Three Things To Consider When Banking On Your iPhone or Smart Phone

by Hank Coleman

Javelin Strategy & Research recently released a report that detailed how pervasive mobile banking has become in our lives. Nineteen of the 30 largest banks in the country now offer some type of mobile banking option for iPhones and other smart cell phones. It is estimated that by 2013, smart phone usage will exceed regular phone usage which require banks and other financial institutions to continue changing the products and offerings that they present to their customers.

Three Things To Look For In A Mobile Banking Application…

Mobile Banking Now Has Tons Of Features

USAA's Auto Circle, part of their iPhone appWith every new edition of smart phones and new versions of the applications that run on them, mobile banking is getting more and more robust. Now, most of the banks that have mobile banking allow their customers to check account balances, view account history, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills, and locate ATMs within the bank’s network and even outside the network. Even financial services companies such as USAA which is a bank, insurance company, and an investment company all rolled up into one allows its customers to deposit checks at home, notify roadside assistance, place a stock trade, and now finance, buy, and insure a car directly from a customer’s smart phone through USAA’s app and integrated website called AutoCircle.

Mobile Banking Takes Short Message Service (SMS) To A Whole New Level

With many mobile banking smart phone applications, you can do a wide range of things with text messages. After registering your phone, you can receive text messages from many banks that support mobile banking that will give you updates on your account balances, recent transactions, and text message alerts. At many banks, you can set text message alerts to tell you about low balances, late payments, high dollar transactions, and many other banking functions through text messages.

Mobile Banking’s Security Should Not Be A Worry

The two top reasons that consumers cite for not using mobile banking are a lack of a compelling value added to the banking experience and concerns about security. But, banking customers should not be concerned about mobile banking especially if they are already banking through their financial institution’s website. Most banks use the same kinds of encryptions on their mobile phone apps that they do on their corporate websites. And, text messages require registration with the bank to receive them, and banks do not include account numbers or even names in most cases as part of the transmissions.

While the mobile banking arena is dominated by the largest institutions with big research and development departments, credit unions and other smaller regional banks are starting to come on strong. And, smart phones are quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Long gone are the days of checking your balance through the ATM or by calling your bank’s 1-800 customer service phone number. Smart phones and iPhone apps are quickly becoming the new normal of mobile banking.

(photo credit: USAA)

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