Android Market, but it is (to be frank) pretty crappy - it is little more than a bookmark to their mobile site, which has no VW-specific functionality.  The VW iPhone app gives you the Calendar, Money Bar, and (most impressively) remote mobile deposits - the ability to deposit checks by taking a picture with your phone.  Chase was the first bank I was aware of to offer this last bit of functionality, and from what I understand Bank of America has plans to do so as well in the near future (if they don't already).

The Virtual Wallet Android app was released two weeks ago, with a feature set to match its iOS counterpart.  Everything advertised seems to be there, but I have not yet had a chance to actually perform a mobile deposit - I have not received any checks recently.  Normally I don't like receiving checks, as depositing them requires making a trip to the bank (though the BoA ATMs with automatic no-envelope check processing are pretty slick), but I'm kind of itching to try out this feature.  I'm still a proponent of all-electronic finances, though, so I'm glad to see Virtual Wallet offer PopMoney integration (though not in the mobile version).  And in a similar vein, the arrival of Google Wallet  is also a welcome event (though it is, unfortunately, only offered for Sprint's Nexus S 4G, even though my Nexus S has the required NFC capabilities).

But back to the Virtual Wallet Android app...which is not without it's minor flaws.  My main gripe is having to perform a full sign-in (i.e., typing in my user ID and password) each time I use the app.  It would be nice if I only had to sign in once, and then each subsequent time only had to enter in a PIN unless I performed a manual log-out.  Other than that, though, it seems to work pretty well.  Maybe I'll go write myself a check from my BoA account...just to give the app the full once-over...

1 comment:

  1. With the new monthly debit card fee at BofA, it might be time to migrate my money somewhere else.

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