Banking Apps—Why You Should Use One

Some of the benefits of using a banking app

12/09/2013

How simple would banking be if you could carry the entire bank in your pocket? What if you had access to every one of your accounts 24/7? These may seem like rhetorical questions, but if the answer is so obviously “wow,” then how come, according to the Federal Reserve, only 21 percent of mobile phone users have used a mobile banking application in the past year?
 
Many consumers’ main concern with mobile banking applications is the strength of security, but hackers will continue to target computers more than phones.
 
“It’s not cost-effective for attackers to develop new malware specifically targeting mobile devices as trends shift,” says T.K. Keanini, chief technology officer at nCircle, a network security and compliance auditing firm. “If we boost mobile security now, then we can raise the costs for future attackers and realize the potential of online banking.”
 
Contrary to what many may think, these apps do not store any of your personal information directly on your phone; a user name and password have to be entered before gaining any access to your account information.
 
Michelle De Mooy, senior associate for national priorities at Consumer Action, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit consumer advocacy group, says that a person should never store a bank account user name and password anywhere in any file on his or her phone and should have a home lock screen in case the phone is lost or stolen.
 
Even the experts will agree that any sort of GPS integrated into a banking application seems intrusive. However, Keanini believes otherwise.
 
“[Transmitting your location] is a very strong factor to authentication,” Keanini says. “I’m at a certain spot, and I’m authenticating it. There’s no way I can be across the country doing the same thing.”
 
Still need convincing?
 
Most apps have benefits that include:
  • View
    o   Balance
    o   Transaction history
    o   Savings
    o   Deposits
    o   Loans
    o   Stocks
    o   Insurance
    o   Credit card information
    o   Check images 
  • Money Movement
o   Inter-account transfer
o   Transfer within same bank to anywhere around the globe
o   Transfer to other banks
o   Mobile deposits 
  • Servicing and Support
o   Balance alerts
o   Payment alerts
o   Transaction alerts
o   Profile-based alerts
o   Service-based alerts
o   Abnormal items alerts
o   Stop payment
o   Checkbook request 
  • Featured Phone-Driven Capabilities
o   Calendar
o   Calculators
o   ATM/branch locators 
“The biggest benefit is that you have more control of your money,” says James Van Dyke, president of Javelin Strategy & Research in Pleasanton, Calif. “You don’t have Internet connections everywhere you go, but you do have a mobile connection.” Additionally, you’re not paying to manage your money; it’s free!
 

Learn more about our Online Services and Mobile Banking services.

 
Rest assured. You can ditch the computer and carry your financial institution with you. 

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