Moneywise March Banking

What you need to know about mobile banking

Not surprisingly smart phones are no longer considered a luxury. They have swiftly become an integral part of our lives since the Blackberry showed up in the early 2000s. What has also changed in a big way is how we do our banking.

Remember getting your paycheck, rushing to the bank before it closed at 5:30pm (6pm if you were lucky) on Friday and if you didn't get any cash for the weekend you [*gasp*] had to write a check? ATMs and direct deposit were not that common, and you certainly couldn't just hop on the computer to pay a bill. In the space of 2 (or so) decades, we have gained the ability to do that and more, and all on our phones and tablets. A financial institution's banking app gives their customers fuller, quicker access to managing their accounts and their money. Although app functions and security have come a long way, there are still questions about mobile banking. We hope to address a few of those here.

What are the benefits of mobile banking?

The rise of mobile technology has significantly changed the way the world does business. Mobile technology has reduced paperwork and processing times by allowing the instant exchange of digital information. There are several advantages of banking with a mobile device. For instance, you will save valuable time and money by not actually having to travel to a branch location. If you're out of town or need to do a transaction outside of normal business hours, you can complete your transaction virtually anywhere with just a few clicks.

Is mobile banking safe?

Mobile banking is much safer than most people think, that is, if you use it correctly. First, when you access your account from a mobile device, use your financial institution's app and not your phone's web browser. The financial industry has invested a lot of money in security technology. These apps are highly secure and designed to work with a bank's own security algorithms. If you do have to use a web browser instead of the official app, remember it's never a good idea to log in over a public Wi-Fi connection. Logging onto a banking website over a public Wi-Fi in a public area like a coffee shop, hotel or in an airport is a security risk because the network is vulnerable to anyone monitoring that hot spot and can intercept the data being transferred.

What if my mobile device is stolen?

One of the biggest ways consumers fall victim to mobile banking fraud is when their phone is lost or stolen, and scammers get access to all their information stored on the device. To help mitigate compromised information in the event of a lost phone, avoid automatic logins and always require a password. Even if you don't save your log in information, when you're done with a session you should log out. If you don't, it leaves you open to the same risks. If your mobile device is lost or stolen, notify your financial institution right away so they can immediately take steps on their end to protect your money.

Are all types of transactions available in mobile banking?

In most cases, all of the transactions that are available in standard online banking platforms are also available in mobile banking. Depending on what features your financial institution offers, there may actually be more transaction types available through their mobile banking app, such as Mobile Remote Deposit Capture. This feature allows enrolled users to endorse the back of their qualified check, snap a photo of the front and back, and deposit the check into their account without having to visit a location or deposit-accepting ATM.