The convenience of mobile-banking is changing the way we manage our money as more banks turn to smartphone applications that lets clients deposit checks and move funds between accounts.
This past year, the number of people using mobile banking grew exponentially. Up 116 percent from the previous year, 65 million used mobile banking in 2011, according to the most recent survey by comScore. That number is based on a survey of the top 10 banks across the United States.
Sharon Credit Unit, located in a southeast Boston suburb, recently reported that after a year of offering mobile banking, 42 percent of its clients are conducting transactions via their phone.
"We continue to expand our offerings to provide the ultimate in member convenience," Brian Arcand, the credit union's senior information officer said in a statement. "The seamless and secure suite of choices allows members to use a variety of mobile devices to bank on their own terms -- anywhere, at any time and on virtually any device."
Of course, questions about security can arise, as mobile bankers are essentially accessing personal financial information from anywhere in the world. That's the convenience factor. But as more people begin banking on their smartphones, savvy hackers could find a way to access that information.
Some tips to protect your information include avoiding storing sensitive information like passwords and social security numbers on your phone; password protecting your smartphone; and being aware of your surroundings. If you're typing in a banking password on the subway, make sure you're doing so discretely. Of course, always monitor your finances for irregularities.
With the convenience of being able to bank from virtually anywhere, it's quite easy to move funds between accounts. But be cautioned that there is a limit of six transfers per statement cycle on savings accounts, as mandated by the Federal Reserve board. If you're low on funds in your checking account, it's easy to quickly move money over from a savings account, but if you hit the limit, you'll have to go into a banking center and request the transfer.
So we know that mobile banking is wildly popular and will only grow from here -- especially globally. In fact, right now Africa is leading mobile payment initiatives and deployments globally.
But the biggest trend you can expect to see if person-to-person payments via mobile banking this year.
Currently, Chase offers its E-Z pay, which lets you send money from your Chase account to another Chase banker simply by sending it to an email address or mobile phone number, much like sending a text message.
In addition to person-to-person payments, more retail stores are allowing customers to simply swipe their phone over a sensor that would pay for their purchase through a mobile banking app.
And of course, mobile check depositing is a feature showing up on many popular bank's applications. USAA is the latest to update their app, as clients demand the convenient option of simply snapping a photo of the check and depositing the funds instantly.
Mobile banking will be as big as the customer demands it to be.
"People are busier than ever, and we are committed to putting our customers in control and showing them how to take care of their banking needs anytime and anywhere," Brad Conner, vice chairman of Consumer Banking, said.
It's not just big banks letting their clients access their financial information on a smartphone. More credit unions are also coming on board. as are many small business banking institutions. To leanr more visit http://www.calbanktrust.com/smallbusiness/
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