With over 2.2 million apps on the App Store and 2.8 million on Google Play, it’s no wonder that banks have begun to create mobile apps in order to permit their customers to conveniently access their services from the comfort of their phones. But what exactly is mobile banking? Is it different from online banking? Isn’t it risky to share financial information online?
If you’re interested in learning the in’s and out’s of mobile banking, keep reading!
What is the difference between mobile banking and online banking?
Mobile and online banking have many similarities. Both are an e-commerce service which rely on a bank’s virtual platform to allow the user and account holder to perform a limited number of financial transactions relying on an internet connection.
However, the important difference between mobile and internet banking is the type of virtual platform used. Online banking has been around since 1994, the early boom of the internet. Online banking relies on the bank’s website in order to allow users to access their account information and perform some financial transactions.
On the other hand, mobile banking relies on a mobile application that users download to their smartphones or tablets in order to perform financial transactions. Depending on the institution and the app, mobile may provide some unique, helpful features like automatic alerts to the user’s phone to remind them about payments due, alert them to account activity, or to complete other functions.
What can you do with mobile banking?
Mobile banking can be a great time-saving tool that allows you to easily review your accounts and other financial information without the hassle of making a trip to the ATM or bank.
While the features may vary between different financial institutions, mobile banking generally allows users to:
- Review account balances
- See transactions and transaction histories
- Deposit checks
- Find nearby ATM and bank branches
- Make money transfers (although there may be limits on the amount)
- Pay bills
- Report stolen or missing cards and freeze your accounts
- Apply a travel notice to an account
One of the key advantages of mobile banking is that it allows you to complete these transactions quickly, conveniently from your own phone, at any time of the day or night, and from anywhere with internet access. Mobile apps are also usually free.
Is it safe?
Mobile banking is generally considered to be secure, although accessing your bank account virtually does, of course, entail some risks about which you should be mindful.
Mobile apps have a variety of safety features built into them, including password and pin protection, security questions and images, fingerprint and facial recognition, and other features. However, each app has its own weak spots and, like any online platform, mobile banking can be vulnerable to cyber security issues.
Do your research about your app’s individual security concerns and consider these basic precautions to ensure that you are safely using mobile banking:
- Make sure you download the app that is officially endorsed by your bank
- Choose your operating system carefully. Apps on Android tend to have higher security risks than iOS apps.
- Apps from bigger banks may be more secure than apps from smaller ones because of the resources that go into developing those apps
- Don’t automatically store your passwords, pins, or other important access information on your mobile app or on your phone
- Don’t share passwords or other sensitive information online or via emails and messages
The bottom line
Mobile banking is a relatively new tool that can help you to stay connected with your financial information more easily. It allows you to conveniently review your accounts and perform some transactions from your phone. Consider adding this alternative to your financial know-how toolbox in order to improve your financial wellbeing.
For more information about other tools available to you, check out the rest of the Academy library!