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Online and mobile banking enable you to do just about everything you can do in a branch with a few clicks from a computer or smartphone app. Some people may be hesitant about changing how they bank, but with the variety of features, you can save a lot of time and effort, while staying safe at home.

With the coronavirus pandemic limiting physical access to many financial institutions, online and mobile banking can give you fast, secure, 24/7 access to your accounts – and the peace of mind that comes with that.

Here are some of the benefits of online and mobile banking, plus tips to make the experience work best for you.

Get Immediate Access to Your Account

With online and mobile banking, you can log in and check the details of your bank accounts at any time. Checking your accounts enables you to see your balance and pending transactions at a glance, so that you know for sure if you can pay for something without overdrawing your account.

You can review your banking statements and recent transaction history in real time. This is an excellent way to monitor transactions posted to your account - no matter where you are. You can set up account alerts to notify you of account activity, so you can quickly address any suspicious transactions.

You can also perform many of the other tasks that you would do at a physical branch. These include updating your account preferences and profile information, depositing a check using your smartphone, paying bills, locking or unlocking your credit cards, depositing checks and transferring money from one account to another, and even sending money with Zelle®.

Deposit Your Checks from Anywhere

The majority of mobile banking apps allow you to deposit physical checks, saving you a trip to your local bank branch or ATM.

The process is simple: endorse the check as usual and add any extra information that may be required – typically a note stating that it’s for a mobile deposit. Then use the banking app to snap a picture of both sides of the check, input key check data and wait for it to process. Remember to keep the physical check for a couple of weeks in case there are any issues.

If the majority of your trips to the bank are to deposit checks, you can easily see just how much time mobile deposits can save. However, note that there are often caps on how much you can deposit this way within a certain time period, so be sure to check with your bank.

Transfer Funds Between Accounts Fast

Online and mobile banking also allow you to transfer funds between different accounts held at your bank. This is particularly useful if you notice that your account balance is low and you have automatic payments or a recent purchase that may overdraw your account.

If you want to send money to people you know and trust, you can do so with Zelle, which enables funds to be sent and received from one bank account in the U.S. to another, using only a recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile number.

Protecting Your Financial Information

Most banks use encryption through their mobile apps that will protect your privacy, financial information and identity. In order to access your mobile banking app, you’ll have to create a login. Some banks have even created extra layers of protection, such as a separate PIN number. You may also have the option of using a fingerprint sensor for an added layer of security before you can log in.

Below are a few extra tips for keeping your financial information safe when using a banking app.

  • Set Auto-Lock on Your Phone: All mobile phones have a way to auto-lock with password protection after a certain amount of time. Setting the auto-lock to engage after a short period of time is a smart way to protect your sensitive financial information if you accidentally leave your phone somewhere or if it’s stolen.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: This is a technique that sends a code to your mobile phone via SMS (or text message) as an added security precaution. After receiving the code, you type it into the device, which then registers the device.
  • Security in Public Places: If you find yourself using public Wi-Fi often, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or stick to your cellular data when accessing your bank accounts. Public Wi-Fi is often unsecured, meaning anyone with the right skill set can read your sensitive information.
  • If Your Device Is Lost or Stolen: Use “Find My iPhone” on Apple products or a data wipe app to protect your personal information remotely. Also, if you’re selling or trading in your phone, make sure you wipe all your data as well.
  • Turn on Your Account Activity Alerts: Sign up to receive alerts via your mobile app with real-time notifications regarding your bank account activity.
  • Use Strong Passwords: A strong password consists of at least eight characters that are a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Keep Your Phone up to Date: Ensure that your phone is always up to date with the latest software and updates on banking apps.

View these short videos for additional information:

This information and recommendations contained herein are compiled from sources deemed reliable, but are not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or are offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on key.com, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third-party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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