The Security of Mobile Banking: Peace of Mind and Convenience
Mobile banking is consistently getting faster and more convenient thanks to the addition of new features. It's also quickly growing into a more secure way to handle finances, as banks put the utmost importance on protecting your financial information.
Here's why you may want to make the change to start handling more of your finances via a mobile app.
Banking App Features
Banking apps are meant to help us save time by providing easy access to our accounts no matter where we are. Some common features include:
- Finding an ATM
- Depositing checks
- Tracking your spending and budgeting
- Transferring money
- Sending money and payments
- Transaction alerts
Sending Payments Through Mobile Apps
Sending money to friends or family is made easy with the help of your bank's mobile app. Zelle® is an easy way to send money directly between almost any bank accounts in the United States, typically within minutes. With just an email address or U.S. mobile phone number, you can quickly, safely, and easily send money to almost anyone you know and trust — regardless of where they bank. To send money using Zelle, simply select your recipient from your mobile device's contacts (or add your recipient's email address or U.S. mobile number), add the amount you'd like to send, review, then hit "confirm."
If the person you want to send money to isn't enrolled, they'll receive an email or text alert letting them know and advising them on how to enroll to claim it.
Other types of payment services that integrate with mobile banking apps or as a stand-alone app include Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay®, and Google Pay™. These apps allow you to zip through checkout by holding your phone over a scanner near the terminal with the mobile banking app open. No more fumbling for a debit or credit card!
Protecting Your Financial Information
Understanding the importance of keeping your information safe and secure, banking apps use top-tier security. 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.
Teens and Mobile Banking
When your kids are old enough, they may also want to access their checking account through their phones. A recent Federal Reserve study found that over two-thirds of millennials are using their phones for mobile banking, and that number keeps growing. That's over double the usage of their parents!
If you feel like the time is right for this step, it's important to go over safe and secure practices. Their banking app should never be open if they are not using the phone. Additionally, banking information of any kind shouldn't be publicly posted on any form of social media.
Mobile banking saves a lot of time and offers many conveniences. By consistently following a few security practices, you can ensure that your finances will remain safe from prying eyes.