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Mobile banking has become one of the most popular ways for consumers to manage their finances. In fact, 2018 data from Statista showed that over 73% of digital banking users use mobile banking, including a large majority of millennials and Gen Xers.
What is mobile banking?
Mobile banking describes financial transactions or activities performed using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Most banks, whether or not they have a physical location, offer banking services such as checking and savings accounts, so customers can access their money and transact on the go.
Examples of mobile banking activities may include basic functions such as logging into your account and checking your balance. It can also include transactions such as paying bills, transferring money, depositing checks, etc.
It is important to note that mobile banking is not exactly the same as online banking, although the two certainly have some similarities. While mobile banking refers to activities performed on a mobile application on a smartphone or tablet, online banking generally refers to transactions and activities performed online, but most often using a desktop or laptop computer.
Nowadays, mobile banking can offer as many features as online banking, depending on the financial institution you use.
Why should you use mobile banking?
Mobile banking has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. There are many benefits and reasons why you might want to access your bank account from your mobile device. Here are some of the main benefits:
Mobile banking allows you to access your account anytime, anywhere, whether the bank is open or not. Your money is more accessible than ever.
There is no longer a need to visit a bank branch or even jump to a desktop computer. Now we have the convenience of banking directly from our smart phones.
Mobile banking makes it easy to track your expenses and control your budget. Some apps designed for on-the-go banking even have built-in budgeting features.
No need to go to a physical branch to deposit a check. Instead, mobile banking lets you deposit checks just by taking a picture.
Mobile banking allows you to transfer money from one account to another immediately. You can even transfer money to friends and family on the go.
Helps you save money
With mobile banking, you no longer have to worry about whether you have money in your account to cover a purchase. You can simply open your app to check, ensuring that you won’t be subject to unnecessary overdraft fees.
Since you still have access to your bank account, you can see if there have been any fraudulent charges. Some banks even send notifications of suspicious activity or let you know about every purchase.
Free to use
Mobile banking is a feature that financial institutions provide free to their customers, so you get all the benefits at no cost.
Access to other services
Mobile banking doesn’t just help you access your existing bank account. You can also open a new account or apply for a loan or credit card in just a few steps on your phone.
Because everyone has access to their bank balance on their phone, many banks no longer send paper statements and reminders, reducing paper waste.
Instant Map Checks
If you lose your credit or debit card, you can deactivate it immediately, even temporarily, using a feature in your mobile banking app. Then you can unlock it if you finally find it.
Is mobile banking secure?
One of the biggest questions many customers have is whether mobile banking is secure. Is it easy for bad actors to access your money?
Why it’s secure
The good news is that in general mobile banking is very secure. Financial institutions invest heavily to ensure they have high-end security features to prevent people from hacking into your account. In fact, mobile banking can be even safer than online banking using a desktop computer, or even visiting the bank branch. When there is a security issue, it is rarely a failure of the security features of the bank or the application.
6 steps to secure banking from your mobile device
As we mentioned, banking apps are pretty secure and the chances of someone hacking into your bank are pretty slim. However, certain things you do can make you an easier target for criminal activity. Here are some steps you can take to make your mobile banking experience even more secure:
Step 1: Lock your phone
If someone steals your phone, they could have access to all your apps and personal information. Locking your phone with a password, fingerprint or facial recognition is one of the easiest ways to protect your information and your money.
Step 2: Avoid relying on public Wi-Fi
An open wifi network makes it much easier for someone to access the personal information of other users. When you’re in a public place, keep using your cellular data.
Step 3: Beware of links
You probably already know to be wary of phishing emails or text messages, but it’s always worth a reminder. If you receive a text or email with a link that appears to be from your bank, it’s worth not clicking the link and going straight to the bank’s website or app.
Step 4: Download the correct app
When you download your bank’s mobile app, make sure it’s the correct one. Some hackers create fake apps designed to look like another bank’s app to trick people into sharing their login details.
Step 5: Secure your account
There are plenty of ways to make your bank account harder to hack into, including choosing a tough password and setting up two-factor authentication, which means you’ll receive a text or email with a code when you try to log in.
Step 6: Set up text or email alerts
Unfortunately, it is a simple fact that people become victims of banking crimes. Consider setting up text or email alerts for account activity to ensure that if someone accesses your money, you are immediately notified and can take action.
Mobile Banking FAQs
What is mobile banking?
Mobile banking refers to all banking transactions or activities carried out using an application on a smartphone or tablet.
Is it free to use mobile banking?
Yes, mobile banking is completely free.
How to get started with mobile banking?
Most financial institutions offer mobile applications to their customers. You can find more information on your bank’s website, where they will likely provide instructions for using their mobile banking app.
Are mobile banking services secure?
Mobile banking can be quite safe as long as you take basic precautions when it comes to your smartphone and accessing your account.