Mobile banking provides a convenient, safe way to access your funds when you're unable to visit a branch.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many banks and credit unions to temporarily close the doors to their branches. While many continue to serve their customers as safely and efficiently as possible via drive through, the real secret to banking in the current climate comes in the form of mobile banking.
Mobile banking is simply using an app on a mobile device, like a phone or tablet, to access bank accounts and perform transactions. It's a service provided by a financial institution and is usually available around the clock. The features of the app drive what transactions are available to the user, but there are common features available through almost all mobile banking apps.
Almost every bank and credit union has some kind of internet banking solution such as a website, app, or, most often, both. These solutions are shockingly robust. While the face-to-face experience at your bank or credit union is most likely unmatched, mobile banking can offer many of the same or similar services. Common services include viewing your account balances, making transfers, paying on loans, and depositing checks.
One potential service available through mobile banking is the ability to deposit checks remotely; this is called a mobile deposit. Though cash deposits have to be made at the branch, you can often deposit checks into your account with your mobile device. Financial institutions use remote deposit capture to deposit a check remotely—just snap pictures of the front and back of a signed paper check through the app. Remote deposit is convenient and easy, but follow the instructions in the app carefully and hang onto the check for a few weeks just in case there’s a problem with the deposit.
Through an app, you can quickly and securely transfer money between accounts. This means you can pull money from checking and put it into savings or even another checking account. If you have a home, auto, or personal loan through the same bank or credit union as your checking/savings account, you can easily make payments remotely by transferring money from your checking or savings to the loan directly.
Mobile banking often allows you to view statements right on your phone. You can open a statement to quickly access your account number or balance your checkbook. Often, you can download the statement if you need to print it or use it to apply for a loan.
Banks and credit unions work tirelessly to keep their internet banking options as safe and secure as possible. Many apps and websites will use two-factor authentication and others will use fingerprint or face scans to ensure that only you can access your accounts.
Another key aspect of cybersecurity in mobile banking comes from encrypting data. A secure system encrypts the data transmitted through wifi or radio waves as well as any stored data.
Of course, you should also take steps to keep your account secure by using a unique password and only accessing mobile banking on secure networks. If you have any questions, talk to your bank or credit union for their recommendations on how to best protect yourself when using mobile banking options.
Mobile banking is a powerful tool that makes managing your finances easier and more convenient. If you don’t know what your financial institution offers, give them a call or check their website.
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