You can do nearly anything on your phone nowadays. You can get dinner, track your health, stay in-touch with faraway friends and family, all with just a few clicks. But did you know you can also deposit money, manage your credit cards, and perform other financial to-do tasks on your smartphone?
And you can do it all from the convenience of your own home.
Mobile banking is gaining popularity across the globe. And for good reason: It’s convenient, fast and safe.
If you’re a little intimidated or confused by mobile banking, though, you’re not alone. It’s still a relatively new feature, and it’s ok to be extra thorough when it comes to managing your own money — and we’re here to help.
Here are some answers to your questions about mobile banking.
How is mobile banking different from in-person banking?
Let’s start with the basics: Mobile banking is extremely similar to in-person banking — you just don’t have to put shoes on to do it. And it’s even more similar to online banking — you just don’t have to open your laptop.
Basically, mobile banking allows you to access all of your accounts on your phone. And when it comes down to it, you’re almost always going to get a more accessible experience this way. It’s incredibly fast, you don’t have to wait in line, and you can log in whenever you want.
With a mobile banking app, you can deposit a check in mere seconds, and it doesn’t matter what time it is. Day or night, you can pay bills, set up automatic payments and make account transfers, meaning you won’t have to worry about rushing to the bank or post office before they close.
You can also manage your credit cards and check your credit score at a moment’s notice.
There are still some things you’ll need to visit a branch for — such as large withdrawals or cashier’s checks. But should you ever need in-person assistance, it’s as easy as going to your preferred financial institution. Your mobile app can even find you the closest location. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
Is mobile banking safe?
Security is perhaps the biggest concern when it comes to banking. Who wouldn’t want to know that their money is safe?
The good news is that mobile banking has come a long way in recent years. In fact, mobile banking is often safer than trying to send private or personal information through the mail. Certain tasks, such as making mobile deposits, are protected using login credentials, layered security, data encryption and other controls.
And features such as card managers help you feel empowered to protect yourself from identity theft. Security alerts are another way to stay informed about suspicious or fraudulent charges.
Kelly Albiston, senior vice president and CTO at Mountain America Credit Union, says that “banking today has to check off all the boxes in terms of simplicity, functionality, and security, while enabling our very busy lifestyles. This is where mobile banking can help. A good mobile banking app should make banking easier and more attainable for you by providing features like mobile deposit, card management, and payments, all on a platform that doesn’t sacrifice security.”
Secure mobile banking apps will likely have two-factor or multi-factor authentication. This means that when you log in to the app, you will sometimes receive an email or text message with a code to help you log in. So even if someone were to access your username and password, they wouldn’t be able to log in.
If you’re still not convinced that mobile banking is safe, consider looking into your phone’s additional security features, such as facial recognition. And if you have a hard time remembering or creating passwords — who among us doesn’t? — you can also download a password manager that lets you build more complex login combinations.
Finally, no matter how secure your app is, you should never access sensitive financial information on public Wi-Fi internet networks. If you’re out and about, use data or your own personal hotspot.
What do I need to start mobile banking?
When you’re ready, it’s simple to get started with mobile banking! First, grab your smartphone and download your preferred financial institution’s mobile app — don’t be afraid to reach out if you’re not sure you have the right app. Then log in using the same username and password you use online.
Spend some time exploring around the app to get a feel for what you can do and where you can find certain links. Many apps offer tutorials that can help you get acclimated.
After you make a few transfers or deposit a few checks, you’ll become more comfortable with the layout and processes available on your app. Over time, you’ll be moving money around quicker and safer than ever before.
And, as always, reach out to your bank or credit union if you need assistance.