Why Mobile Banking Is Worth a Try: Convenience and Access

By Erin Gobler

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A young woman sits on the floor with her laptop computer and her smartphone as she engages in mobile banking

Mobile banking has become one of the most popular ways for consumers to manage their finances. In fact, 2018 data from Statista showed that more than 73% of digital banking users use mobile banking, including a large majority of both millennials and Generation X members.

So is mobile banking right for you? In this article, we’ll explore what mobile banking is, why it’s worth using, and what you can do to make your mobile banking experience more secure.

What Is Mobile Banking?

Mobile banking describes financial transactions or activities done using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Most banks, regardless of whether they have a brick-and-mortar location, offer banking services such as checking accounts and savings accounts, so customers can access their money and make transactions on the go.

Examples of mobile banking activities might include basic functions such as logging into your account and viewing your balance. It can also include transactions such as paying bills, transferring money, depositing checks, and more.

It’s important to note that mobile banking isn’t exactly the same as online banking, though the two certainly have some similarities. While mobile banking refers to activities done on a mobile app on a smartphone or tablet, online banking generally refers to transactions and activities done online, but most often using a desktop or laptop computer.

These days mobile banking can offer just 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 reasons. There are plenty of benefits and reasons why you may want to access your bank account from your mobile device. Here are some of the major advantages:

24/7 access

Mobile banking allows you to access your account any time, anywhere, regardless of whether the bank is open. Your money is more accessible than ever.

Convenience

It’s no longer necessary to visit a bank branch or even hop on a desktop computer. Now, we have the convenience of banking directly from our smartphones.

Simple budgeting

Mobile banking makes it simple to track your spending and stay on top of your budget. Some apps designed for banking on the go even have built-in budgeting features.

Mobile deposit

You no longer have to go to a physical branch to deposit a check. Instead, mobile banking allows you to deposit checks simply by taking a picture.

Instant transfers

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 whether you have money in your account to cover a purchase. You can simply open your app to check, ensuring you won’t be subject to unnecessary overdraft fees.

Easier monitoring

Because you always have access to your bank account, you can see if there have been any fraudulent charges. Some banks even send notifications of any suspicious activity or notify you of every purchase.

Free to use

Mobile banking is a feature that financial institutions offer their customers for free, so you get all the perks 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.

Environmentally friendly

Because everyone has access to their bank balance on their phones, many banks no longer send paper statements and reminders, which reduces paper waste.

Instant card controls

If you lose your credit or debit card, you can turn it off immediately — even just temporarily — using a feature on your mobile banking app. Then you can unlock it if you eventually find it.

Is Mobile Banking Secure?

One of the most important questions that many customers have is whether mobile banking is secure. Just how easy is it 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 in making sure they have top-of-the-line security features to prevent people from hacking your account. In fact, mobile banking may be even safer than online banking using a desktop computer, or even visiting the bank branch. When there is a security issue, it’s rarely a failing of the bank or app’s security features.

6 steps to make banking from your mobile device more secure

As we mentioned, banking apps are fairly secure, and the chances of someone hacking your bank are fairly slim. However, there may be things you’re doing to make you an easier target for criminal activity. Here are a few 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 of your apps and personal information. Locking your phone with a passcode, thumbprint, or facial recognition is one of the simplest ways to keep your information and money safe.

Step 2: Avoid banking on public wifi

An open wifi network makes it a lot easier for someone to access other users’ personal information. When you’re in a public location, stick with using your cellular data.

Step 3: Be cautious of links

You probably already know to be wary of phishing emails or texts, but it’s always worth being reminded of. If you get a text or email that includes a link and looks like it’s coming from your bank, it’s worth skipping clicking the link and simply head to the bank’s website or app directly.

Step 4: Download the right app

When you download your bank’s mobile app, be sure it’s the right one. Some hackers create fake apps designed to resemble another bank’s app to get people to share their login information.

Step 5: Secure your account

There are plenty of ways you can make your bank account more difficult to hack, including choosing a difficult password and setting up two-factor authentication, meaning you’ll get a text or email with a code when you try to log in.

Step 6: Set up text or email alerts

Unfortunately, it’s 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 know about it immediately and can take action.

Mobile Banking FAQ

What is mobile banking?

Mobile banking refers to any banking transactions or activities done using an app on a smartphone or tablet.

Is mobile banking free to use?

Yes, mobile banking is entirely free to use.

How do I get started with mobile banking?

Most financial institutions offer mobile apps to their customers. You can find more information on your bank’s website, where they will likely provide instructions to use their mobile banking app.

Is mobile banking safe?

Mobile banking can be quite safe as long as you take basic precautions when it comes to your smartphone and account access.

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Erin Gobler